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  • Eva Gansen 15/03/2018

    Turning measurement data into information

    When it comes to the future challenges of the global tank terminal industry, better information is one of the major issues. Improved, more timely and accurate information allows for precise process monitoring. It helps to prevent overspill and protects from media loss. It is also the enabling factor for better leak detection and a higher safety level.

     

     

    For storage plant and terminal operators, going digital is the key to a more efficient, more economic and above all more flexible future. Investing in digital process control will not only reduce the total cost of ownership and improve return on investment, it will also improve the key performance indicators of the plant and turn it into a considerably more profitable operation.

     

    Rapidly changing global market conditions call for faster and more efficient storage and terminal operations in combination with effective resource distribution and optimized asset management and utilization. Another challenge is triggered by the need for increased environmental protection and subsequent stricter safety regulations.

     

    As a consequence of all these demands, plant operators need to establish highly integrated and automated processes. They need to focus on digital process control driven by intelligent and reliable measurements.

     

    Intelligent measurements

    Efficient tank level monitoring solutions are at the core of tank and terminal operations. Siemens is an experienced player in this field and can refer to industry-specific know-how based on decades of experience. A sophisticated generation of tank level monitoring systems uses guided wave radar technology to accurately detect the precise filling level of any storage tank. Advanced software algorithms detect interference signatures and dynamically update signals in accordance with defined measurement levels.

     

    This highly developed measuring technology is far more accurate than any other solution, and also supports continuous monitoring and allows for the full utilization of a storage tank to its maximum capacity. In this way, finely tuned instrumentation and smart sensor technology contribute to best-possible storage space utilization across any storage facility or tank farm.

     

    Monitoring for process transparency

    Measuring parameters such as filling levels, media flow and temperature are at the center of any digital tank and terminal process control system. Their operations may appear trivial at first glance, but their role is important. A new generation of smart sensors guarantees accurate and reliable information,  and they provide a wealth of added value with built-in intelligence and expanded functionality.

     

    Being part of the digital world of process automation, Siemens process instrumentation stands out for utmost precision, transparency and usability. The SITRANS L range of tank level measurement solutions matches the requirements of just about any tank farm. SITRANS F flow meters help to secure the process by precisely monitoring the media flow generated by pumping activities. With the SITRANS F C Coriolis flow meter you can get precise information about liquids or gases flowing through a pipe.

     

    SITRANS P pressure transmitters and SITRANS T temperature transmitters monitor safe operating conditions, while continuous gas analyzers are an integral part of process, safety and environment monitoring.

     

    SIPART sensor systems take care of digitally controlled valve positions, while SIWAREX truck and rail car weighing systems control and monitor the filling process.

     

    Tapping into a wealth of information

    The key to efficient plant operation is information. Modern digital process instruments are able to deliver a wealth of information that goes way beyond the measured values they feed into the process. Although often seen as a latecomer, the chemical industry is rapidly catching up in this field.

     

    Once the installation of digital process control systems based on sensors and real-time data is complete, the tank terminal industry is ready to review data using sophisticated data analytics. Such analytics can be used effectively for planning and scheduling, process execution, quality management and environment protection.

     

    The results are manifold. They range from more effective plant management to real-time process optimization. They contribute to faster processing and reduced time to market. They also enable better maintenance processes and improved plant availability.

     

    Siemens is a technology partner in this field with an established track-record. Alongside the provision of proven field instrumentation and established drive technology, we also develop complete system solutions from plant design via system implementation, all the way to operation and maintenance. Everything from once source any anywhere on the planet.

     

    Want to find out more? Meet with our experts at StocExpo 2018, Booth I18, March 20-22, 2018, in Rotterdam, Netherlands – or check out our tank storage solutions at: siemens.com/tms

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  • Eva Gansen 15/03/2018

    Logistics: Taking control of the supply chain

    Tank and terminal operations are a constant logistics process involving storage, loading and unloading. Alongside the smooth operation of all physical assets involved, this also requires seamless communication processes from order processing to storage management and tank farm monitoring.

     

    Logistics processes start with the unloading of a ship or any other carrier and end with the loading of process media onto a truck or rail car. Such critical operations call for utmost safety and transparency, and need to be done with the highest efficiency, in order to streamline all related processes, reduce waiting times and eliminate manual handling errors.

     

    Process management with integrated safety

    For tank farms and loading bays, Siemens TMS is a modular terminal management system for end-to-end process management. SITAS TMS provides comprehensive control features for inline and batch blending as well as on-the-fly production. It enables quantities, qualities, and costs of available raw materials to be taken into account and documented, and ensures exact compliance with standardized product specifications. Siemens TMS is based on SIMATIC PCS 7 and uses high-performance industry standard communication protocols, such as Industrial Ethernet and PROFIBUS.

