Drives and Controls Magazine
IT specialists can now access TIA Portal to tackle OT skills gap
Published:  06 February, 2023

At the recent SPS exhibition, Siemens unveiled Version 18 of its TIA Portal engineering framework with the claim that it will boost engineering efficiency and optimise functions for multi-user engineering. Users can now work in teams and in parallel on projects and build and manage shared libraries. Access rights can be assigned either individually or to groups, making collaboration more flexible.

Siemens is also expanding the TIA Portal ecosystem with its Simatic Automation Xpansion (Simatic AX) which provides IT specialists with a familiar development environment based on Visual Studio Code and version control via GitLab. In this way, libraries with object orientation can be created in Structured Text and integrated into TIA Portal.

The engineering platform – which previously focused on operational technology (OT) – can now also be used by IT users without them needing to reskill. As well as moving towards IT/OT integration, this will also help tackle the shortage of skilled OT workers. Simatic AX is available as a service and cloud-based. Projects can be downloaded and updated quickly and easily.

Because motion applications are becoming increasingly complex, the new version of the TIA Portal also offers simple, holistic engineering of 5D/6D kinematics – motion controls involving up to six interpolating axes. Complex kinematics such as robots can now be integrated into industrial processes via the portal. This will allow companies to expand, convert or modify their production facilities without interfering with running systems.

The scope for TIA Portal and Simatic controllers has also been extended. Siemens’ Simatic S7-1500 and ET 200SP controls now provide a higher computing and communication performance and support R1 redundancy. This ensures the maximum availability of applications and will help to solve future automation challenges, Siemens says.

Siemens’ TIA Portal is now more accessible to IT specialists

R1 redundancy can be integrated into existing networks with no programming effort. It can be used in a wide variety of industries – in factory automation as well as in logistics and infrastructure, where R1 redundancy is especially relevant for large infrastructure projects. The new hardware also supports the latest security standards.

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