Siemens provides answers for industry in Ireland.
“Solutions” is a much overused word by vendors in the automation, and possibly other sectors. Siemens in this series of events eschews this word in favour the equally enigmatic but mercifully different word “answers!” Both are vague but perhaps we should leave that argument for another day!
In Ireland they organised their Answers for Industry (#AFI) events in early March 2011 in two locations, Dublin and Cork. There was a steady buzz of interest from a constant flow of visitors throughout each of the days. Representatives from all industry sectors, life sciences, food & drink and other process areas, manufacturing, municipal and transportation thronged to the venues. In Dublin they used the Crowne-Plaza hotel near the Airport and in Cork it was the Silver Springs.
We attended the event in Munster’s capital. (The tunnel under the Shannon at Limerick is a gift!)
“All of our businesses face tough challenges – increasing global competition, pressure on cost and demands for more productivity. As a reliable and innovative partner with a global reach and strong local presence, Siemens can help you find the right answers,” said Declan Lordan of Douglas Control & Automation, distributors for Siemens Industrial Automation.
The event was divided into two, well three separate areas. There were two demonstration areas where attendees could see actual hardware working. One was in a room at the venue and there was a very compact mobile unit (see picture below!) which incorporated the communications capability of the company. The third area was a theatre for presentations. Visitors thus had the opportunity to attend seminars, live demonstrations, have expert discussions and best-practice sharing.
Totally Integrated Automation Portal
This theatre was the venue for the Irish launch of the TIA Portal – Totally Integrated Automation – “The next step in automation” and “engineering redefined!” Here was a “completely new generation of engineering software for Industry and Infrastructure.” The presentation first outlined Siemens journey in automation from the early 1950s up to the launch of the TIA portal last November at SPS/IPC/Drives show in Nuremberg (D).
This was followed by an exclusive preview of TIA Portal – “the industry’s first automation software with one engineering environment for all automation tasks.”
The new software engineering framework enables users to develop, commission and maintain automation systems quickly and intuitively from within a single portal. It eliminates the time-consuming and costly integration of separate software packages, allowing users achieve more productivity with less outlay. Designed for high efficiency and user-friendliness, all editors interact perfectly, TIA Portal is suitable for both first-time users and experienced users, enabling them to create lasting added value, faster. The theme repeated throughout was “intuitive, efficient and proven!” Comparisons were drawn with the intuitive culture of Apple products.
“With shorter product lifecycles, highly demanding and dynamic target markets and intensifying global competition, now more than ever it is crucial for Irish industry to keep abreast of technology developments that can help their competitive position,” commented Martin Feeley, Automation Systems Manager at Siemens Ireland. “With the TIA portal we have developed by far the most intuitive and efficient, and proven engineering framework on the market. Three years of usability evaluation and global field-testing was carried out to prove the software’s validity. This groundbreaking innovation redefines how automation tasks can be carried out, enabling customers to work more efficiently, reduce their own system development times and react quickly to changing market demands.”
A participant remarked after the presentation, “Siemens systems are not half as complicated as I thought!”
Energy optimisation solutions
Increasing energy costs are becoming a big challenge for companies. “Smarter energy consumption in both office buildings and industrial facilities offer enormous potential to reduce operational costs, which ultimately helps improve profitability in every organisation,” said Carl Murphy of Siemens. Visitors to the event learned how technology solutions can help realise financial savings from day one.
Presenting its B.data energy management software, Murphy explained, “B.data provides detailed energy analysis and reporting for complex processes. All energy sources including electricity, gas, water, compressed air and fuel oils are taken into account along with the corresponding business and environmental data. It allows companies manage their energy consumption and forecast their future energy needs and feed this into forward procurement planning”.
ProfiNet and ProfiEnergy
In the mobile unit particularly could be seen how smart technology could be used to achieve excellence in operation and energy efficiency in production.
Included also were other areas for which Siemens is famous like its equipment used in rail and road transport, security equipment used in banks and other sensitive areas. We were particularly impressed with the little seismic detector which alarms when an attempt is made to drill into a safe or ATM for instance but which is impervious to accidental or irregular vibrations.
Coincidentally with this exhibition we were advised of the products which Siemens will be showcasing at the Hannover Fair in April. We’ve listed links to these in the box on the right.