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New PCS7 Communication Blocks for the Integration of IEC-61850-capable Field Devices into Control and Automation Systems

The “PCS7 to IEC 61850 TCP/IP” communication blocks developed by Siemens have enabled problem-free integration of IEC-61850-capable field devices into instrumentation and control systems based on Simatic PCS7 or S7.

The plant operator thus has an integral automation and control solution that can also be used in heterogeneous system landscapes. This facilitates the gradual and therefore inexpensive expansion or modernization of existing plants and equipment. All the subsystems are interconnected by means of Industrial Ethernet.

IEC-61850 field devices are used particularly in systems that protect and control medium-voltage and high-voltage switchgear of power distribution and supply installations. Linking them together to form a powerful overall system necessitates the use of open and, if possible, standardized communication protocols. Developed by Siemens, the IEC 61850 TCP/IP solution is based on the worldwide standard protocol IEC 61850 which is used for communicating with switchgear within automation systems and has already been implemented by many manufacturers worldwide. This open standard makes configuration easier, ensures compatibility when future additions are made and reduces the amount of maintenance work and costs.

The new “PCS7 to IEC 61850” communication blocks are intended not only for use in process-engineering installations where a connection is to be established between the process control system and the power system control equipment but also for small to medium switchgear which are automated with Simatic PCS7 or S7. The communication blocks enable full access to all tags of the protection and control equipment and automatically send information to the PCS 7 operator station so that normal data and time-stamped alarm data can be visualized on a display. When this is being done, the original time stamps of the IEC-61850 devices are transferred.

If the HMI stations of a switchgear installation are not permanently manned, the communication blocks can be used to implement automated alarm functions when the process control system is in a critical state.

Engineering is carried out with the standard PCS7 and STEP 7 tools. The clear configuration of project-specific variables and diagnostic functions makes for user-friendly operation. Standard blocks, including WinCC Faceplate, are available for a whole series of families of different devices such as Siprotec.

The Siemens Industry Sector (Erlangen, Germany) is the world's leading supplier of production, transportation, building and lighting technologies. With integrated automation technologies as well as comprehensive industry-specific solutions, Siemens increases the productivity, efficiency and flexibility of its customers in the fields of industry and infrastructure. The Sector consists of six Divisions: Building Technologies, Drive Technologies, Industry Automation, Industry Solutions, Mobility and Osram. With around 222,000 employees worldwide Siemens Industry posted in fiscal year 2008 a profit of EUR3.86 billion with revenues totaling EUR38 billion.

With the business activities of Siemens VAI Metal Technologies, (Linz, Austria), Siemens Water Technologies (Warrendale, Pa., U.S.A.), and Industry Technologies, (Erlangen, Germany), the Siemens Industry Solutions Division (Erlangen, Germany) is one of the world's leading solution and service providers for industrial and infrastructure facilities. Using its own products, systems and process technologies, Industry Solutions develops and builds plants for end customers, commissions them and provides support during their entire life cycle. With around 31,000 employees worldwide Siemens Industry Solutions achieved an order intake of EUR 8.4 billon in fiscal year 2008 (preliminary and unaudited).

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