     

    With Safety Integrated, Siemens provides modular and flexible solutions for the comprehensive protection of tank installations that fulfill all relevant health, safety, environmental, and industry standards, as well as legal requirements. It allows for various degrees of integration and implementation to suit very specific needs. With SIMATIC Safety Integrated, a safety instrumented system (SIS) can be fully integrated into the Siemens SIMATIC PCS 7 automation system.

     

    Effective route control

    Effective tank farm management also involves configuring, controlling, and monitoring all material transports through existing pipe networks. In other words: transporting the fluid or gaseous process medium from a defined source to a defined destination must be controlled in a safe and transparent way.

     

    This task often requires highly sophisticated algorithms. Siemens provides all of the required functionality with SIMATIC Route Control. Incorporating diagnostic functions that are well suited for pipe networks, SIMATIC Route Control provides both fully automatic as well as semiautomatic routing, enabling operators to choose between a variety of transport routes. A special feature for tank farms is our gantry management solution, which supports static route definition and control – for better physical flow control and manageable equipment.

     

    Logistics from local to global

    Any tank farm is part of a complex supply chain linking regional demands with a variety of production sources. Siemens is able to supply a logistics solution tailored to individual requirements: with standardized material flow processes, global supply chain integration, and optimized interfaces to production systems and to the world of Totally Integrated Automation (TIA).

     

    As an experienced technology partner for the storage and terminal industry, we develop uniform logistics concepts for increased throughput from analysis through to engineering and commissioning.

     

    Siemens’ solutions optimize material flow throughout the entire lifecycle of a tank farm. They guarantee delivery on-time and considerably contribute to the long-term position of the tank farm within a competitive market environment.

     

    With RFID to greater visibility

    The ability to gather and process data at strategically relevant points is a crucial factor for long-term business success. As a result, industrial identification is becoming a key technology for the digital enterprise. With SIMATIC Ident, Siemens closes the gap between the real and the digital worlds, and create new potential for our customers to add value.

     

    Siemens RFID systems are at the core of automated logistics processes within the worldwide tank terminal industry. Not only do they help to clearly identify individual products and batches, they also enable real-time monitoring of all material flows and loading processes. As a result, tank farm operators always know exactly what is where and when. They are able to plan efficiently, and modulate processes precisely.

     

    With Siemens, tank farm and terminal operators opt for a holistic approach to process automation. Our solutions follow the Siemens principle of Totally Integrated Automation and integrate all safety and intelligence aspects into a digital hardware and software solution, that streamlines processes while increasing flexibility and the competitiveness of the tank farm operation.

     

     

    Want to find out more? Meet with our experts at StocExpo 2018 Booth I18, March 20-22, 2018, in Rotterdam, Netherlands – or check out our tank storage solutions at: www.siemens.com/tms

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  • Eva Gansen 30/01/2018

    Networks: two worlds cooperate

    Enterprise IT and industrial communication networks are considerably different, and yet have one thing in common: their secure connection is decisive for creating added value in a company – especially in the age of big data and increasing data volumes. Only those that understand the requirements of the enterprise IT and industrial networks can establish a reliable connection – and keep communications running.

     

     

    By 2020, up to 15 billion smart machines will be connected in the industrial IoT and exchange information, which offers huge potential. With the help of intelligent data analysis, processes can be planned in advance and implemented in a way that saves resources. However, this is only possible if the enormous volume of data can also be stored, processed, and transmitted – in real time. High-performance industrial communication networks lay the foundations for this. They ensure data security, stability, and high plant availability. The prerequisites are the reliable connection of industrial networks to the enterprise IT network and the knowledge of how to meet their varying requirements. But what are they exactly?

     

    A lossless exchange of data

    The communication is set up differently for each of the two networks: while traditional IT transmits telegrams, industrial communication focuses on applications. Network components and topologies must therefore be tailored to suit the respective requirements.

     

    Terminal equipment in the office, for example, generally communicates with one or more servers, and the network topology is vertical and designed for a wider bandwidth. If individual clients fail, it does not usually have a critical impact on the business. Machine-to-machine (M2M) communication is different: integrated data exchange – without delay or loss – is a vital prerequisite for avoiding plant downtime and the resulting high financial losses. For this reason, data transmission in industrial communications must be conducted and completed within a defined response time (deterministic).

