The database-driven system platform Engineering Base (EB) from AUCOTEC offers the process industry not only the basis for complete hardware design: it also enables the determination of the software modules required for each measurement (and actuator) tag. A saving of time of several weeks was achieved in the pilot project due to this unrivalled consistency.
Assistant for determining the software modules
The device engineering is initially defined based on the measurement tags and loads defined in the P&I diagram. Using the infrastructure of the plant developed in parallel, the cabling as well as the signal flow are projected up to the control system via an integrated planning process.
In cooperation with Holcim (Deutschland) AG, one of the leading construction material manufacturers in Northern Germany and subsidiary of a globally operating group, the next step towards integration was already taken some time ago. For specifying the required software modules, AUCOTEC has created an assistant that enables the user to select standard modules from a list. Thanks to the basic expandability of the EB data model, additional attributes for parameterizing the modules have also been implemented. Even pure logic functions can be created in the plant hierarchy in addition to the measuring and control functions; these can also be provided with software modules in the same manner.
Automatically updating circuits
The definitions for the control system software thus integrated into the engineering are then handed over to the project planning of the process control system PCS7 from Siemens via a specific export function. Since the parameterization and group assignment were already carried out in EB, the circuits in PCS7 are updated automatically. The very first pilot project has already yielded an exceptional saving of time. The four-week period originally scheduled for the software development was replaced by about half a day of extra work needed for the data input in Engineering Base.
EB also permits to easily reuse the software modules in future versions of PCS7 as well as in process control systems of other producers.