Alarm-handling boosts safety

01 October 2007

Siemens Automation and Drives claims it can keep customers competitive, in a climate of rising input costs and pressure from developing economies, with the latest version of its DCS (Distributed Control System) Platform.

The company had its UK launch of PCS7 Version 7, in June 2007, claiming it will maximise uptime, reduce maintenance costs, improve plant security and enhance plant flexibility.

Aimed at the process sector, PCS7 is designed to present a manageable amount of information to operators.

Anthony Mayall, product manager for process control systems, said: “The new version of PCS7 reaffirms Siemens’ commitment to supporting our customers in achieving operational excellence.”

Enhancements in the system are claimed to develop alarm-handling techniques in a cost-effective way. Furthermore the system can be continually improved by the end user as process knowledge evolves. The new version also includes a redundant ring topology for Profibus PA.

By reducing maintenance costs, Siemens says it can significantly impact the profitability of its customers. The asset management tools integrated into PCS7 have been improved in a bid to offer complete freedom in developing templates for process assets. This approach provides an integrated platform on which to build a predictive maintenance strategy that is claimed can yield significant savings in operational costs.

As the adoption of open networks standards becomes common place in industrial applications, the requirement for enhanced security has also increased. Siemens says its latest version of PCS7 realises a holistic approach to security, including industrial networking components with built-in Firewall and VPN technology, user administration and defence-in-depth architecture. The system now also supports Profisafe PA, the safety fieldbus based on Pofibus PA.

Plant flexibility is partially dependent on how quickly the process control system can support new production regimes. Open PCS7 simplifies the integration of control and batch systems into higher-level system, such as MES and ultimately ERP. This link improves manufacturing agility through direct integration between customer orders, production schedules and production.

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