Embedded controller includes visualisation

Paul Boughton
At the 2008 SPS/IPC/Drives trade fair, the Siemens Industry Automation Division is for the first time exhibiting the modular Simatic S7-mEC embedded controller with preinstalled runtime visualisation software. In addition, the EM PC and EM PCI-104 expansion modules for additional hardware functionalities are also available now. These facilitate the connection of Simatic S7 to the PC world and allow the use of standard PCI-104 cards.

The new Simatic S7-mEC Embedded Controller is described as a 'turnkey automation solution,' integrating both HMI and software controller. As no software has to be installed during commissioning, the device is easy to configure and program. By sharing a platform for HMI and PC applications, the exchange of data is speeded up considerably.

According to Siemens, the PC module (EM PC) simplifies the interaction between automation technology and the PC world. By means of standard media, PLC data can be used directly for further evaluations of production data in an office application. On-board interfaces, such as the graphics interface or DVI-I, now enable a monitor to be connected in addition to operator panels or thin-client solutions. This opens up a variety of possibilities for optimal application-related visualisation.

If there are considerable distances between the controller and visualisation device, a thin client is recommended. In order to use the monitor in the immediate vicinity of the controller, however, the DVI-I port is of assistance. Further interfaces such as slots for SD/MMC and Compact Flash cards, USB for the connection of printer, mouse or keyboard, and serial interfaces for point-to-point communication, are also available on the EM PC module.

The second EM PCI-104 expansion module permits scalability to further hardware interfaces in the PCI-104 format. This enables fieldbus modules for Profibus to be connected via high-speed I/O cards or cards for special applications, such as sound cards for the output of spoken operating instructions in the event of error messages or when re-equipping a machine. As many as three different PCI-104 or PCI-104+ boards can be used within these modules.

Simatic S7-mEC

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