Can Siemens PCS7 be considered as a True DCS?


Thread Starter

Dr. R. Murugesan

As a specialist Control System Professional, I am involved in the selection of Industrial Automation Systems for Power Plants of varying capacities.

Against our bid enquiries for Distributed Control Systems (that should have superior features with Optimisation, Hot Swapping, Integral SoE, Compliance to 'Open Architecture or with Fast Ethernet', vendors of all kinds submit their offerings.

All the Vendors claim their offering is a true DCS and 'can perform the assigned role'. It appears the following products are not truly comparable in character and functional capability.

Siemens PCS7, XPadd
Metso DPU4F
Yokogawa CS100
Honeywell Experiod, UC900

I would be very thankful for valuable inputs from professionals on the above products justifying them as true DCS or otherwise.

Thanks and regards

Dr. R. Murugesan
[email protected]
> Honeywell Experiod, UC900

Two different products.
Experion is a DCS.
The HC-900 is a hybrid controller. It has redundant controller & power supplies, but not redundant I/O. I/O limitation is on the order of 2,000 points.

HC is great for what we use it for, but it isn't a DCS.


Dr. R. Murugesan

Dear Mr. Bud,

Thank you for your response with brief but valuable info on Honeywell HC900; truly, HC900 cannot be classified as a true DCS.

Several automation solutions {DCS, PLC, Hybrid or PC-based with packages like WonderWare} can serve a given set of plant automation needs. The overall architecture capability, processing performance, operational convenience and readily meeting future needs like integrating with an ERP cannot be ensured by all such options. A true DCS is expected to cater to all such needs.

In the light of above, will you or other interested professionals post your valuable inputs to my mail posted on March 24, 2007?

Thanks and regards,

Dr. R. Murugesan
[email protected]
DCS = Distributed Control System
This is the pure definition of a DCS. Your bid inquiry is someones definition on what they want / need for their plant.

Too often engineers get hung up on generic nomenclature (PLC, DCS, PAC, etc.) Today many of the control products on the market can in fact be implemented in a DCS configuration.

I'm not a big fan of the Siemens product line but the ability for controller to communicate with each other and HMI's allows you to distribute control among many controller working together to run your plant. Thus multiple PACs / PLCs can be setup in a distributed control architecture.

The other items you mention are by definition "other" features of the control system. Some systems work better at distributing control and I/O, while others work better at a single task. Every system has strengths and weaknesses so you should utilize the system that best accomplish what you need in a system.
Dear Dr. Murugesan

The PCS 7 system from Siemens is a DCS. All the features and functions needed to be a DCS are designed into the product. We compete head-to-head with the other major vendor's DCSs, including Honeywell's Experion PKS, Emerson's Delta V, Foxboro's I/A Series, Yokogawa's Centum CS 3000 and ABB's System 800xA.

Some of the components of PCS 7, for example, S7-400 series controllers and WinCC software, are also sold separately and compete directly with other vendor's PLC and HMI products. This can cause confusion.

I'm interested in learning why you're considering PCS 7 for a power application, though. PCS 7 is designed for the chemical process industries (chemicals, refining, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, industrial gases, glass, cement, etc.)

Siemens latest DCS for power applications is the Siemens Power Plant Automation T3000 (SPPA-T3000). The System has been designed to perform power plant automation tasks: turbine control, boiler control including boiler protection, balance of plant (BOP), etc.

Victor Bast, Application Engineer
Siemens Energy & Automation
Process Automation Systems

[email protected]

Dr. R. Murugesan {India}

Dear Mr. Victor,

Thank you for your clarifications.

Being associated with Siemens, veritably you chose to highlight the aspects of Siemens system in comparison with or superior to contemporary offereings of other system Vendors in question.

For reasons best known to Siemens India and their System Integrators (through whom only Siemens systems are offered in India!!), only PCS7 platform is offered even for Power Plant applications.

Would appreciate your detailed comparative product feature tabulation with Siemens PPA T3000 for Power Plant Automation (comparing with ABB 800xA, Honeywell ExperionPKS, Foxboro IA and Yokogawa CS3000 platform solutions).

Thank you for your support in our quest.


Dr. R. Murugesan
Good guess, almost right! TELEPERM XP (TXP) system was renamed SPPA-T2000 by Siemens PG in April 2006. 'T' is for Teleperm. There's an SPPA-T1000, T2000 and T3000.

