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Siemens TIA-Portal

Siemens TIA-Portal

Users getting caught out with Siemens TIA-Portal

If you have worked with Siemens S7-300/400 PLCs with STEP7 Classic software for a number of years, like me youíve probably unwittingly allowed yourself to be lulled into a false sense of security Ė youíve let your guard own.  You might have fallen into the trap of ďnot trusting that new stuffĒ. Give it a bit longer, wait until it is proven, let somebody else iron out the bugs. You decided against the future, you knew it wasnít fully developed so you decided to stick with what you knew & specified more Siemens S7-300/400.

And then came the day when the machine was installed & you started to hear that your people could not connect the laptop & get on-line. You knew they had done the training, you knew they had the right kit; it just didnít make sense. And then you found out that it is possible to program the later Siemens S7-300/400 PLCs with TIA-Portal software. No great worries here; or was there? And then you realised that if the machine control software has been written with TIA-Portal software, youíve canít go online with STEP7 Classic (which is what youíve got) & you have now got to spend potentially £2K to get the new software & to start to think about training again. Nightmare!

Well, now thatís all behind you now. You spent your unplanned £2K on TIA-Portal software & you may even have done more training. You remember how things settled down & you were happy.

But it didnít last long. Next thing you knew, your people were telling you they couldnít get online now with another new machine you have just had installed with a Siemens S7-1200 installed. Youíve just realised that when you bought your TIA-Portal software, you bought version 13. It was what you were told you needed & it was the latest. Having enquired with the machine builder, youíve just learned he has written the PLC software using version 14 & you need that now. Whatís going on you may be thinking, why did this never happen before?

Well, thatís that false sense of security I mentioned. STEP7 Classic had been around so long that versions didnít change that much & we all got used to everything working all of the time. TIA-Portal is much much newer & tweaks & improvements seem to be appearing on a regular basis & that means youíre probably out of date again by now; does this sound a bit like RSLogix5000? Manufacturers seem to be spinning the wheel even faster these days & keeping up to date with software is just another quite considerable cost to consider.

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