     

    This major difference is also reflected in the infrastructure. A network designed purely for vertical communication, as in traditional IT, cannot ensure a continuous flow of data. This is why certain network designs have been established with appropriate redundancy mechanisms, among other things, to facilitate an Ethernet-based information exchange in industrial networks. They are developed specifically for applications in various industries and enable a connection to the enterprise IT.

     

    Service and security make all the difference

    An additional factor is quick and easy troubleshooting. If a malfunction occurs in an industrial network, a rapid recommissioning of the components is the top priority. Employees must be able to identify faults and access the location of the faults for maintenance purposes. Because unlike standard IT, where outsourcing is widespread, the responsibility in industry is lies with the company’s own IT experts or trained automation engineers.

     

    Safety and security leave no room for compromise in data transmission. In an emergency, for example, safety-related communication must switch entire plants to a safe state via the industrial network to prevent harm to people and machines. In order to fully protect plants against cyber attacks, industrial networks require holistic, scaled security concepts that provide reliable protection against unauthorized access.
     

    Irreconcilable differences?

    The differences between industrial networks and enterprise IT are considerable, but are they irreconcilable? What’s the secret to ensuring both networks work together?

     

    Curious? Then read the whitepaper “Connecting two worlds”.

     

     

    More information on industrial communication networks, Professional Services, and Siemens’ training programs can be found on our website.
     

    Follow us on Twitter @siemensindustry or LinkedIn to ensure you don’t miss out on our updates!

     

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  • Eva Gansen 29/01/2018

    The backbone of digitalization

    Industrial Network in the digital enterprise  This much is certain: The increasing digitalization in industry demands future-proof (infra)structures. As one of the drivers of the industrial (r)evolution, Siemens is very aware of this and therefore offers customized components and concepts to help companies on their way to becoming a digital enterprise. Reliable and future-proof industrial communication networks with targeted services are particularly important.

     

     

    Digitalization has by no means reached its peak. This puts considerable pressure on manufacturing companies who have been forced to react in order to prepare for the Internet of Things and to remain competitive. They must be able to ensure a short time-to-market, more flexibility, and increased efficiency. Higher quality is also expected while saving resources and energy.

     

    Progress will not be possible with a just a single automation solution. New potential can only be tapped by means of a holistic digital approach: the comprehensive digitalization of all processes along the value chain with a common database. We support companies from various industries on their way to becoming a digital enterprise. In order to fully utilize the benefits of Industrie 4.0, companies rely on the four core elements of our Digital Enterprise Suite: the integration of industrial software and automation, the expansion of communication networks, security in the area of automation, and the use of business-specific industrial services.

     

    Expertise in industrial networks

    Integrated horizontal and vertical communication is essential for any digitalization solution. As a supplier of automation technology, we are aware of the industry demands on the open and secure industrial communication networks that are required to achieve this. Linking the real world with the virtual world requires a continuous exchange of data. This in turn demands a powerful network infrastructure and industry-suitable network mechanisms.

     

    However, it’s not just powerful network components that are vital for the digitalization of industry: the expertise to design, plan, implement, and connect to a corporate network is also necessary. This expertise has to be continually built on and developed, during which time we offer users full support.

     

    Companies that lack the necessary personnel can use Siemens’ tailored Professional Services and draw on a global network of Siemens Solution Partners with in-depth industry and IT experience. The basis for a successful implementation is a preliminary on-site inspection, evaluation, and analysis of existing network structures, from which specific recommendations can be derived. If required, experienced specialists can advise on the design of the network infrastructure and mechanisms and carry out the on-site commissioning and optimization. This accelerates the implementation and enables the first-hand transfer of expertise to the user. For example, we offer customized training courses with experienced instructors. Further training courses from the Industrial Networks Education program will teach you how wired and wireless data networks can be planned, implemented, and connected to a corporate network.

     

    Always on the safe side

    Digitalization and the increased networking of machines and industrial plants bring with them an increased risk of cyber attacks – Industrial Security offers protection measures in the digital enterprise. All levels have to be addressed simultaneously if industrial plants are to be comprehensively protected from cyber attacks, both internally and externally. This is why we use an in-depth defense strategy: “defense in depth” is an overarching protective strategy based on the recommendations of ISA99/IEC 62443, the leading standard for security in industrial applications.

     

    Industrial communication networks form the basis of any digitalization solution. You can find more information regarding the differences but also the similarities of industrial networks and enterprise IT systems in another blog post.

     

     

    More information on industrial communication networks, Professional Services, and Siemens’ training programs can be found on our website.

     

    Follow us on Twitter @siemensindustry or LinkedIn to ensure you don’t miss out on our updates!

