Efficient automation for efficient engineering: Totally Integrated Automation

Efficiency driving productivity

Efficiency and productivity are decisive success factors for manufacturing industries. Engineering plays a central role in this especially as it relates to ever more complex machinery and plants. For that reason, a high level of efficiency is already demanded at the engineering stage, as the first step toward better production: faster, more flexible, and more intelligent. Siemens has an intelligent answer to this: Totally Integrated Automation.

Totally Integrated Automation (TIA), industrial automation from Siemens, is the name given to efficient interoperability of all automation components. The open system architecture covers the entire production process and is based on the consistent presence of shared characteristics: consistent data management, global standards, and uniform hardware and software interfaces. These shared characteristics minimize engineering time. The result: lower costs, reduced time to market, and greater flexibility.

Value add in automation processes

It is increasingly difficult to achieve sustainable competitive advantage in a global manufacturing environment. Companies must optimise productivity, reduce time to market and create more flexible production options. This is particularly important in certain sectors. However, investment in automation technologies can help address these key issues.

The trend for highly tailored products – mass customisation – will only intensify. Therefore, manufacturers must simultaneously improve flexibility whilst reducing time to market (TTM). In response to this trend, Siemens developed the TIA Portal. This ‘industry-first’ solution allows users to complete every stage of product development within a single engineering environment.

Based upon extensive customer feedback and developed in conjunction with new controller platforms, the TIA Portal offers numerous benefits:

  • Higher plant availability

  • Investment protection

  • Efficient engineering

  • Shorter engineering development cycles

From the drawing board to the marketplace

Traditionally, engineers were limited by the lack of consistency and integration between separate software packages. The TIA Portal removes this problem by providing a common user interface for all automation tasks. In this respect, it delivers a common engineering environment for PLC, HMI, Scada and drives technology.

As an example, all devices and networks can be configured within one shared device and network editor. Standard features include:

  • Project navigation

  • Library concepts

  • Data management

  • Project storage

  • Diagnostics

  • Online functions

The framework is reinforced by a number of useful features:

  • Automatic data and project consistency

  • Powerful libraries across all automation objects

  • Advanced sharing services across all configuration interfaces

  • Uniform navigation and a consistent ‘look and feel’

These are all available via the shared TIA Portal framework. This unified software development environment offers a high level of efficiency and is comprised of programmable controllers, HMI devices and drives. It will also be expanded across the entire Totally Integrated Automation offering.

The Portal’s design is based on object-oriented architecture and centralised data management. This helps to eliminate data entry errors and ensures seamless data consistency. Troubleshooting time is also significantly reduced due to a project-wide cross-reference system.

The single software framework enables controllers, HMI panels and drives to be configured in the same environment. This greatly reduces interfacing and configuration costs for communication between controllers, drives and HMI devices.

Automation tasks in less than 10 minutes

Performance plus efficiency

The recent expansion of the TIA Portal framework introduces a number of new functions for increased power, security and efficiency. For example:

  • Integration with Sinamics G converters

  • Protection against third party manipulation, such as replay attacks

  • Updates to configuration, programming, commissioning and servicing of Siemens automation devices and drive systems

Intelligent answers for complex demands

Users can now perform complex automation and drive tasks quickly and intuitively. Commissioning time is enhanced and maintenance strategies supported. In turn, downtime is reduced and operational efficiencies improved.