Thread Starter

Paul Jager

List Members,

There is a company in Europe named VIPA that has some interesting products. "": . We have first hand experience the products work well.

Their market is as a Siemens clone, fully compatible, more compact, higher performance, better price and service (deliveries, specials, new products)

Anyone care to comment on the chances for success in the North American market?


Paul Jager, P.Eng.

(Moderator's note: While this post is fairly commercial, we thought an interesting discussion might develop from it. In general, please do not expect to use the forum for market research!)

Michael Griffin

I saw their stuff a while ago, but the 300 series is new. Are they actually 101% compatible though? Can you use Siemens modules with it for things VIPA doesn't have a module for?
VIPA doesn't have the distribution and representative network that Siemens has. However, it might be attractive to the OEM market where someone wants to sell a standard machine design which incorporates a PLC, but is looking to save some money.
The final customer would have the comfort of knowing that it was "just like" (or at least very similar) to the Siemens PLCs which they were already using. If the final customer insisted on a genuine Siemens PLC (at a higher cost, of course), the substitution could be made without a lot of re-engineering or re-programming.

I can also see various machine builders buying VIPA I/O modules to use with their genuine Siemens CPUs, and hoping the final customer doesn't notice the difference. (The module labels are on the side of the modules, where you can't see them once they are installed). Maybe the customer won't care?

Does this now make the S7-300 an "open controller" (or at least as open as a PC with Windows)? You could split quite a few hairs over this argument. You can buy "compatable" hardware from two different companies, which is the rule most people would apply for a "de-facto" standard. What happens if a few more companies come out with S7 clones?
IBM pioneered the current "PC compatable" hardware market by accident. It would be curious to see the same thing happen in the PLC market. It is interesting to remember that it was the PC designs which *didn't* get cloned which got pushed out of the market.

Michael Griffin
London, Ont. Canada

Coeckelbergh Marcel

Is the software 100% compatibel with S7 cpu's. This because i have plans to buy the software and use it for the next projects.

Coeckelbergh Marcel
Crown Baele
We use Vipa and Helmholz (similar story to Vipa) quite a bit, we first used Helmholz about 8 Years ago and the stuff is still working fine. The I/O modules tend to be 100% compatible with Siemens (for example in the Hardware config) but comms cards are a bit different, you normally need different FB's etc and sometimes 'trick' the Hardware config by telling it the card is an analogue I/O Card, but sometimes Siemens do this (a good example is early implementations of the Moby ASM470 system) and other manufacturers such as Phoenix (Interbus Card)
I can recommend the Helmholz stuff, and would say the Vipa stuff looks as good but I don't have the experience of it to recommend it.
PS. Should mention we are based in the UK.