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  • Andreas Milbradt 29/11/2017

    Media flow under control

    SIMATIC PCS 7 V8.2Chemicals in fluid form are the crucial raw materials of industrial production, while oil and natural gas represent the primary energy sources driving modern society. But ensuring the safety of transportation and storage of such critical process media is anything but simple.  

     

    Plant operators not only need to comply with increasingly tighter safety regulations. They also face the challenge of ensuring ever higher levels of efficiency and availability.

    Siemens automation systems and sensor technologies are the key to achieving faster and more efficient operations and to optimizing pipeline systems and storage facilities.

     

    Measuring, detecting, and controlling

    Efficient process management relies on a combination of reliable tank level control, precise process monitoring and intelligent analysis. With its SITRANS range, Siemens offers a comprehensive product portfolio that provides the sensors and actuators to support integrated solutions for highly efficient automatic process control.

    The newly developed SITRANS L sensors for tank level monitoring use guided wave radar detection combined with advanced software algorithms to enable maximum tank level utilization while maintaining high environment and process safety standards.

    These sensors interact closely with SIPART sensor systems, as well as SITRANS F flow meters, SITRANS P pressure and SITRANS T temperature transmitters. Perfectly tailored to the respective application, this highly developed process instrumentation helps to precisely control inbound and outbound fluid flow while maximizing the use of storage capacities. Sophisticated truck and rail car weighing with compression load cells mark the end of the storage and transfer process. Together with intelligent SIWAREX weighing systems, this forms the basis for highly efficient loading processes.

     

    Intelligent product transfer

    Transferring fluids or gaseous process media through a pipeline network from a defined source to a defined destination requires a complex control system based on highly complex algorithms.

    With SIMATIC Route Control, Siemens offers a highly intricate media routing solution designed for pipeline systems of any size and complexity. The solution incorporates a variety of diagnostics functions and allows the operator to automatically or semi-automatically control transport routes for all types of fluid or gaseous media.

    Route Control is an extension of the SIMATIC PCS 7 process control system from Siemens. It can be adapted to just about any process media and represents a comprehensive solution for the configuration, control, monitoring, and diagnostics of material handling.

    Working much like a navigation system for the pipeline system, SIMATIC Route Control provides the plant operator with a graphic search system to identify unwanted path combinations. It also supports automatic transport path identification and enables the storage and activation of predefined transport paths.

    PCS 7 and Route Control are well established technologies with a successful track record in the global oil and gas industry. In combination with SITRANS and SIPART field instrumentation they make Siemens the ideal technology partner for the complete transportation path – from ship or refinery to the tank and from the tank to any transportation vehicle.

     

     

    Want to learn more? Visit us at Tank Storage Hamburg, Booth A19, November 29 to 30, 2017 – or check out our tank storage solutions at siemens.com/sitas and our process instrumentation solutions at siemens.com/process-instrumentation

     

     

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  • Eva Gansen 28/11/2017

    Digitalization: The key to efficient tank storage

    Tank storageDigitalization is not just a buzzword of our times. For the tank and terminal industry in particular, specialized digital processes are the key for efficient operations at the lowest possible total cost of ownership. With a well-established range of products and services, Siemens supports tank operators to stay ahead of the competition in today‘s highly volatile markets.

     

    Siemens is a major technology partner with a comprehensive range of sensors and measuring equipment, and we are also familiar with the special requirements of the industry and support operations with state-of-the-art process control and automation systems. As a result Siemens is a reliable partner from field-level all the way out to management execution level.

     

    System solution with industry-specific genes

    While a modular tank management system such as Siemens TMS can be used as a standalone solution, its full potential unfolds when used in combination with an existing infrastructure. Combining Siemens SITRANS instrumentation with the Siemens process control and safety system SIMATIC PCS 7 and Siemens XHQ Operations Intelligence will result in a digital solution that easily merges with any third party MES/ERP to deliver superior control and reliability. Finally, it is compatible with the latest cloud applications for increased integration and future new developments.

    The Siemens value chain of tank farms does not end here. There are also many underlying systems in areas such as data communications, as well as electrical or fire and gas detection.

     

    Holistic approach to digitalization

    Digital technologies play an increasingly dominant role in the tank terminal industry and are the major reason for future investments. They not only provide a basis for accelerating established processes, they also enable site operators to provide their operations with a considerable higher level of transparency and flexibility.

    Future success in the industry will require the ability to respond quickly to market demands by adapting existing capacities to maximize output. The key to such goals is a highly flexible supply chain and storage management in combination with minimum downtime as well as safe and efficient loading/unloading processes.

