Originally authored and published by Siemens Industry, Inc.
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Oil and gas operators still using Siemens SIMATIC S5 controllers could be missing out on the many digitalization capabilities and benefits of the more modern SIMATIC S7 controller technology, in particular the S7-1200 and S7-1500 controllers. Enhancements include faster execution speeds, more compact sizes, integrated security and safety features, greater scalability and improved communications and diagnostics. The TIA Portal, a common software engineering framework, can cut development times as much as 30 percent. By migrating to the SIMATIC S7 platform, oil and gas operators can gain new efficiencies, cost-savings, more operating visibility, a sharper competitive edge and, ultimately, improved profitability.
When introduced in 1979, the Siemens SIMATIC S5 controller platform set a high standard for features, capabilities and performance in the control and automation of oil and gas operations. Its deployment across the industry has spanned upstream exploration and production as well as midstream transmission and downstream refining operations.
In fact, vast numbers of Siemens SIMATIC S5-enabled systems are still providing reliable value in oil and gas applications worldwide, just as they are in factories and process industries. But with the oil and gas industry’s urgency to boost efficiencies and lower costs, using outdated controllers might be hiding a growing raft of issues that should be addressed sooner than later:
On the other hand, the Siemens SIMATIC S7 portfolio, especially the latest S7-1200 and S7-1500 controllers, can provide a wide range of enhanced digitalization capabilities in much smaller form factors with ruggedized options for harsh environments. Compact size is especially important in oil and gas applications, which often must operate in cramped quarters, such as offshore platforms. Mechanical system upgrades are often good opportunities to upgrade controllers, too.
The advanced capabilities of SIMATIC S7 controllers can transform oil and gas operations in ways that can turn these issues into advantages resulting in faster operational execution, a sharper competitive edge and, above all, greater profitability via lower costs and higher productivity.
Among those advantages:
The Siemens SIMATIC S7 portfolio provides powerful controllers that can address most all oil and gas application requirements. These SIMATIC S7 controllers are also available as fail-safe versions for implementation of extremely critical applications.
When introducing the SIMATIC S7 platform, Siemens took care to ensure that customers’ S5 migrations could be as painless as possible with minimal disruptions. First was to enable them to reuse much if not all their existing intellectual property. Second was to provide tools to help port that code. And third was to assure them that they could migrate at their own pace.
With proper planning, experienced assistance and a phased approach, oil and gas operators can upgrade their facilities’ automation capabilities with the latest S7 controller technology yet risk little or no disruption to current operations.
These two scenarios can help explain how that’s done:
The increased capabilities in automation, control, communications, maintenance, diagnostics and operational visibility that come with the SIMATIC S7 platform have been proven in thousands of extremely sophisticated and complex deployments worldwide.
Of course, that’s not to mention the TIA Portal’s software engineering time- and cost-savings, which customers consistently report to be 30 percent, often more.
With the oil and gas industry’s urgency to drive new efficiencies throughout their operations, it’s time to consider migrating to the SIMATIC S7 platform. Such a move can help operators become not only much more competitive but also much more profitable.
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