Plant Visualisation Case Study


SIMATIC WINCC: Siemens latest programming software (TIA Portal) makes integrating a SCADA solution from other Siemens equipment quick and easy. All configuration is completed in one software package which makes populating the SCADA tags and establishing communication extremely fast and reliable.

KCS was approached by one of their long standing customers to review all Siemens S7-1200 PLCs on site, update and improve software where required, install an ethernet communication network and establish a basic SCADA solution. The SCADA solution was to give an overview of the production areas as well as alarms and machine statistics. Due to the nature of the plant, equipment is constantly being redeployed in different combinations. This means your traditional SCADA layout based on a plant P&ID would not work. Instead, the client opted for an annunciation layout which gave them the visibility of all systems as well as fast access to more detailed data.

The solution engineered by KCS was to use TIA Portal V15 WinCC Advanced – PC Based. This software package is a very competitively priced solution for small SCADA applications like this one and is fully scalable in terms of tags and functionality to accommodate the anticipated future growth of the system. During our surveys, it was determined the PLCs would benefit from some firmware updates and code enhancements to improve the system, as well as make the data available for the new SCADA system.

The biggest challenge on this project was the network infrastructure; the site is a gypsum mine which means all the PLCs and most of the network infrastructure is deep underground. To overcome this challenge, it was decided to utilise their existing radio network to communicate back to the server room above ground where our rack mounted PC would sit. The new network infrastructure also means the controls engineers would not have to routinely enter the dangerous mine when they have a PLC issue.

The project was delivered completely in house by the KCS engineering team.

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