    We support such goals with a holistic system approach that starts with analyzing all life cycle phases of a storage plant from the initial plant design to engineering, construction, installation, and commissioning through to ongoing operation and maintenance - for electrical, automation, instrumentation and safety equipment

     

    Engineering for the digital plant

    The digital future calls for an effective engineering process that combines industry know-how with state-of-the-art development tools. With the engineering software COMOS, Siemens offers the ideal platform for optimizing engineering transparency and process flow efficiency over the entire lifecycle of a plant. In addition, the SIMIT software solution enables simulation and testing and even facilitates the virtual commissioning of an automation design prior to implementation.

    Full digital process control is guaranteed by the SIMATIC PCS 7 process control system. It is an open system that forms a solid basis for a variety of add-ons to enhance process stability and flexibility. For example, XHQ is an effective analysis solution that enables continuous monitoring and plant performance improvements. It is designed to enable better decision-making through the use of key performance indicators and dashboards.

     

    Driving the digital storage plant

    One major enabling technology at field level is smart sensors that allow remote parameterizing, monitoring, and diagnosis. They not only provide the hardware basis for safer operation and simplified maintenance, they also support the increased requirements imposed by an increasing number of tanks and tank farms in combination with loading and unloading processes at increased frequencies.

    Combined with such an advanced measuring and monitoring technology, variable speed drives of the Siemens SINAMICS family add a new level of economy and efficiency to plant operation. Their energy-efficient frequency converter technology not only streamlines all pumping operations, and in addition, in combination with SIMATIC PCS7 PowerControl they are also seamlessly integrated into the digital process automation environment.

     

    Security teaming up with safety

    Tank storage operations often involve sensitive or even hazardous process media. The tank and storage industry is therefore faced with increasingly stricter safety regulations. Siemens reacts to this situation with an integrated safety approach in combination with highly integrated and automated processes as well as intelligent and reliable measurement and control solutions.

    Integrated safety also includes remote storage facilities equipped with advanced Siemens tele control and surveillance technologies. They ensure partially unmanned operation and help to protect remote operations against the unauthorized movement of people or assets by detecting, tracking, and creating alerts to emergency situations.

     

    Preparing for the digital challenge

    There is no doubt about it – the future of the tank and storage industry is digital. digital process control will enable plant operators to meet the challenges of the future. It’s a future that calls for transfer logistics at increasing speed, faster and more efficient operations and resource distribution as well as optimized asset management and utilization.

    This will certainly call for investments, but it also lays the groundwork for a new level of flexibility, efficiency, safety and reliability. It will also reduce the total cost of ownership of a plant while improving its return on investment.

     

    Want to find out more? Meet with our experts at StocExpo 2018 Booth I18, March 20-22, 2018, in Rotterdam, Netherlands – or check out our tank storage solutions at: www.siemens.com/tms

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  • Andreas Milbradt 28/11/2017

    Extended functions with Option+

    Siemens presents the new SIMATIC HMI Option+ application at SPS IPC Drives 2017

     

    As the digitalization of manufacturing processes increases, so does the need for a simple and reliable configuration of IT-related functions in HMI systems within the manufacturing environment, particularly in the areas of network connection, remote access, communication, and user identification.

     

     

     

    An easy and manageable gateway between the runtime and the operating system

    The new SIMATIC HMI Option+ application, which we will present at this year’s SPS IPC Drives, enables access to these IT-related functions. With this application we have addressed our customers’ requirements for a simple and manageable tool and have leveraged the experience gained from our SIMATIC HMI Toolbox – one of our most widely used SIMATIC HMI applications.

     

    SIMATIC HMI Option+ acts as a gateway between the SIMATIC HMI Panel runtime and the operating system. It enables the user to display system information, configure interfaces and services, and use advanced functions for machine monitoring from the runtime. To ensure that only authorized employees can use these functions, access to Option+ can be restricted and protected with a password.

     

    A variety of options for SIMATIC HMI

    With SIMATIC HMI Option+ we offer the user a variety of options for the configuration of IT-related functions in his or her SIMATIC HMI Comfort Panels and thus emphasize the performance and flexibility of the devices, which are one of the most successful products in machine-level operator control and monitoring – and for good reason. SIMATIC HMI Option+ is expected to be available for TIA Portal V15 in the first quarter of 2018. In addition to SIMATIC HMI Comfort Panels in 7" to 22" as well as the Comfort PRO and Comfort Outdoor devices, the application supports the SIMATIC HMI Advanced device series.

     

     

    Article: Marcel Roske, SIMATIC HMI Marketing Manager, Siemens AG

     

    Discover more on SIMATIC HMI Option+ with us at SPS IPC Drives Hall 11 or our product announcement: SIMATIC HMI Option+

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