Encouraging operators of web-based instruments | ARC recommendation


The rising affect of knowledge know-how (IT) on operations know-how (OT) guarantees to convey vital advantages to industrial automation techniques. To attain increased objectives. As with Trade 4.0 and digital transformation, distributed management techniques (DCS) should present higher entry to the uncooked course of. Web-Based ToolsInformation, and instruments to rework information into significant info. To attain this, trendy gear has been added to present DCS techniques to improve them to in the present day’s requirements. However Siemens took a distinct strategy. Net Primarily based Engineering, SIMATIC PCS Neo It depends on sturdy automation {hardware} and focuses on the interface between operators and DCS. Configuring DCS in a browser was unthinkable just a few years in the past, however in the present day it’s an integral a part of Siemens SIMATIC PCS Neo.

This ARC overview is a part of a collection of experiences varied new points of Siemens’ new ideas for course of automation within the areas of operator empowerment, collaborative engineering and system robustness.

Net-based UI: The important thing to SIMATIC PCS Neo

For many years, course of automation techniques have adopted the standard structure of distributing management across the plant in semi-automated teams. Every subsystem is configured from an Engineering Station (ES) and every course of is managed from an Operator Station (OS) with wealthy entrance panels for course of monitoring, loop management and alarm administration. The software program is proprietary and tightly coupled with DCS, which itself runs on proprietary {hardware}.

A number of years in the past, Siemens launched SIMATIC PCS Neo, a next-generation course of management idea that did greater than “reinvent” how DCS ought to work. The event of SIMATIC PCS Neo is concentrated on the consumer interface (UI), which is totally web-based – one thing new on the planet of course of automation. The choice to make a UI web page was necessary as a result of it could attraction to younger course of engineers who anticipated to make use of trendy, “IT-like” instruments from the previous, proprietary and standalone software program. Because the UI is predicated on HTML 5, it could actually use the identical shows on completely different gadgets, removed from conventional ES and OS.

Web-Based Tools

Whereas some manufacturing processes are absolutely automated from begin to end, many processes, equivalent to a sure stage of high quality or excessive manufacturing, depend on directions from operators to steer them in the identical route to attain a desired consequence. Whereas the underlying DCS configuration stays the identical, the operator interacts with the working system to repeatedly monitor progress and modify parameters as wanted, with the UI taking part in a essential function. In actual fact, one strategy to consider the worth of course of automation Web-Based ToolsThe system is to measure the productiveness achieved via the UI. Flora cycles are measured in many years and a number of generations of engineers and operators will work together with it, so its UI should be intuitive and straightforward to navigate.

An online-based UI means customers work together with DCS via a browser. As a substitute of proprietary software program, a commercially obtainable browser acts as a window into all points of DCS. This has many implications. Better of all, customers have much less software program to put in and keep on programming and configuration gadgets. A single interface is utilized by all gadgets and no further plugins are required, customers can select any browser that helps HTML5 (Siemens recommends Chrome or Edge). We consider a browser as only one utility working on our PC directly, however HTML5 will be configured in order that the operator’s consideration is concentrated solely on essential course of screens which are distracting.

A intelligent operate within the SIMATIC PCS Neo superior processing library is “Interlock”, which is beneficial for straightforward operator troubleshooting. For instance, if an operator can’t begin the pump, clicking the interlock button on the pump’s entrance panel will show a logic sequence that enables the pump’s motor to begin. As a substitute of calling a upkeep particular person to resolve the lacking indicators, the operator can rapidly pinpoint the issue. The logic search is generated robotically and requires no additional engineering.

Distant upkeep

Whereas browser-based DC configuration and monitoring makes it straightforward for engineers to work from distant places (equivalent to a house workplace), the actual worth is in distant upkeep. Within the occasion of an issue, having distant entry to the DCS can minimize down on hours or days by eliminating the necessity for upkeep personnel to journey to the location. So the cellular employee is really empowered, from upkeep to plant administration.

Whereas distant entry is completed via proprietary software program, the browser-based strategy drastically simplifies the method by leveraging cybersecurity via well-known IT applied sciences and steady enchancment. Safety is a part of the answer from the start, and isn’t added later as legacy techniques usually do. Even in crops that aren’t linked to the Web, a browser-based resolution nonetheless works as a result of the browser solely creates the connection between the consumer and the server.

An online-based dashboard displays the well being of DCS

An fascinating device for SIMATIC PCS Neo is SIMATIC PCS myExpert, a web-based utility that displays the well being of the DCS. A key facet is asset administration of software program and {hardware} property. In a fancy system like DCS, it is necessary to maintain monitor of software program and firmware variations, and to make sure that updates, fixes, and upgrades are correctly carried out and nicely documented. To guard the system from cyber dangers, SIMATIC PCS myExpert supplies notifications about danger exposures and appropriate countermeasures for system elements.

Web-Based Tools

Along with safety alerts, SIMATIC PCS myExpert additionally logs into the Siemens Assist Portal to offer product and well being metric info. Based on Siemens, common monitoring of system well being maximizes plant availability by performing obsolescence administration, optimizing spare elements and enhancing system efficiency.


Course of automation techniques have not modified a lot in many years, and for good cause. A sturdy and dependable operation of a management system is extra necessary than including new options. When Siemens launched SIMATIC PCS Neo, the corporate centered on the consumer interface utilizing unconventional applied sciences in course of automation. Net-based configuration and monitoring opens up new alternatives for improved operator interplay with the operator and the way course of info is accessed, considered and acted upon.

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Key phrases: Siemens, SIMATIC PCS neo, distributed management system, course of automation, operator empowerment, collaborative engineering, system robustness, web-based UI < ARC Consulting Group.

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