Siemens Targets Process Industries in a Big Way

First-day announcements from the annual Siemens Automation Summit user conference include a new blog and touring demonstration vehicle highlighting Siemens process instrumentation and analytics products and solutions. But the Orlando location is also home to a lot of factory relevant motion control.

The 2011 Siemens Automation Summit user conference kicked off in Orlando, Fla. June 27th with a big focus on process industry solutions and discussions. Despite the fact that the event is being held in Walt Disney World—arguably the densest concentration of PLCs, drives and motion control systems in the U.S.—the first-day announcements seemed all about process industries and Siemens' process instrumentation and analytics offerings.

The chairman of Siemens' user advisory board, Dennis Inverso of the electrical & instrument technology group at DuPont, was even an opening session speaker. He welcomed attendees by talking about the relationship DuPont has had with Siemens since 1990. He said DuPont's distributed control system (DCS) engineering team is renewing an agreement with Siemens, entered into in 2006, to be one of two DCS suppliers (the other is Honeywell), and one of two PLC suppliers (Rockwell is the other). While not all groups and locations of the chemical company giant are expected to conform to the agreement, Inverso talked about his team's belief that Siemens is “the best.”  

An indication of the strength of the Siemens DCS offerings was perhaps the strong attendance at the PCS7 “roadmap” session. About 100 people listened to DCS/PCS7/APACS Product Manager Stacey Jarlsberg summarize the status of PCS7 Version 7.1 and give hints about what will appear in Version 8 of the system next year.

The magic (instrumentation) bus

The global automation company also announced it is launching its Measuring Success tour—as in “measuring success one customer at a time,” said a spokesman. What is touring around the U.S. is a 53-foot bus tricked out with process instrumentation, process analyzers, and other process automation product demonstrations. Siemens Process Instrumentation and Analytics products includes level, pressure, temperature and flow transmitters, valve instrumentation, regulators and relays, process protection instruments, weigh feeders, belt scales, analytical system integration, gas chromatographs, continuous gas analyzers and laser analytics.

“The tour is a testament to our customer-first attitude, and will bring products and solutions to our customers’ doorsteps,” said Raj Batra, president of Siemens Industry Automation Division. The customers who can expect a visit include those in industries like water, power generation, oil and gas, chemical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, glass, cement and metals.

The tour vehicle also showcases Siemens Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) framework with a display that demonstrates how information can be shared to improve customer operations. Batra said, “Our goal is to be a full-service and long-term partner with our customers, using our experience and knowledge to work together in solving challenges, reducing costs, minimizing risks and increasing productivity and profitability.” The vehicle will travel across the country and be staffed with Siemens process measurement experts.

New process-focused blog

Engaging the process automation community with Siemens expertise is also the point of the newly launched Measuring Success blog, (https://blogs.siemens.com/measuringsuccess). It delivers weekly articles from process instrumentation and analytics specialists, and is designed to allow feedback from end users.

Overall, it was a strong show of process industry automation focus. So much so, it caused one visitor interested in motion control to remark pointedly, “It's ALL about automation. Where the heck are the drives?” It turns out motion control, low voltage drives and other factory automation products were on display along an entire wall of the Technology Cafe product exhibit area of the conference.

Those interested in motors and motion control also benefited from Siemens choice of conference locations. The company has an extensive technology presence in “the Land of the Mouse,” as Batra put it. “Whether we automate attractions for tourists at Hollywood Studios or help Disney save on energy costs, Siemens is almost everywhere” in Disney World, the conference program said. [cross link to second story] In fact, the Toy Story Midway Mania attraction is “almost completely run by Siemens technology”: S7 PLCs, contactors and breakers, a Simatic HMI and the Scalance wireless and wired networking. Elsewhere in The Magic Kingdom, the curious and observant can find Siemens drives, switchgear, motor control centers and more.     

Renee Robbins Bassett, rbassett@automationworld.com, is Managing Editor of Automation World magazine.

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