With the most booth space at the Hannover Messe, Siemens has a significant presence at one of the world’s largest industrial trade fairs. This year the company used the fair to announce a series of partnerships and new product introductions. Below is a summary of the most significant announcements.
Siemens and EDAG Cooperate in Projects for Additive Manufacturing
Siemens is intensifying its cooperation with the EDAG Group as a leading global independent engineering company for the automotive industry, to further promote industrial applications of additive manufacturing (AM) and to make engineering and production processes more efficient. Based on years of successful project-specific collaboration in factory and production planning, Siemens presented the "NextGenerationSpaceframe 2.0" project at the Hannover Messe in early April.
The "NextGenerationSpaceframe 2.0" intelligent modular system features a combination of bionically designed and additive manufactured nodes and high-strength, energy-absorbing aluminum extrusion profiles. The concept offers extremely flexible manufacturing, enabling it to support the growing number of vehicle derivatives while still taking economic aspects into account.
The collaboration has now been extended by a seamless digital engineering process chain for AM resulting in the implementation of a use case. The project result was led by EDAG and Siemens together with Constellium, Fraunhofer IAPT, Concept Laser and BLM. It shows a flexibly manufactured lightweight aluminum structure - "NextGenSpaceframe 2.0" as an automotive use case for Siemens.
New Industrial PC Platform Offers Highest Computing and Graphic Performance for Future Technologies
With the Simatic IPC1047, Siemens is launching an industrial PC platform that is distinguished by the highest computing and graphic performance. The new device is equipped with modern hardware components – two Intel Xeon processors E5 of the v4 series, two GPUs Nvidia Quadro P5000 – in a 19" rack design. The IPC, in a rugged, full-metal enclosure, can handle applications with high performance requirements, such as big data analyses, and thus offers a platform for artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, edge computing, and machine vision.
Simatic PCS 7 Plant Automation Accelerator V3.0 - for more Flexible and Integrated Plant Engineering
Siemens has extended its engineering software for planners and automation engineers, Simatic PCS 7 Plant Automation Accelerator 3.0 (PAA), to include new functions for even more flexible and integrated automation engineering. With this latest software version, Simatic PCS 7 automation projects can be configured even more easily and efficiently. With the new version 3, the PAA software closes the gap between plant engineering and the process control system. The entire plant structure, including measuring point data, can be generated easily and synchronized between the systems. Automation engineers are supported in all phases, from tender preparation (such as bills of material), automatically generated process control data from electrical engineering in the Siemens Simatic PCS 7 process control system (including controlled mass data engineering), to as-is documentation of the process automation.
In addition to supporting the standard for the import of device-specific master data (GSD data, which is operated on Profibus), Version 3 of PAA also enables the configuration of Profinet-capable devices. For the open exchange of engineering data between CAE system and PCS engineering tools, the latest NE 150 standard is supported. With system-wide, open and flexible data exchange for lists, GSDML and NE150 files, the new version reportedly offers a long-term competitive edge.
Use of this system, together with the new Simit simulation software Version 10.1, creates an even more seamless image of the digital twin for the process industry. Through virtual commissioning, the created automation project can be checked intensively in terms of function before actual commissioning takes place. This minimizes possible error sources. The integrated engineering with the PAA offers a seamless workflow, providing quick, high-quality automation engineering and documentation of a plant.
Simple Machine Integration with OPC UA Interface in a Companion Spec
Siemens has implemented an OPC UA data interface in a Simatic S7-1500 controller according to a companion specification. The OMAC PackML (packaging machine language) makes it easier for end customers and line integrators to integrate packaging machines and connect them to line or MES systems, thus simplifying the evaluation and control of individual machines.
With PackML, users can dynamically read status models and their associated variables in projects. Since integration can be programmed fully automatically, manual coordination between machine manufacturers and line integrators is superfluous. The statuses used in the state models and the data points can be adjusted depending on the machine type and manufacturer. The OPC UA communication functions, combined with a companion specification, enable dynamic data readout and make it possible to define uniform status models in OPC and configure clients automatically.
The companion specification was created by a cross-company workgroup comprising OPC and OMAC PackML members to define a data interface based on OPC UA according to PackML. The specification is freely available to all OPC members.
Simit V10.1 – More Openness for More Integrated Simulation
Siemens has extended its Simit simulation platform for virtual commissioning and operator training to include numerous new functions. The additions in Version 10.1 improve the simulation of automation applications through the re-use of various domain-specific simulation models over the entire lifecycle of manufacturing and process systems. Improved performance, openness and flexibility make the solution even easier to use, supporting the user in the creation of a comprehensive and integrated simulation.
