Siemens E&A intergrating APACS+, PCS7

Starting with two relatively new platforms after acquiring Moore Process, senior management and engineers at Siemens Energy & Automation have been seeking to integrate the APACS+ and PCS7 control system technologies. APACS+ was introduced in 1992, and PCS7 debuted in 1997.

By Dave Harrold, senior editor January 1, 2002

Starting with two relatively new platforms after acquiring Moore Process, senior management and engineers at Siemens Energy & Automation have been seeking to integrate the APACS+ and PCS7 control system technologies. APACS+ was introduced in 1992, and PCS7 debuted in 1997.

Siemens reports that when its three-phase plan to “interface,” “integrate” and “unify” APACS+ and PCS7 is complete, the two systems will have evolved into a common system hardware and software platform that, among other things, will accelerate APACS+ users’ requests for a better graphical interface and improved controller performance.

Siemens’ system developers report that when they “raised the hoods” of the two systems, they found the engineering environment was so similar that efforts to create a single engineering tool set with engineering and operational views for both platforms was able to progress with few surprises.

Siemens claims its “interface” phase is nearly complete, and has been accomplished mainly because the original design of APACS+ and PCS7 systems did take advantage of “open” standards and technologies. For example, controller-to-controller communications and I/O system sharing was achieved using OPC, Ethernet and Profibus. In fact, implementing Profibus in the APACS+ system is reported to have been very straightforward and accomplished in just a few weeks.

The “integrate” phase is being accomplished through further development of common tools, interfaces, and data communication, and is expected to take two or three years to complete.

For more information and an expanded version of this article, visit www.controleng.com/webexcl/default.asp .