Communication processor for telecontrol applications

Paul Boughton

Siemens Industry has developed a new communication processor for telecontrol applications based on Simatic S7-1200 controllers.

Simatic CP 1243-1 DNP3 from the TeleControl Professional product range connects the controller to a control centre, such as a process control system, via a DNP3 (Distributed Network Protocol).

A typical use is the transfer of measured values in geographically spread outdoor areas to a central station such as seen at sewage and water treatment plants, district heating networks and pump stations, as well as in oil and gas supply, energy distribution and transportation systems.

Simatic CP 1243-1 DNP3 transfers measured values, setpoint values and alarms to the control station either cyclically or event-based. In the STEP 7 engineering tool the user simply selects the data to be transferred from the Simatic S7-1200 CPU and specifies the required communication parameters.

Communication with the control centre is based on the established telecontrol protocol according to DNP3 specification 2 (2007/2009), including security mechanisms for secure data transfer via wide area networks. In addition to data transfer, the communication processor also has an email function, which can, for example, automatically inform maintenance staff when previously defined events such as threshold values are exceeded.

Simatic CP 1243-1 DNP3 can buffer up to 64,000 values with time stamp to prevent data loss when a connection fails. When the connection is re-established, the buffered values are automatically transferred to the control centre in the right chronological order. Comprehensive diagnostic options, locally via LEDs or in the STEP 7 engineering tool, offer the user fast and clear analysis of the station status.

The communication processor is connected to the local communication network in the outdoor area via Ethernet interface. Appropriate transmission components, such as the Scalance M874 industrial router, are available for remote communication from the local network to the control station.

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