Version 10.1 of the Simit simulation software supports both the established Simatic PCS 7 process control system and the new web-based Simatic PCS neo control system from Siemens. The latest functions of the Simatic ET200SP HA automation peripherals and the Simatic Compact Field Unit (CFU) can also be simulated. With Simit Version V10.1, Siemens also offers a new licensing concept for the cost-effective emulation of the Simatic S7-300 controller.
XHQ Operations Intelligence Software Improves Performance and User Experience
Siemens launched a new release of its flagship XHQ Operations Intelligence with enhanced performance while increasing the overall usability at the same time. With the new version, users benefit from numerous enhancements, such as edge functionality. With an end-to-end secured site integration and light weight installation, this provides easy and secure access to remote/distributed data from all production (operation) and enterprise levels. The new version also enables enhanced operations by simplifying the integration of engineering data: interfaces with Siemens or third-party solutions, such as Comos, Comos Walkinside, PlantSight, Teamcenter and more, are now improved and easily integrated into the system. In addition, the new HTML5-based web browser client is compatible with existing solutions. Version 6.0 no longer requires a Java browser plug-in (Java applet) for the full desktop environment, i.e. can run as a HTML5 compatible browser solution. Server virtualization support is available, which enables multiple operating systems to run on a single physical server. This increases business efficiency and overall performance.
Shorter Engineering Time with New Comos Version 10.3
In version 10.3 of its Comos CAE software solution for the process industry, Siemens is focusing on increasing efficiency in engineering. Using the Comos Engineering Portal included in this version, engineering processes can be significantly shortened. In addition to this, new developments and functional expansions are available for the current version in modular engineering and for mobile applications.
Users can now modify the web application of the Comos software solution to suit their own individual requirements. Engineering data from Comos can now be easily integrated, edited, and validated and then being reimported into Comos. This provides greater flexibility and mobility in the design of workflows. For the first time, Comos Version 10.3 also allows object queries to be edited and batch processes to be completed in the Comos web application. The new 2D client makes it possible to call up objects in Comos without any previous revision. The data is therefore always up to date and can be seamlessly visualized in 1D, 2D or 3D. This provides the user with extremely high transparency and minimizes sources of error at the same time.
TIA Portal Engineering Moves to the Cloud
With the TIA Portal in the cloud, Siemens is expanding the options of using the engineering framework more flexibly in the various phases of planning, engineering, and commissioning. The possibilities that this offers are based on all the main features of TIA Portal V15.1, with additional available innovations of TIA Portal options – the simulation of the application in the cloud environment with the help of S7-PLCSIM Advanced, full use of the application possibilities, for example the complete controller portfolio including the new, redundant S7-1500R/H controller, the configuration of visualizations with HMI panels, PC-based runtime systems, and the fully integrated Sinamics drives portfolio.
Using the TIA Portal in the cloud provides fast, flexible, and web-based access to pre-installed environments using any type of hardware, without any need for installation, and at any time and place. This substantially reduces the effort required for testing new TIA Portal innovations, and so enables the TIA Portal to adapt flexibly to the user's hardware and way of working. Integrating the widest range of PC and tablet hardware into the development process of machines and plants increases flexibility while reducing the engineering hardware requirements to a minimum. There is no need for local installation on the hardware as access is web-based.
Siemens CloudConnect Simplifies IIoT Data Transfer to Cloud-based Solutions
The Siemens CloudConnect portfolio simplifies data transfer within the IIoT to cloud-based solutions. To this end, Siemens is offering the new Simatic CP 1545-1 communications processor, designed for use with Simatic S7-1500 in modern automation environments. For the cloud connection of existing systems, Siemens is now also offering the new Simatic CloudConnect 7 Industrial IoT Gateway. With CloudConnect, it is even easier for users to benefit from cloud-based data analyses. T hey can enhance machine availability by evaluating data for predictive maintenance purposes, for example, or machine manufacturers can offer new marketing models, such as pay-per-use.
Instead of every single sensor having to be connected to the cloud, the Simatic S7-1500 enables field data aggregation and subsequent linking to additional process-relevant information if required. The CP 1545-1 then transfers the data to the cloud platform. The communications processor also features an integrated Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) firewall for protecting the S7-1500 against unauthorized access. The CloudConnect functionality is easy to project in the TIA Portal using just a few input screens.