Siemens blends DCS, MES conferences

Tampa, FL—More than 500 users from eight countries attended Siemens’ 2005 Process Automation User Conference and Simatic IT Summit on May 4-6.

By Control Engineering Staff May 10, 2005

Tampa, FL— More than 500 users from eight countries attended Siemens ’ 2005 Process Automation User Conference and Simatic IT Summit on May 4-6. The event marked the seventh year for the event’s process automation portion, but it was first time Siemens blended its DCS (Simatic PCS 7 distributed control system) and MES (Simatic IT manufacturing execution system) conferences, says Ralf-Michael Franke, Siemens Automation and Drives’ president. It was also the first time a Simatic IT event was held in North America.

“There is a decision-making revolution going on in plants today,” says Tom Kopanski, VP and GM of Siemens’ Automation and Motion Division, explaining why the DCS and MES topics were combined at this conference. “Plants today have to squeeze pennies, not just nickels and dimes. And it’s the automation of data management and decision-making that can help companies not only save significant costs, but drive differentiation, which is so important in the global manufacturing market.” Siemens DCS and MES divisions were joined in one area under Kopanski’s direction in fall 2004.

Explaining why manufacturing execution systems are integral to the future of manufacturing at the engineering level, Karsten Newbury, Siemens’ GM for Process Automation and Manufacturing Execution Systems and Solutions, says MES enables the drive for operations excellence through its end-to-end tracking and tracing capabilities, and its ability to make key performance indicators (KPIs) more visible in order to optimize decision making on the plant floor. MES also provides needed decision support tools to improve workflows, he says, and serves as the integration point between the plant floor and the business systems—an increasing requirement as corporate executives become more aware of specific manufacturing functions due to costs savings and regulatory requirements.

Further underscoring Siemens’ decision to unite these two topics under one event roof, Anton Huber, Siemens’ group VP, cited ARC Advisory Group findings that, in a typical year, process automation systems (PAS) hardware will require three major maintenance modifications, but PAS software requires twice as many modifications.

Huber also noted that, in relation to the coding required at a typical process plant, half of the coding is dedicated for all the automation in the plant, while the other half is dedicated to the MES.

Other announcements made at the conference included:

  • DuPont Sourcing and Engineering has globally guidelined Siemens Simatic safety systems as an approved supplier platform. According to Siemens, its Simatic safety systems are TUV certified to IEC 61508 for applications up to SIL 3, regardless of system architecture.

  • Simatic Batch batch management software can be used with Apacs+ controllers. This new software option extends the life of existing Apacs+ systems and enables users of ProcessSuite Batch and APS Direktor to be upgraded to PCS 7, Siemens Simatic Batch process automation system. In this upgrade, existing Apacs+ controller hardware and logic is reused, minimizing reengineering time and hardware replacement costs.

  • Siemens news PCS 7 field termination assembly boards (FTA) are a 1:1 match with Honeywell’s TDC-3000 FTA boards for migration strategies that leave existing field wiring up to the terminals in place in Honeywell FTA cabinets. Once the Simatic FTA boards are installed, PCS 7 process control system hardware using S7-400 controllers and Windows-based operator stations can be accommodated.

Session tracks at the event focused on process systems lifecycle management, industrial security, process safety systems, and product roadmaps.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
David Greenfield, editorial director