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Profinet communication now even more powerful and versatile

The Siemens Industry Automation Division has enhanced the Profinet functionality of its Simatic S7-300 and S7-400 controllers with Shared Device, Intelligent Device (I-Device) and Media Redundancy Protocol (MRP).

These features facilitate easier system configuration, for example in failsafe applications, leaner and more versatile topology architectures with multiple networked controllers and higher plant availability. The new firmware also provides improved diagnostic functions via user-definable Web pages and supports isochronous mode via Profinet.

With Shared Device, several Simatic controllers can access a Profinet input/output device, such as a distributed I/O system. This makes system configuration easier, for example in failsafe applications. It also means that both standard and failsafe CPUs can utilize the same distributed I/O system.

Intelligent Device (I-Device) allows I/O communication of a CPU to other higher-level or central controllers. Previously only hierarchical access from the central CPU to lower-level I/O devices was possible. With I-Device, leaner and more flexible topology architectures with multiple networked controllers is possible. It is easier to network controllers from several different projects, for example, or integrate Siemens controls with controllers from other manufacturers within a communication network.

The Media Redundancy Protocol (MRP) increases plant availability. This requires that the network infrastructure be installed redundantly in a ring-type topology, using Industrial Ethernet switches or via the integrated Profinet interfaces of the Simatic controllers and distributed I/O systems, for example. If communication is interrupted in one section of the ring installation, only this segment is affected without a complete plant standstill. This means that maintenance and repair work can be carried out without time pressure. The MRP protocol ensures a reconfiguration time of less than 200 milliseconds.

The Siemens Industry Sector (Erlangen, Germany) is the worldwide leading supplier of environmentally friendly production, transportation, building and lighting technologies. With integrated automation technologies and 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 207,000 employees worldwide (September 30), Siemens Industry achieved in fiscal year 2009 total sales of approximately €35 billion.

The Siemens Industry Automation Division (Nuremberg, Germany) is a worldwide leader in the fields of automation systems, industrial controls and industrial software. Its portfolio ranges from standard products for the manufacturing and process industries to solutions for whole industrial sectors that encompass the automation of entire automobile production facilities and chemical plants. As a leading software supplier, Industry Automation optimizes the entire value added chain of manufacturers – from product design and development to production, sales and a wide range of maintenance services. With around 39,000 employees worldwide (September 30), Siemens Industry Automation achieved sales of €7.0 billion in fiscal year 2009.

Reference Number: IIA2010032231e

Gerhard Stauss | Siemens Industry
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