Homepage / Scientific Articles / Converting control system S5 to control system S7 in the pharmaceutical sector

Converting control system S5 to control system S7 in the pharmaceutical sector

Prevention of longer downtimes in production.
Prevention of longer downtimes in production.

The Siemens S5 control systems were discontinued on their 30th birthday in 2015 and this means that availability of spare parts can no longer be guaranteed. This also means that repairs to existing components can no longer be offered. This inevitably means longer downtimes in production if a component fails. In order to prevent this, it is necessary to proactively plan and implement the new generation of control systems at an early point.

In the servicing sector as well, there are less and less staff who can service S5 control systems if it comes to the crunch. Detailed concept planning is indispensable in order to minimise the risks and the associated change of software if you switch to an S7 control system. The hardware can generally be converted simply. lt is recommended that the software be re-written allowing for the existing SS software.


S5 to Siemens S7 conversion strategy
lt is possible to take recourse to the existing wiring in the switch cubicles when converting the system. After conversion of the control system, it will be necessary to conduct a complete signal test in order to eliminate the possibility of any cablin errors when reconfiguring the wiring. This involves conducting qualification steps IQ/OQ in full. Consequently it is then also possible to use new communication pathways for the distribut­ed periphery and for the HMls (e.g. Profinet based on TCP/IP).

lt makes sense in this case to re-write the software on the basis of S7 technology since you can and should then utilise all capabilities of the new control system. All qualification steps IQ/OQ must be conducted in full owing to re-writing the control system software. Several test steps should be scheduled and conducted, above all with the simulation test of the control system software. No software module test need be conducted if tried and tested software modules are used.


History of the operating concepts
Operating controls of the series illustrated are still frequently used. However, these series have also been discontinued. Here as well, adequate supply of spare parts and repairs are no longer guaranteed. Re-programming existing operating controls requires special knowledge and appropriate software. There are less and less servicing staff available for this gene­ration of operating panels.


New operating concepts and devices
The new TP xxx comfort devices from the Siemens company are currently on the market. Programming is performed using the TIA project planning tool. This means that, here as well, soft­ware project planning must be re-written if the control system is converted. The best communication protocol for these units is Profinet on the basis of TCP/IP. This makes possible modern communication paths and web technology which offers the option of remote access. lt is necessary to comply with the installation recesses if carrying out conversion in existing cubicles.


Differences between the "old" and "new" control systems
Even though the old control system mainly still foresaw an electrical ring structure, the current technology uses optical networking of the control systems. Besides extending the possible range to up to 40,000 m, this achieves a far higher data transfer rate.

With its «Profinet», Siemens provides the communication protocol for the new control systems. Separate communication processors (CPs) can be used for interworking with many other bus systems and protocols. This allows complete flexibility as regards components, network structures and protocols.


  • Old SS control systems can no longer be serviced with new spare parts. This may result in long downtimes and resultant financial losses if a component fails.
  • Using state-of-the-art S7 technology guarantees high system functionality and both supply of spare parts and flexibility.
  • Admittedly, switching to a more modern control system brings with it a major effort and a short system downtime, but this ensures future operation.

Chemgineering will be happy to support you in the planning and implementation of various automation solutions tailored to your specific needs. Thanks to our many years of experience in automation technol­ogy for the pharmaceutical environment and the excellent collaboration with system suppliers, we guarantee that our customers will consistently enjoy the latest technology.


Daniel Klein|Project Engineer Automation|Chemgineering|The Technology Designers




No comments found.

Chemgineering Business Design AG | Binningerstrasse 2 | 4142 Münchenstein | T +41 61 467 89 00 | F +41 61 467 89 01 | www.chemgineering.com | info@chemgineering.com