Siemens Revolutionizes Automation Engineering with TIA Portal
This is the first in a series of three articles outlining Siemens' revolutionary new TIA Portal software framework.
This article will introduce TIA Portal, and highlight specific features and benefits, while articles in the January and February issues will add more technical detail and highlight deeper value for automation engineers. If you want more information on the TIA Portal now, please go to http://www.engineering-redefined.com.
One of the greatest challenges industrial automation engineers face as they work through a project is still integration. With the actual coding of different device configuration tasks, such as PLC programming, HMI screen creation and network setup still created in different development environments, on different platforms and in different coding languages, creating a holistic solution is a complicated task rife with repeated data entry as the same tag names are entered across each of the project's elements... Read more
Optimizing Wind and Solar Plants with Performance Monitoring
Everyone is talking about renewable energy these days. Being “green” has never been more important, either politically, socially orconsidering the rapidly rising costs of fossil fuelsfinancially, and that has led to a rush to adopt renewable energy sources.
Wind turbines, photo voltaic (Solar) panels, thermal generators, biofuels, co-gen and other technologies are all seeing a tremendous increase in research and adoption. However, there is more to running a renewable energy plant than installing it and turning it on.
“A renewable energy plant is no different from any other element of your operation,” says Dave Kostick, a sales engineer with IMT Solar, of North Tonawanda, New York. “In order to make sure you are getting what you pay for you need the same kind of intelligence and control that you use to make sure you are producing the best, most competitive, product you can”... Read more
Capacitor-Based DC Back-up Power Provides Unique Solution for Harsh Environments
Finding the right industrial-grade solution to provide back-up power for your plant in the event of an interruption to the main power supply is critical, especially if you are dealing with a particularly hostile environment.
Until recently, the generally accepted industry standard solution has been to deploy a DC UPS (uninterruptible power supply) system that uses lead gel batteries to provide an emergency back-up power source that makes sure the plant has enough power to park its machines in safe positions and shut down under control, to provide a bridge while the back-up generator kicks in, or even to power right through and hope that the mains come back before the batteries die. The choice of which path to follow is a strategic one and differs from one plant to the next, but at the end of the day the mission is to ensure safety, save critical process data, minimize downtime and maximize profitability.
“Ultimately, the costs associated with a power interruption are not limited to the disruption to the production process,” says Kai Bronzel, a spokesperson for Siemens Industry in Alpharetta, GA. “Some people may think that when the power goes out the machines stop and when it comes back on they start again, just like your TV at home. But the reality is that industrial machines are a lot more like digital clocks than TV's. When the power goes out they have to be reset properly”... Read more