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Plant automation and telecontrol in the same system

The latest process control system Simatic PCS 7 has now been expanded by the Siemens Industry Automation Division with telecontrol functions. Simatic PCS 7 TeleControl connects distant substations to the central control system by means of telecontrol.

In terms of the operating philosophy and alarm signaling, there is no difference between the local or distant station as far as the plant operator is concerned. Several different media are available for communication, such as dedicated lines, dial-up connections or radio systems.

The application range of the integrated, universally implementable telecontrol system extends from the oil and gas industry through to the water supply and treatment sector.

Simatic PCS 7 TeleControl integrates distributed, distant substations and a central control system to form a homogeneous overall solution. This allows applications to be created that are integrated with regard to operation and alarm signaling and the risk of operating errors as well as engineering and servicing costs are reduced. In large-scale plants, a redundant configuration increases plant availability and redundant servers compare their process values, curves and alarm statuses with each other.

Communication with the external substations is performed over dedicated lines, dial-up lines or radio systems and, in new plants, increasingly with TCP/IP-based techniques, with either DSL or GPRS. Simatic PCS 7 Telecontrol supports the Sinaut ST7 and Modbus protocols over serial as well as over TCP/IP-supported communication links. Further processing and archiving of the raw data complete with time stamps received from the distant substations are performed in the central PCS 7 TeleControl server. Simatic PCS 7 TeleControl function blocks are provided for this purpose for the Simatic PCS 7 standard control system. The user interface and error message hierarchy as well as the symbols and faceplates correspond to those of Simatic PCS 7 and present the user with the familiar system environment.

The Sinaut ST7 telecontrol protocol is designed to be robust and can also be implemented for slow or sensitive transmission paths. For example, data are buffered in the distant substations to bridge faults or sporadic connection interruptions in radio networks without losing important data.

The wide ranging applications of Simatic PCS 7 TeleControl extend from the oil and gas industry – for example, for compressors, pressure reduction, transfer and metering stations in gas supply networks as well as for pumps and valve stations in oil pipelines – through to the water supply and treatment sector. In the latter, the system provides telecontrol solutions for sprinkler, pump and valve stations in water supply networks as well as for rainwater overflow basins and hoisting plants in waste water systems.

Gerhard Stauss | Siemens A&D
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