Factory automation systems have evolved from
the islands of automation of the 1980s to integrated control systems of
today. Only Totally Integrated Automation from Siemens takes
integration to a new level with a suite of automation products that use
core intelligence from the inside out to fit together seamlessly.
While many automation companies provide products that control individual
parts of the manufacturing process, and a few have stitched many such
products into systems that span the entire process, only Totally
Integrated Automation (TIA) goes from shop floor to top floor with a
completely harmonized homogeneous architecture. Instead of just piecing
together system components from the outside in by building bridges
between existing automation islands as most integrated control systems
claim, TIA is designed from the inside out beginning with core
intelligence built into modules at the machine-automation level, and
carried consistently through the plant-wide automation system to
achieve complete, seamless integration.
TIA doesn’t just link
together parts of a manufacturing process, it goes further by linking
together automation components inside each machine module, such as by
providing a transparent link from the I/O device, to the I/O card, to
the device network, to the Controllers, to the HMI. By carrying such
standards consistently out to the highest automation levels, TIA
doesn’t just link islands of automation, it eliminates them, making the
resulting automation a homogeneous system engineered in a single
software environment instead of a patchwork of hardware and software
Improving business performance with an Integrated Control System
control systems can help any manufacturing operation improve its
business performance, whether it is discrete automation like assembling
automobiles, or a continuous process like refining oil. Many benefits
accrue from integrating a company’s islands of automation, the most
• Improved production transparency
• Reduced downtime
• Reduced process integration costs
• Lowered total cost of ownership (TCO)
Production Transparency is critical for controlling costs and
maintaining peak process performance. When management’s view of process
activity becomes murky, the ability to determine causes of performance
issue drops off. Processes begin to drift, while output, quality and
efficiency erode. And, nobody knows why. Integrated control systems
that help managers see clearly into production-process activity are
critical to maintaining world-class operations.
comes from timely maintenance of automation equipment and being able to
quickly recognize and respond to issues as they happen. Overloaded,
aging, and under-maintained equipment breaks down more often, and takes
longer and costs more to fix if not protected by state-of-the-art
predictive maintenance programs based on integrated system and process
diagnostics. Such programs are ineffective, however, without rapid and
thorough condition monitoring made possible through integrated control
Reduced Process Integration Costs go straight to a
company’s bottom line. To maintain their competitive edge, world-class
manufacturing companies constantly update and upgrade their production
equipment. Integrated automation reduces these upgrade costs by
speeding up and simplifying the effort needed to bring replacement
equipment online. Not only does speeding up the integration of
replacement hardware and software provide direct cost savings, more
importantly it cuts the indirect opportunity cost of lost production
time. The same integration-cost advantages are available when
rearranging or revamping production process flows, even if the same
equipment and systems are employed.
Lowered Total Cost of
Ownership is the goal of every smart management team. They know that
original equipment purchase prices, and even installation expenses, are
a fraction of the cost structure for any production system. While
capital costs spike at the start of every installation project,
expenses to operate and maintain production equipment over decades of
operational life often dwarf these capital costs. The positive effects
of integrated control systems improve production costs throughout the
equipment’s useful life–even minimizing decommissioning and replacement
costs at the back end. In fact, since integrated automation is really a
factory-wide system; it improves TCO of the entire factory.
From island to integrated
these business drivers described above are important to you, an
integrated control system will help you achieve them. After you
identify the need for an integrated control system, the difficult next
step is to choose the right one. Many automation suppliers claim their
solution for an integrated control systems tie together islands of
automation into a complete automated production system. The difference
is in the approach.
