Integrated Process Plant Management Software

  • March 08, 2013
  • Siemens
  • Feature

Overview of Siemens COMOS

By Bill Lydon, Editor

Siemens COMOS 10 is an enterprise platform for the process industry that integrates functions including automation design, plant engineering, operations, and enterprise interfaces. COMOS 10 is designed to handle large volumes of data. The integration of process engineering and automation is enhanced with a new interface that ensures a consistent, bidirectional exchange of information between COMOS and the Simatic PCS 7 process control system.

Siemens continues to make large investments in software for manufacturing industries aimed at increasing the productivity of design, engineering, commissioning, operations, and maintenance in discrete industries. Now, with COMOS, Siemens is providing this type of software for the process industries. This Siemens Industry Automation Division strategy has been supported with significant acquisitions aimed at creating a leadership position in the industrial software market with the acquisition of UGS in the United States (2007), innotec in Germany (2008), Elan Software Systems in France (2009), Active Tecnologia em Sistemas de Automação in Brazil (2011), and Vistagy the United States (2012).  

I recently attended a briefing on Siemens COMOS software in Boston, MA and subsequently had more detailed demonstrations in November 2012 at the SPS IPC Drives exhibition in Nuremberg, Germany. The following is an overview of the COMOS product.

COMOS utilizes XML business system interfaces

The COMOS enterprise platform features integrated data and document management enabling users to control large quantities of data quickly and easily. New functions allow project teams to collaborate with each other across different systems and locations, enabling parallel processing of work. This increases the efficiency in engineering, operations, and asset management.

COMOS 10 enables the integration of various software solutions, such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and process control systems. COMOS utilizes a common platform and database for the entire life cycle of a process plant. The data of all applications and functions are stored centrally in object oriented form in the COMOS database providing consistency. Changes made in one application are immediately available in all other applications. Connection to third-party DCS and other systems is enabled by open system architecture interfaces.

The COMOS Process component combines applications for creating process data and all aspects of process engineering. At the early design stage, plant layout data can be used to generate process flow diagrams which are subsequently represented in more detailed piping and instrumentation diagrams. COMOS Process supports quality-controlled pipe engineering and pipe spec management, conforming to international industry standards.

The COMOS Automation component supports electrical engineering for plant and equipment including automation systems, thus covering all processes relevant to electrical, instrumentation and control engineering. This includes logical inter-object links and automated sequences that are graphically mapped in diagrams.  Hydraulic, as well as pneumatic, workflow schemes are created.

The COMOS Operations component is comprised of solutions for efficient asset management. Using the common database, all data from the engineering phase is available for operations and maintenance. Interfaces are provided to electronically update information on field and shop maintenance work.

A new interface ensures a consistent, bidirectional exchange of information between COMOS and Simatic PCS 7 process control system. This allows for parallel and collaborative engineering starting with the development process and continuing with the engineering of the mechanical and electrical systems through to the automation level. Siemens claims that initial pilot projects have produced time savings of up to 12.5 percent.

COMOS has added function options specifically for the pharmaceutical industry. For example, the required pharmaceutical industry document structure is created automatically in the design and engineering phase. The entire plant is also completely qualified throughout all engineering and operating phases with the COMOS PQM (Project Quality Management) module.

Thoughts & Observations

Siemens is investing and delivering products to achieve the company’s higher level vision of software that incorporates the entire lifecycle of automation, controls, and operations. Anton S. Huber, Dipl.-Ing. Chief Executive Officer of Siemens AG Industry Sector, Industry Automation Division, noted at a press conference presentation at the 2012 SPS Drives in Nuremberg that Siemens supports the entire industrial value creation process with software tools.

Siemens COMOS 10 is indented for the process industries and is analogous to Siemens PLM for the discrete industries. Siemens PLM is being adopted by some major manufacturers to improve operations.

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