The Siemens Industrial PC (IPC) offers flexibility in the automation world by providing different form factors for a computer that can be installed directly on a machine that lives on the plant floor. Some IPCs come with a built-in screen, which can be used as a normal computer screen, but also doubles as an HMI.
The IPC has several different uses including SCADA, Software PLC, and mobile applications. There are several different product families with the IPC portfolio and all are configurable to meet the specific needs of the plant floor.
In the SCADA world, the IPC has available built-in redundancy to meet the high demands of a SCADA system. They are also system tested to reduce the overall testing, validation, and integration in the SCADA system.
The IPC can be used as a soft PLC, where the IPC is used in place of the traditional PLC CPU. The program and all calculations take place in the IPC and then remote I/O such as the ET200SP is used to carry out the I/O functions of the PLC. This is an advantage in several ways, including different high-level programming languages, elevated system availability, as well as more security when using a PC.
To use the IPC as an HMI, runtime software must be installed on the system. The advantage of using an IPC is that control and visualization can all be done with the same device, which can replace several devices on the plant floor. The IPC can be integrated into TIA Portal with all the other automation devices as well. This can be helpful when using the IPC as a software controller and helps with organization by having all devices centrally located in TIA Portal.
The programming of the Soft PLC or the HMI portion of the IPC is done the same way that a normal PLC or HMI is done within TIA Portal.
There are so many advantages with the Siemens IPC. It can be tailored to YOUR applications and an support almost any automation need on the plant floor. From a soft PLC to SCADA, the IPC can handle the task!