Here's the text of a press release from Siemens that sounds very interesting...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SIEMENS ANNOUNCES FIRST PC-BASED CONTROL SOFTWARE WITH INTEGRATED SAFETY FUNCTIONS
ATLANTA, Sept. 29, 2009 -- Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. has unveiled the industry’s first PC-based control software with integrated safety functions.
Siemens new Simatic ® WinAC RTX F software for PC-based control safely controls critical devices from a standard Dual-Core Windows XP PC, eliminating the cost for a separate safety-rated controller. The software also allows standard control logic, as well as office applications, to run on the same PC with safety-rated logic, significantly reducing integration time and cost.
Scalable for standard PCs or WinXP-Embedded PCs, WinAC RTX F software is available preloaded on several Siemens PC-based or embedded controllers, including the Simatic S7-mEC-RTX F Modular Embedded Controller and IPC 427C-RTX F industrial PC. These safety compliant controllers include built-in networking interfaces for Profisafe rated I/O including Simatic ET 200 family products on both Profibus and Profinet/Ethernet protocols.
Available for a wide range of process and discrete automation applications, the TUV-certified software meets the toughest automation safety requirements and complies with EN 954-1 to Cat. 4, IEC 62061 to SIL 3 and EN ISO 13849-1 up to PL e-safety standards.
“Hardwired safety systems traditionally are not adequately integrated with standard controller systems,” says Matthew Thornton, Siemens discrete automation product manager. “By adapting Siemens Safety Integrated technology for Simatic S7 controllers, the software provides a single, highly integrated platform that allows standard logic, safety logic, and any other PC software to run together.”
WinAC RTX F software’s runtime kernel, programmed specifically for safety logic, runs in parallel to other PC-based applications for standard logic control functions or other tasks. The software is also isolated from any system lock-up or operating system crash. Strict compatibility with Dual-Core based x86 PC systems enable the software to run all safety-rated automation tasks without interruption.
System extensions are available with an Open Development Kit (ODK) for data exchange with other PC applications, further simplifying integration and reducing engineering costs across the entire control architecture.
For more information about the WinAC RTX F software log on to www.sea.siemens.com/tiacontrollers or call 1-800-241-4453.