Several Siemens news items have accumulated in my blog folder. Speaking broadly of Industrial Internet of Things applications, Siemens has added to its Industrial Edge portfolio and released a 5G router. It also has evolved its integration of robot libraries into its Totally Integrated Automaton (TIA) Portal.

Despite reports to the contrary, Siemens continues to innovate on its platform in order to stay abreast or even ahead of its smaller competitors. But it does confirm the idea that competition keeps companies on their toes ready to innovate in new directions.

Ready-to-use industrial edge platform for data processing on the production level

  • Industrial Edge V1.0 comprising the Edge Management system, edge apps, and edge devices with container-based runtime
  • Edge Management system provides central management for edge devices and apps over the entire lifecycle
  • Apps that increase productivity can be integrated into industrial environments quickly, with little effort and minimal risk

Siemens is expanding its offer for industrial IoT solutions, adding to its Industrial Edge portfolio a central and company-wide scalable infrastructure for managing connected edge devices and apps. With the new Industrial Edge Management system, users can remotely monitor the status of every connected device and remotely install edge apps and software functions on distributed edge devices. 

In combination with existing hardware and software products, this Industrial Edge V1.0 open platform provides users with a ready-to-use and seamless solution for data processing on the production level with integrated device and app lifecycle management.

With the new Industrial Edge Management system, distributed edge devices and their states can be monitored centrally, diagnosed, and managed by IT administrators and manufacturing engineers. This means that new software apps can be rolled out company-wide and securely on all connected Industrial Edge devices. Central software management minimizes or even completely eliminates the effort involved in maintenance and updates for distributed software instances. 

Existing, already containerized software (Docker) can be used applied to Industrial Edge. In addition, users can always develop their own edge apps to meet company-specific requirements. Functional and security-related updates are provided by Siemens via the Edge Management system, which can then be scheduled for roll-out to connected edge devices to meet the security requirements of an industrial IoT solution. With this ready-to-use management platform, IT administrators can roll out edge apps highly automated and reliably in manufacturing and manage them over the entire lifecycle. In addition, the freedom from retroactive effects between automation and edge systems helps them to ensure high system availability of the automation solution. 

The Edge Management system can be operated in Version 1.0 within the company infrastructure, for example in manufacturing, and is specifically tailored to the requirements of users who particularly value data security. In future, it will also be possible to operate the Management system in cloud infrastructures.

With the Siemens Industrial Edge V1.0 offer, Siemens is simplifying the collection and analysis of machine data and bringing IT standards such as container-based apps (Docker), high-level language-based data analysis and processing, and central software and device management directly to manufacturing – integrated in automation systems.

Siemens presents first industrial 5G router 

  • Growing demand for remote access via public 5G networks for remote maintenance 
  • Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to the public 5G network 
  • Sinema Remote Connect management platform provides secure access to remote plants and machines 

Siemens presents the first industrial 5G router for connecting local industrial applications to a public 5G network. The device will be available in spring 2021. Using the newly developed Scalance MUM856-1, industrial applications such as machines, control elements, and other devices can be accessed remotely via a public 5G network, providing a simple remote maintenance option for these applications using the high data rates offered by 5G. The Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections can be used to provide easy and secure access to these remote plants or machines – even if they are integrated in other networks. 

In industry, in addition to the need for local wireless connectivity, there is increasing demand for remote access to machines and plants. In these cases, communication needs to bridge long distances. Public mobile networks can be used to access devices that are located at a considerable distance, for example in other countries. In addition, service technicians can connect to the machines they need to service via the mobile network while on the go. 

Public 5G networks are therefore an important element of remote access and remote maintenance solutions. They can be used, for example, to provide users with very high bandwidths in urban areas with small radio cells and high frequencies. In rural areas, radio cells have to cover a large area, which is why lower frequencies are used. Particularly at the edges of radio cells, for example for LTE or UMTS, there are often significant losses in terms of both the bandwidth and stability of the communication connection. And it is exactly in these remote areas where stable bandwidth transmission is required for remote maintenance or video transmission, for example for water stations. With innovative 5G communications technologies, considerably more bandwidth with greater reliability is available at the edges of radio cells and the average data rate for users within a radio cell increases. 

The new Scalance MUM856-1 also supports 4G so that operation is possible even if a 5G mobile network is not available. The device can also be integrated in private local 5G campus networks. Siemens is testing this use case in their own Automotive Test Center in a private standalone 5G test network, which is based on Siemens components. There, automated guided vehicle systems are connected using 5G in order to test current and future industrial applications and to drive forward the use of 5G technology in industry.

Cooperation for the multi-vendor integration of industrial robots into the TIA Portal

  • Simatic Robot Integrator with Simatic Robot Library makes engineering easy for robots in the TIA Portal
  • Universal interface supports integration by all robot manufacturers
  • Re-usable program codes thanks to standard programming language
  • Time savings of up to 30 percent for engineering

Siemens presents the Simatic Robot Library for the Simatic Robot Integrator – a new universal robot library for the TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) Portal, which replaces the previous manufacturer-specific libraries. The specification has been developed in close cooperation with robot manufacturers ABB Robotics, Comau, Epson, FANUC, Kawasaki Robotics, KUKA, Panasonic Industry, STÄUBLI, Techman Robot, Yamaha, and YASKAWA. 

In future, users will be able to program most of the robots available on the market in the TIA Portal using the Simatic Robot Library and make use of standard operating concepts based on the Simatic Robot Integrator and Simatic HMI. This means that created program codes and program packages will be re-usable, saving both time and money on a change of robot manufacturer. 

Integration into the TIA Portal also offers the option of easily combining robots with other technologies such as Simatic technology, cloud services, Edge data analyses or AI-based automation. Thanks to the standard environment in the TIA Portal, users achieve time savings of up to 30 percent when engineering new complete systems. The improved handling also increases efficiency, while identical faceplates for different manufacturers simplify operation. With the Simatic Robot Library, users do not require specific programming knowledge for a robot type; they only need to have knowledge of the TIA Portal.

Simatic Robot Integrator is a ready-to-use application, which is directly integrated into a TIA Portal machine project. Combined with the new Simatic Robot Library, it enables users to download programming examples for operation and to control robots immediately after configuration. Simatic HMI offers popular online programming functions – regardless of the robot manufacturer – for inching, teach-in or path creation.

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