Graphical simulators using WinCC


Thread Starter

Donald Tan

I´m an electrical engineering student from Singapore. I was tasked to embark on project to create graphical simulators in WinCC for ladder programs written in STEP 7.

The ladder program is entered in STEP 7 and downloaded to S7-300 PLC prior to the simulation.

The graphical simulator in WINCC will have to provide an operator panel to act as inputs(i.e. mimic pushbuttons and switches) to the plc program.

The animation of the process (i.e. movement of conveyor belt or dispensing of tablets) in WinCC would be driven by the output of the PLC.

Would appreciate if you could provide more info and comment on whether WinCC is a suitable tool to implement the above project.

Would it be possible to replace the actual PLC with S7-PLCSIM. How do we download ladder programs to S7-PLCSIM and access its inputs and outputs from WINCC.

I am currently assigned to use WINCC version 3.1. Is the graphical animation capabilities of WINCC ver 5.1 much more superior than ver 3.1

Donald Tan

Daniel Chartier

Hello Donald;
You can use WinCC V3.x to simulate the process, and graphics have not evolved very much from version 3 to version 5 especially if you restrict your animations to object properties and direct connections/tags. Using scripts would be more arduous under version 3.
You can use "smart objects" like sliders and input/output fields to generate values for the tags you wish to control.
Linking with a working PLC will work very well, of course.
Now, I know the PLCSIM can be linked to version 4 of WinCC. Do a search for item number 126428 in the Siemens support page for more details:

I have never tried it with version 3. See if the appnote above helps you out.
Hi Donald

If you can use WinCC 5.1 instead of v3.1 then you will gain quite a few advantages.

1. The performance will be much better
2. The configuration is way easier in v5.1 as there are wizards and templates to do basic tasks
3. You can integrate the WinCC project into your Step7 project. This will allow you to simply drag the symbols from your PLC program into WinCC and avoid the need to manually create the IO tags.

WinCC is a SCADA which are designed to monitor and control PLC's. The fact that you are using an S7 PLC makes WinCC the ideal choice, well WinCC v5.1 anyway :) As with any SCADA, to read/write to a PLC all you need to do is create a tag in the SCADA which is looking at the relevant area in the PLC. As I've already mentioned, with WinCC v5.x and S7 PLC's, these tags can be simply copied from the S7 program rather than recreated.

You will have no problem using PLCSIM instead of an actual PLC. I do this myself as I don't always have a PLC to hand. All you need to do is start PLCSIM and download your program to it. If you look on the Siemens website, under the support section there are masses of FAQs and one of them details how to do this (sorry, I don't know the FAQ number or web link of hand). From the WinCC point, it makes no odds if the PLC program is running in a PLC or PLCSIM, the behaviour is the same.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your project
Where can I find out more info about WinCC ver 3.1? I can't seem to find any in the Siemens website.