“We integrate industrial software and automation engineering to provide cohesive solutions to cover the whole product life cycle including the production process,” explains Anton S. Huber. “Our customers will be able to find solutions to all their automation and drive engineering assignments using the new TIA Portal, which is designed to maximize efficiency, is intuitive to operate and also future-proof. It will sharpen their competitive edge, and allow them to speed up the time to market for their products. We envisage scope for growth in this type of integrated solution”.
“Despite the 2009 recession, we have maintained our research and development spending with a view to driving forward our innovation initiative. We have invested in the future and focused on technological innovation irrespective of economic cycles,” said Huber. As he explains, this resolve has culminated in an array of innovations at this year’s SPS/IPC/Drives fair in the fields of low-voltage controls and industry power supply systems. Added to this were new developments in the company’s controller and industrial PC ranges, as well as innovative remote access solutions for its Teleservice and Telecontrol products and new additions to the RFID and code reading system portfolio. According to Huber, Industry Automation has seen a significant increase in business during the post-recession year. Boosted by higher demand and improved capacity utilization, Industry Automation registered fourth-quarter profits of 334 million euros, representing a 61 percent year-on-year increase. Revenue rose by 21 percent and new orders by 25 percent on the back of growth across every one of the business units and regions. Taken over the whole of fiscal 2010, new orders rose by 15 percent to 6.421 billion euros, revenue rose by 8 percent to 6.226 billion euros and profits by 54 percent to 1.048 billion euros”.
Huber places Siemens well out ahead of the field in the development of engineering software, having responded at an early stage to the growing complexity of automation applications with the launch of its Totally Integrated Automation alongside its Simatic S7 controllers way back in 1996. As he explains, the objective at the time was to integrate different engineering tools and so help engineers attain clarity with an integral and consistent project overview. Today, 14 years on, the TIA Portal heralds a new and exciting era for all Siemens automation and drive engineering tools, with the promise of a previously unattainable level of user benefit and efficiency.
The new software architecture is a completely new development which is suitable both for the uninitiated and for experienced users. The TIA Portal forms the basis of all future systems used for engineering, programming and commissioning automation devices and drive systems across the whole of the Siemens Totally Integrated Automation spectrum. Examples include the new engineering systems Simatic Step 7 V11 for Simatic controllers and Simatic WinCC V11 for Simatic HMI (Human Machine Interface) and process visualization applications. The TIA Portal offers the whole range of engineering functionalities within a single framework with a standardized user interface. The TIA Portal functionality can be simply extended by installing additional software packages, for example to permit the engineering of drives using the new StartDrive V11 engineering software. In preparation for its development of the TIA Portal framework, Siemens spent years analysing typical engineering applications and investigating and evaluating customer requirements the world over. Prior to the market launch of the now fully integrated TIA Portal and the Version 11 software packages, the concept had already been thoroughly tried and tested. Since last year, over 20,000 Simatic S7-1200 and Basic Panel customers have been using software modules from the new framework.