Andrey Zolotavin

For some reasons from the list disappear famous Emerson Ovation, which is truly DCS, specifically developed and installed in Power Generation applications.

Andrey Zolotavin
Dear Dr. Murugesan,

This is to highlight that the METSO DPU4F is the real DCS with the Built in SOE and High Speed Closed loop control (less than 50msec). We have used in our 500Mwe NTPC Project and it is running satisfactorily without any difficulties. HC 900 is controller, and it cannot be compared with the true DCS. Regarding the CS 100 and other ABB versions, I do not have work experience.


Dear Victor,

Within the Siemens family (I am too a member) we have different DCS systems. One is the PC based automation system for TPP/ Combined/ Gas turbines/ plants- TELEPERM XP Add (T3000)

The other one, 'PCS7' system apart from chemicals, refining, oil and gas, pharma, ind. gases, glass, cement, it is also used for Hydro Electric Power Projects. This system is capable of SoE, machine monitoring & control & other central functions.

Thus both of the systems finds place in Power Plant applications.


Samit Mathur
Dear Samit
I feel you are not aware that Teleperm XP add and T3000 are two different product and based on two different technological platform. Teleperm XP add is named as SPPA T1000.
Siemens PCS7 is 100 times better as compare to T1000 or Teleperm XP add. Teleperm XP add uses Simatic I/Os with CP 5613 interface.
Power Generation has presentley 2 systems SPPA T2000 earlier known as Teleperm XP and SPPA T3000. These two systems are german made system. T 1000 i.e. Teleperm Xp add is Indian made system with virtual controller. A PC loaded with softwares. It has a soft controller not the microprocessor or Embedded electronics based.

Durgesh Jha
Dr. Murugesan,

You are interested in comparisons even though you have many years of working experience. The kind of job that you are into should have made you an eminent personality and should have refrained you from drawing conclusions. METSO DPU4F for your information is not a DCS but the controller of maxDNA DCS.

Please stand corrected.
Dr. Murugesan,

maxDNA DCS has the largest market share (over 65%) in the INDIAN POWER INDUSTRY (as per ARC report. This has built-in features like SOE, etc. as listed in your mail.

Many of the large installations in India and abroad are working satisfactorily (including many NTPCs in India).

You are working for a reputed consulting company and are still struggling to find out the comparisons is strange. At the first place most of the DCS names listed by you are incorrect and you intend to draw conclusions on suitability, credibility and worthiness of the System.

Request you to refresh your basics before drawing conclusions.

Well, Dr. R. Murugesan, the most important thing nowadays is what exactly is your requirement, because the systems are very flexible. For example, you want to have hot swapping, as you have mentioned. It is available in Siemens with hotswap backplane buses, which means if a card is defective you can replace the card online, but similarly if you need a system where you can add new cards, then you need additional online configuration software.

So it is important that you know what exactly you need. You can get support and help by contacting the vendors, they will give you presentation of their system acording to your requirement.

Hope my reply helped you.

minhajie @ hotmail. com
Dear Durgesh,

I want some technical details for SEIRUG-P hardware, which is used for SPAA-t1000.

Please let me know where can I get docs related to SPAA-t1000.



SPPA-T3000 is a German made system, but around 25 Indians have worked in developing this system since March, 2001. The developement of this system is still being carried out in India (Gurgaon) as well as Germany. There are 25-30 Indians still working in this project and directly involved in software developement, integration, testing and training of the Control system.
My industry colleagues tell me that some controllers cannot be updated with fresh (i.e. additional) controls (e.g. say 20 new PID controls plus associated logic) while in live mode. This may also include other items like new operating displays or even the addition of controllers and operator stations.

A true DCS supports full on-line expansion at almost all levels and does not require system or controller shutdowns to achieve this.

I suggest you get detailed information from the various vendors and then decide what are your minimal requirements and then determine which vendors meet those.

Not all DCS systems (or those that claim to be DCS systems) are equal!


Dr. R. Murugesan

With the implementation of some versions of Advanced Process Controls (APC) using the DCS infrastructure, it is widely reported that fiscal benefits can accrue.

If we can justify the benefits in terms of ROI in months, DCS with best features can be selected.

I would appreciate elite readers to send in valuable information on APCs implemented with specific optimization packages for concerned process units and the benefits reaped in terms of ROI.

Best regards