Most integrated control systems are the
result of an outside-in development process. Historically, industrial
automation technology is the convergence of development efforts by
numerous computer-control technology programs scattered through a broad
spectrum of automation-technology companies. Various experts designed
technology to automate different parts of the industrial-production
Most vendors’ integrated control systems offerings
have been assembled using this outside-in process. Vendors assembled
systems by acquiring components developed by different R&D
departments internally or externally developed by other companies
through licensing, acquisition, or marketing agreements, and combining
them with their own internally developed products to stitch together
patchwork integrated control system offerings.
work, but adapting them to a particular customer’s needs, and modifying
them as those needs evolve is difficult, due mostly to the difficulty
of trying to force often incompatible bottom-level components to work
together. The resulting architectures are complex, data communications
paths tend to be torturous, and visibility through the enterprise is
murky at best. The problem is that developing systems from the outside
in–bringing together different components developed by different teams
for different purposes, then trying to stitch them together by making
ad hoc interfaces–cannot produce an efficient industrial automation
Total integration requires integrating with a core intelligence from the inside out.
solution is to start with a central core system that provides basic
resources needed by nearly all enterprises, and dock additional
resources onto that core to provide the customization needed to fit the
resulting system exactly to the individual customer's needs. This is
the inside-out development process Siemens Energy and Automation used
to create its Totally Integrated Automation system. TIA starts with a
core, which is designed and tested and is used for all products.
Products work together from the inside-out instead of just being
patched together. Rather than bridging dissimilar islands of
automation, TIA automation just naturally fits together.
system engineers applied the tried-and-true strategy of designing from
the top down and implementing from the bottom up when developing TIA.
That is, they started by working out the system’s modular architecture
and setting standards for modules, including quality, performance, and
interface protocols. This architecture must apply to both software and
hardware modules to allow integrating truly seamless systems. Modules
were developed from the bottom up to meet TIA standards. The result is
total integration. This TIA characteristic helps in two ways: it
simplifies the initial system-integration process; and it makes later
upgrading easier to accomplish.
Consistent standards, top to bottom
control system integration to be most effective, automation standards
and practices should be consistent from the top plant-wide levels right
down to the bottom control loop in each machine. This is, of course,
difficult to achieve when patching together islands of automation.
capitalizes on Siemens history of quality automation products.
Comprising over 100,000 models, Siemens’ TIA products have been proven
over 15 years in the field. These resources combine to make
implementing a manufacturing facility’s TIA infrastructure as
straightforward as possible. System integrators can “keep eyes on the
prize” and concentrate on producing an infrastructure tailored for the
individual facility’s needs, rather than on overcoming available
products’ incompatibilities and limitations found in conventional
TIA’s core resources fall under the headings of Engineering, Communication, Diagnostics, Safety, Security, and Ruggedness.
TIA presents an integrated engineering environment based on
international, multi-vendor standards with flexible options for
combination, such as PROFIBUS (the world’s leading fieldbus), PROFINET
(the open Industrial Ethernet Standard), AS-Interface, etc. The single
engineering environment allows for engineering a complete system
including controllers, HMIs, drives, networking, and distributed I/O.
TIA offers diagnostic functions for quick detection and efficient
clearing of possible faults, promoting greater system availability.
Compared to conventional safety technology, the integrated safety
solution saves considerable cabling overhead and space, and greatly
reduces installation and commissioning time. Scalable IT security
mechanisms, including access protection, user administration, firewall,
virtual private network (VPN) and other elements, offer the necessary
security for production and data with minimal administrative expense. A
system can only be regarded as high quality if every individual
component offers quality and ruggedness where needed. All components,
from connectors at the field level to industry-standard PCs at the
operations level, are resilient.
TIA is the basis for consistent
automation of your entire production line, from incoming materials to
outgoing products. This end-to-end integration makes an essential
contribution to the company-wide optimization of production processes
in both discrete and process industries. Integration in engineering,
communication, and data management offers a wealth of advantages at
every stage of the life cycle, from the first planning steps through
installation and commissioning, operation and maintenance, to
subsequent expansions and modernizations.
Adopting Totally Integrated Automation is an investment in maximum engineering efficiency yielding an enormous potential for saving time and money.
Filed Under: Factory automation, Motion control • motor controls, Software