Controller performance enhanced for major automation tasks

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Siemens Automation and Drives (A&D) has upgraded the performance of all the high-performance controllers in its Simatic S7-400 CPU product family and new functionality has been added.

Depending on the type, the new CPUs are 30 to 60 per cent faster than the predecessors and feature higher communications performance and greater capacity than before. The Siemens high-performance controllers are especially useful in ambitious automation tasks in production and process automation.

Command run-times for bit and word operations now run faster, as well as fixed and floating-point arithmetic, yield a cycle time 30 to 60 per cent shorter than before. The new hardware architecture also enhances performance in communications services, especially in CPU types with an integrated Profinet interface. With a considerable increase in the number of data blocks (DB), function blocks (FB) and functions (FC), it is possible to implement even more extensive and complex applications. A uniform 'block number band' has been implemented for the new CPUs so users can port their programs more easily within the S7-400 controller family.

Further functional expansions are available in firmware updates, resource controls and reset. For convenience, new firmware versions can now be downloaded onto CPUs from a central location through bus systems via MPI (Multi-Point Interface), Profibus or Profinet. If there is a shortage of resources in the CPU, despite the high capacities, programmers can now use the new System Function Call (SFC) block in the user programs to ensure a dynamic reaction to the shortage. The factory settings on the CPU can be restored easily at any time with the Reset to Factory Settings function.

Further information is available at

29 November 2006

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