WHAT IS S5/S7 MIGRATION?
Migration, as we understand it, means in a shortcut the exchange of control systems. It is difficult to say whether the word “migration” is the right one in this context, but it has become accepted and is used in the industrial automation industry.
Migration from S5 to S7 means replacing the old type of control based on S5 series controllers with a new control system based on S7 series controllers (currently S7-1200 and S7-1500 series). The key point of the migration is to maintain the full functionality of the old system in the new one, very often the customers also implement additional options (expanded diagnostics, communication with superordinate systems, etc.).
WHY DO I HAVE TO DO MIGRATION?
Perversely, questions can be asked: “Why go with the car for periodic inspections?”, “Why buy a new TV if the old one still works?” etc.? But back to the point, the control systems, like all devices, are getting older, and thus the probability of their failure increases. In addition, the S5 series is withdrawn from sale, and in the next few years it will no longer be supported by Siemens. Spare parts are becoming increasingly difficult to come by, especially specialized cards (communication, counters, cams, etc.), and their prices are often several times higher than current equivalents. In our professional practice we have encountered situations where the cost of repairing the old control system based on SIMATIC® S5 exceeded the cost of migration, which was not planned and carried out in a timely manner.
A brief historical overview
Siemens SIMATIC® S5 controllers were introduced to the market in 1979. Over the years they have become very popular, enabling the implementation of not only simple applications, but also advanced and complex control systems.
The 1990s was a rapid development of information technology, both in terms of software and hardware. Siemens followed this development with the introduction of the SIMATIC® S7 controller series, whose tool software was now available on the Windows® platform.
Siemens S7-1200 and S7-1500 controllers were introduced a few years ago. These units are very efficient, have advanced diagnostic options and allow for easy data exchange with superordinate systems, among others via built-in OPC UA servers. From the beginning, these controllers are accompanied by the new system software TIA Portal. Its greatest advantage is the integration within a single platform of tools enabling programming of PLCs, HMI panels and drives in both standard and safety versions.