In my BSc thesis, I have investigated the family of Siemens SIMATIC Industrial Automation Systems and some its features. Three different features were studied in details. The first feature was PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) programming options provided. Based on various sources from the related literature, a concise description is given about the programming technologies and development environments involved, including the STEP 7 Classic IDE and the TIA Portal.
The next feature which was analyzed is migration through a specific test example. A hardware configuration with S7-300 CPU was established which was then migrated to the TIA Portal. A change in the CPU was also executed to a S7-1500 unit.
The last feature put under scrutiny was the capacity for simulation and virtual commissioning where both development environments cited above were used.
All features were studied using a test application, namely a small part of a car factory. This sample production chain has four types of products and an RFID sensor helps to identify the product on the conveyor belt. I used this information at two operations on the production chain: on the circular desk and at painting.
Based on my investigations, I concluded that although the STEP 7 Classic and S7-300 devices are very widely used nowadays, their migration will be inevitable as the new TIA Portal and the S7-1500 model offer a lot more efficient solution for automation tasks. Virtual commissioning turned out to be useful even in the simple test application I designed, as I have realized some faults so that they could have been eliminated before the real commissioning step.