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Adam Wesoly |

Woman power behind TIA Portal V12

Interview with Annette Eichhorn, the Siemens project manager in charge of developing the STEP 7 software in the TIA Portal into the next generation, TIA Portal V12.

Developing complex engineering software like the new version TIA Portal V12 requires cooperation within interdisciplinary teams composed of experts in different fields. As project manager for the STEP 7 software in Siemens" groundbraking the TIA Portal, Annette Eichhorn played a crucial role in the further development of its engineering framework. In this interview, she tells us what was so exciting about working on the project – and what’s so impressive about the new TIA Portal V12.

Q: Ms. Eichhorn, what"s new about the TIA Portal V12?
The absolute highlight is the excellent support of our new SIMATIC S7-1500 family of controllers.

Q: What elements, features or usability aspects were especially important?
The scalability across all controller families, the comprehensive library concept and the integration of system diagnosis, trace functions and motion functions in the new CPU family.

Q: What do you find most impressive about the TIA Portal?
The complete end-to-end consistency and well designed usability of the project planning and programming of PLC, HMI and drives are unique – with one single data storage and shared symbols.

Q: What motivated you to work on this project?
To play a key role in developing one of the most important innovations of Siemens Industry Automation.

Q: What was your role in the development work?
As the project manager for TIA Portal STEP 7, I work primarily in the area of programming languages.

Q: What expertise do think you brought to this project?
To keep a cool head even in tough situations, and the ability to allow my technical specialists as much responsibility and discretionary leeway as was needed to quickly and efficiently accomplish our goals as a team. I place great value in trust and cooperation when it comes to working with colleagues in development, documentation, systems testing and product marketing.

Q: What"s it like to work on such an important project and bring such an impressive innovation to life?
Every day is exciting!

Q: What was the most exciting moment for you in the last 12 months of development work?
There was more than one. It was very exciting to see the first S7-1500 hardware, the integration of the software STEP 7, WinCC and Startdrive into the TIA Portal, the trade fair exhibit featuring SPS/IPC/Drives in Nuremberg - and of course the delivery release of the TIA Portal V12 itself.

Q: Did you have an internal nickname for the TIA Portal?
No, but even if we did, I certainly wouldn’t tell you! (laughs)

Q: Do you already have some ideas for the next development phase?
We have many ideas and plans for the next development phases, which will make the TIA Portal even more interesting and attractive. Just wait and see - we may surprise you.

Thank you very much, Ms. Eichhorn. We wish you many more successes with the TIA Portal - and we hope "woman power" continues!

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