Siemens has unveiled several new automation focused products, including its first virtual programmable logic controller, based on the functions and operation of the Simatic S7-1500 PLC and independent of its hardware.
The virtual PLC can be downloaded similar to an app and integrated directly into the IT environment, helping customers unlock the potential of digitalization.
Siemens also announced its first Sinamics drive to join the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio, the new Sinamics G220 high-performance multi-purpose, adjustable speed drive.
Siemens says the new drive “contributes to a sustainable future along its entire lifecycle”, from design to delivery through its “carbon neutral” production sites and paperless delivery system. It adds that it is also more energy efficient with “built-in Clean Power technology”, which reduces harmonics by up to 97 percent, Siemens claims.
Simatic S7-1500V is an entirely virtual PLC based upon the functions and operation of the Simatic S7-1500 PLC and is independent of its hardware.
Siemens says its virtual PLC includes features and benefits including:
- Extends the current S7-1500 PLC offering, which allows for more flexible and modular design of production plants
- A virtual controller that is completely compatible with TIA Portal
- Rely on familiar tools and build on projects that are already created in TIA Portal
- Use OT solutions you have previously employed in an IT environment and benefit from their advantages without giving up familiar structures
- Operate your applications centrally and automate process steps in a data-centric and software-based way
- IT mechanisms allow you to optimize workflows and reduce costs with the Simatic S7-1500V PLC
Additionally, Siemens provides details on specific innovations, such as:
- Administration — The process of applying software updates to a PLC is streamlined because all software updates can be managed centrally with the Industrial Edge Management system. Different scenarios and configurations can also be tested virtually first before deploying changes. This eases administration measures and decreases maintenance efforts.
- Hardware independent — The virtual PLC software can be easily downloaded and integrated directly into an IT environment. This ease-of-use gives operators the possibility of decoupling hardware and software requirements completely. The software will run on computers with Industrial Edge Run Time in the factory while the hardware remains directly on the shopfloor.
- IT-OT Convergence — Virtual PLCs can also play an important role in IT-OT integration. IT-OT convergence is increasing every year across industries. The close coupling of IT and OT helps plants to make better data-driven decisions on performance, productivity, flexibility and sustainability while maintaining more robust plant security.