When creating or expanding your Siemens PCS 7 project, there are several bulk systems engineering tools available to assist in the process to optimize efficiency, organization, and future flexibility. Tools that will be covered in this blog series include Process Tag Types, Process Object View, and Sequential Function Chart Types (SFC Types). These Siemens tools allow you to create templates used to generate several instances in a short amount of time and to efficiently edit large pieces of programming from a central interface.
You may wonder how exactly these tools will benefit your application. By utilizing these tools, you are allowing yourself the following advantages:
- Consistency among control modules or sequences of the same type
- Efficient, bulk creation
- One-time approval of a type template
- Bulk modifications of several instances at once
The alternative to using these systems engineering tools is to manually create each and every control module and sequence. This method would undoubtedly require more engineering time while creating more room for error and a lack of consistency. While using these tools will take more upfront planning and consideration, it saves time in creating, testing, and modifying individual instances. The more familiar you become with these tools, the more you can recognize how to utilize them to their full potential and how the upfront planning and decisions result in optimal results with minimal engineering.
Read the blogs below to learn more about how and why Cross Company uses these tools with PCS 7 projects.
What is Process Object View?
During system configuration and, subsequently, during process operation, the Process Object View offers the possibility of editing charts created via the IEA in tabular form (remember Process Tags?).
Selection to open Process Object View.
In the Process Object View, you can edit attributes of individual process tags of the project. To make a change to all process tags of a certain process tag type, you can filter by Process tag type.
Editing Available in Process Object View
When selecting a hierarchy folder from the left plant hierarchy view, any charts in that folder and all folders below are displayed for editing.
Charts in the “GLCS” area of the plant.
This view displays all aspects of the process tag/object across several tabs. Examples include chart or block comments, parameter values, HMI block icon orientation, interconnections, value archiving settings, messages, etc.
Jumps to CFC, SFC, HW Config & WinCC Explorer allow editing of aspects not available for editing in Process Object View.
Attributes are visible as long as they are defined as a "Parameter" or "Signal”. A white background identifies attributes available for editing. If the attribute you desire to change is not listed, this can be set to a parameter or signal by selecting the option in the image below.
Selecting I/O to add to a filtered list of parameters in Process Object View.
You may also notice that the image above uses filters to narrow the view of data. This is just one of many features of Process Object View to optimize bulk editing of your system.
Process Object View Features
Features of Process Object View include:
- Filtering and sorting – this allows the user to narrow the focus of their bulk change (e.g. to a specific block or process tag type) or sort to view relevant data quicker.
- Import/export – this allows the user to export the contents of Process Object View to make edits in a 3rd party software and re-import the results (note: this function ignores any filters applied).
- Split view with display in two windows – this feature is present by dragging the scroll bar to split the screen in two and avoid constant scrolling left or right for ease of viewing and editing.
- Hide columns – this feature allows the user to reduce the amount of data shown in one view for ease of viewing and editing.
- Find and replace – this feature does as it states, allowing the user to find and replace specific values.
- Undo – this feature is uniquely useful in a PCS 7 project since the Undo function is not present in other logic editor tools (e.g. CFC editor or SFC editor).
The screenshot below demonstrates uses of a few of the features described above.
Utilization of Process Object View.
Process Object View is a powerful tool for viewing and making changes to large amounts of data across several charts. Not only can you apply this tool to process tags (CFC charts), you can also apply it to editing Sequential Function Chart Types (SFC Types). SFC Types are like process tag types for sequences. That’s right—there’s a way to bulk-create sequence logic from templates. Read more about it in the blog on SFC Types.