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Siemens enhances portfolio for process industry

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Exploiting digitalisation potential

Siemens presented its strategy for digitalisation in the process industries at ACHEMA 2015. “Companies operating within the process industries are under enormous competitive pressure, particularly as a result of changing regulations, markets and technologies. Digitalisation is the central lever which will enable these challenges to be successfully met,” said Peter Herweck, CEO of the Process Industries and Drives Division. “On the way to the ‘Digital Enterprise’ we support our customers in this process by providing a unique integrated portfolio comprising hardware, software and services across the entire plant life cycle. The aim is to bring about a sustainable reduction in investment and operating costs”. The underlying foundation for this are integrated software products and solutions which enable digitalisation of the plant and consequently a seamless exchange of data, from the plant design and engineering stage through installation, operation and modernisation to cloud based services. This allows users to utilise a plant’s virtual identical ‘digital twin’ to simulate and optimise its commissioning, operation and maintenance.

“Whether we are talking about the construction of a new plant or the modernisation of an existing one: investment in digitalisation always pays off,” explained Herweck. “This means that companies can increase their flexibility and shorten the time to market while adhering to regulations. Customers with long plan life cycles will benefit in particular from greater availability and reduced life cycle costs. In this way, digitalisation opens up decisive competitive benefits to all companies across the process industries.”?

Digitalisation is enabled by integrated engineering. It reduces sources of error by lowering the number of interfaces required between different disciplines, increases quality throughout every step of the engineering workflow and shortens the time to market by enabling parallel work processes. In this way, tasks such as process engineering or electrotechnical planning are able to run alongside automation engineering. The basis for this is provided by seamless interplay of the software solution Comos and the Simatic PCS 7 process control system. It enables integration not only horizontally across the entire plant life cycle but also vertically, from the office world (for instance ERP systems) down to the field level. One benefit is the scope this offers for integrating innovative process instrumentation such as high precision Sitrans pressure transmitters. The integration process is further simplified by using established technology platforms such as Totally Integrated Automation (TIA), Totally Integrated Power (TIP) and Integrated Drive Systems (IDS).

“By making the leap from integrated engineering to integrated operation, we are paving the way for our customers to take the next evolutionary step on the road to Industrie 4.0 by being the first supplier to develop an integrated data model,” said Herweck. “We are interlinking the world of planning with the world of operation to enable integrated system management over the entire life cycle of an industrial plant. This makes for more efficient work sequences, and enhances productivity and quality. It entails consistent updating of plant data across the entire life cycle, as if you were creating a digital twin.”

Data analyses performed during the operating phase allow users to obtain feedback regarding the status of important components such as pumps, motors and converters. This information can be used as the basis for developing an optimised maintenance strategy. The result: improved plant availability and security. Software solutions such as the XHQ operations intelligence platform are also integrated, providing software to help users make more informed decisions. XHQ achieves this by aggregating, analysing and presenting operational and business data, turning big data into smart data. ?This service has a vital role to play in process plants, largely due to their long service life expectancy. Here, Siemens provides reliable support to companies with its comprehensive portfolio ranging from repair and remote services through to data and cloud-based services. With its ‘Control Performance Analytics’ service, for instance, smart data analysis can optimise the performance of control loops, enhancing both production quality and output. Siemens relies on industry specific solutions to exploit the full potential of digitalisation, such as paperless manufacturing (based on Simatic IT eBR) for the pharmaceutical industry. Paperless manufacturing speeds up the design, execution, review and release of pharmaceutical production processes and electronic batch records (EBRs). This allows companies to boost efficiency and product quality, as well as driving down costs while ensuring adherence to regulatory requirements.

Controller portfolio

In addition, Siemens continues to develop its controller portfolio to handle sophisticated tasks in the process industry. Users of the flexibly configurable controllers, which offer a high level of security and availability, will therefore benefit from long term investment protection. The first step was to give the Simatic S7-410 the standard coating for operation in toxic atmospheres and to further increase the fault tolerance of the redundant system. Siemens has also extended the ambient temperature range up to 70°C, which allows users to deploy the powerful Simatic PCS 7 controller in harsh environments, such as in oil and gas applications. The next steps will be, for example, to further expand the Profinet functionality in order to increase fault tolerance and availability.

The Simatic S7-410 controller is an integral part of the Siemens Simatic PCS 7 process control system and currently the most powerful controller in the process industry. This is particularly obvious in the integrated scaling feature: it is now possible to apply a uniform hardware and software environment for very small systems of 100 I/Os up to large scale plants of more than 100 000 inputs/outputs. The Simatic S7-410 controller is available in a standard version as well as in fault tolerant and fail safe versions. The device therefore meets all the requirements of the process industry, including the chemical, glass, metal, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, solar, oil and gas industries as well as the water and wastewater sectors.

Operational intelligence

Furthermore, with near real time visibility of operations within a process manufacturing facility, Siemens is expanding its range of Industry Software solutions for industrial management in the process industry with the XHQ Operations Intelligence platform. The solution helps enterprises to get more value out of existing investments in plant automation and IT.

“Siemens XHQ Operations Intelligence platform enables the establishment of a continuous improvement practice and provides near real time visibility of operations within process manufacturing facilities. With the tool set of XHQ Operations Intelligence we provide a proven solution for empowered decisions and help enterprises to improve their performance with a possible reduction of up to 8% in operational costs and an increase in high value product production of up to 10.5%,“ said Peter Baldermann, XHQ Business Head, Siemens.

XHQ Operations Intelligence is a set of tools that help aggregate, integrate, analyse, and present operational and business data from multiple backend data sources to improve enterprise performance. The solution provides a single coherent view of all critical business and transactional information, enabling a variety of real time performance management and decision support solutions. Plant floor and operations personnel, as well as senior management are enabled to monitor real time performance against business goals, This helps to make more informed decisions about plant performance that positively impacts the bottom line.

XHQ Operations Intelligence filters out and edits the most diverse kinds of technical and business management data acquired from a company’s plant or production chain. Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as plant utilisation, the availability of raw materials and additives, production throughput or product quality enable managers to compare their entire production process with other production lines. Then the process can be optimised and adapted, where it is required, to achieve business objectives and targets. Any changes in the market can also be taken into consideration, as well as the influencing factors at different production locations.

XHQ Operations Intelligence is well positioned within the Siemens product portfolio from management to field level. With its strong link between the Plant Lifecycle Management Solutions Comos and the DCS system PCS 7 the solution shares real time information and can be related with the asset metadata of Comos Walkinside, the Immersive Simulation & Remote Operations solution for improving enterprise performance.

Adapted from press releases by Rosalie Starling

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