Last week, I ventured out to Las Vegas for the Siemens Automation Summit, an annual conference highlighting the latest in Siemens software and hardware products, and networking end-users with service providers. As a first time attendee of the conference and visitor of the city, there were plenty of sights and sounds for me to take in!
Of the conference sessions I attended, they for the most part could be classified under one of two areas: data analytics using Siemens’s MindSphere platform or virtualization via Siemens’s SIMIT program. MindSphere, an open cloud computing platform for industry customers that is based on the SAP HANA cloud platform, applies open standards like OPC UA and has plug and play connectivity with other Siemens products like PCS7. In one of the data analytics presentations, MindSphere’s Energy Analytics application was shown in a successful case study to help identify leaking compressed air in a client’s facility. With its pay-as-you-go subscription model, the ROI for the energy savings was within a year!
Meanwhile, the SIMIT virtual controller’s latest version, Version 9, displayed many new capabilities. Recognizing that automation programming fixes accounted for up to 12.5% of the total commissioning time in the past, Siemens developed SIMIT to run thirty times faster than before, as one person demonstrating the set-up of a virtual controller in about five minutes from scratch. The software itself is able to copy in and re-use much of a PCS7 project’s hardware and software information, and it certainly is a vast improvement from what I have had to use in the past with setting up PLC-SIM files.
The highlight of my trip though had to be attending my colleague’s presentation, “Bells & Whistles: Operator Visualization of an Alarm Rationalized Database.” In it, Ramesh Kommu, of DuPont’s Sabine River Works site in Orange, TX, acknowledged the huge job it was to first rationalize and then implement alarm management for over 10,000 process objects comprising about 80,000 process alarms while being resource-limited. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of applying alarm management both within PCS7 and externally to it, the DuPont team recognized that the amount of extensive retesting on the live control system without a central way of entering alarm data, among other factors, made AgileOps the better solution to pursue. For the rest of the time, he showed how all of AgileOps’s components appear within the PCS7 system and concluded with the positive feedback received from their operations and shown in their KPI metrics.
If you’re interested in a copy of the presentation drop us a line and my coworkers will be happy to forward it to you. Additionally, if you would like to see AgileOps in action, I encourage you to sign up for our AgileOps seminar happening this September. There are still a few seats available, so don’t delay!