The PCS7 Roadmap Session was attended by well over 100 people, most of them end users. This indicates the strength of the Siemens DCS offering in the process industries, just as the first discussion from Dennis Inverso of DuPont did.
Stacey Jarlsberg, the DCS/PCS7/APACS product manager led his audience through a re-cap of the PCS7 version 7.1 and associated service packs before giving some hints of what would appear in version 8 sometime next year.
First, he talked about the end-of-life plan for APACS+ and QUADLOG. The phaseout began on October 1, 2010, with a last time buy opportunity until 10/1/2011, and 10 years of support starting in 2010.
However, not included in the sunsetting is the PCS7/APACS OS, APACS Control Engineering, IEM and the DPI/O Buss Links.
In PCS7 Version 7.1, introduced last year, there is a new operator interface, the APL Advanced Process Library, Engineering efficiency tools, and robust Telecontrol facilities. Support for an ehanced PCS Sim function and wireless sensor networks are included, as are energy and process optimization and management tools. MPC has migrated to the controller and is part of APL. Batch recipe management is at the controller level, too.
Jarlsberg noted that downscaling is a robust and highly important capability, using PCS7 Box, PCS7 Bozx RTX and PCS7 Lab. It should also be noted that Braumat, Siemens' "Brewery in a Box" is a PCS7 Box product that has taken near unanimous market share in the craft brewing industries.
New features in version 7 in its various service packs include:
--Scalable Asset Management
--PCS7Web and PCS7Web Terminal Services
--Improved Safety Matrix
--Charlie Fialkowski's packaged Burner Management System (see controlglobal.com for podcast and webinar about this really innovative product.
--SIL3 Safety I/O
Digital Plant optimized engineering workstations, full support for Profibus, PA and DP, and since January 2011 complete integrated support for Foundation Fieldbus in the same seamless way as for Profibus.
Last, but most importantly, there are significant improvements in cybersecurity in PCS7.
There will be many more new features in Version 8 to be introduced at a later date.