Rethinking Panel-mounted Push Buttons & Signaling Devices

  • October 26, 2015
  • Siemens
  • Feature

By Bill Lydon, Editor

This year Siemens launched a new line of panel controls and indicators named the SIRIUS ACT. Curious as to why Siemens would make such a significant investment to redesign a mundane, very traditional product, I contacted Juergen Duemmler, Product Marketing Manager,Digital FactoryControls Products, to learn more.

Duemmler explained that it is appropriate to overhaul a product line periodically based on learning from customers, new design methods, leveraging new technology, and applying new manufacturing methods. Further, Duemmler explained how knowledge gained from experience with the existing products was used to design the SIRIUS ACT product line. Sirius Act is a modular product line that enables users to choose from four styles of plastic and metal devices to meet specific application requirements. In addition, Siemens is incorporating industrial networking capability into the product line.


The Sirius Act mounting system is designed for faster and more efficient installation of devices like selector switches, keyed switches, and potentiometers. The screwed clamping method incorporates a twist prevention design to ensure reliable installation, eliminating the requirement for keyed/notched holes.This is accomplished by inserting devices through the panel hole and snapping it into a holder located on the inside the panel. It is secured by tightening a screw of a clever new clamping design. The holder base accepts modules for panel device functions including communications options. The front of the holder features a range of actuators and indicators, while the rear holder has slots to accept contact and LED modules. There is sufficient space to accommodate up to three modules side by side and two contact modules, one behind the other. The modules are available with screw terminals, spring-type terminals or solder pin connections.

Users have a choice of a wide range of pushbuttons, emergency stop buttons, selector switches, key switches, acoustic (audible alarm) and optical indicators. The diverse range in metal and plastic versions for front panel mounting can also be combined flexibly with different rear-mounting contact and LED modules. Outputs can be used to energize indicator lights.In the near term, DIN rail/panel-mounted AS-Interface standard modules are available with 4 Digital Input/4 Digital Output and 4 Digital Input/3 Digital Output. With the modules for front plate mounting, applications up to SIL 3 as per IEC 62061, SIL as per IEC 61508 and PL e (Cat. 4) as per ISO 13849-1 can be implemented depending on the connection of devices and actuators.

Communications Options

Siemens currently offers a front plate mounted SIRIUS ACT series EMERGENCY STOP device with an AS-Interface option to the AS-Interface bus system according to ISO 13850. The plan is to expand the line of panel devices that plug into SIRIUS ACT components to support AS-Interfaceand IO-Linkfor simplify panel wiring. Duemmler noted that PROFINET will be available in the future.

Sirius Act devices are installed without the need for notches with a new mounting design. Devices are secured using a screwdriver.

Holder base grabs the cabinet with 8 anti-rotation spikes and has a grounding spike (at the top) which penetrates the enclosure or panel.

Installation Video


The Sirius Act line of commanding and signaling devices, which meet IP69K specifications when properly installed, are appropriate for potentially explosive atmospheres and is unaffected by dust, oils, caustic solutions and extreme environmental influences. Sirius Act can safely be cleaned with a high-pressure waterjet at high-temperatures.

Online Configurator

Siemens provides an online configurator for efficient application engineering and ordering. Single devices, housings and inscriptions are defined online to meet customer requirements. An automatically generated customer-specific configuration CIN order reference number enables customers to reorder their configuration at any time without having to provide any further details. The online configurator provides download options for documentation, exploded views and connection diagram.

Thoughts & Observations

Major shifts in technology get the headlines but there are many ways to improve productivity, function, and effectiveness. SIRIUS ACT is a great example of using innovation to improve essential control components.

Industrial networks are starting to be added to panel components. Users benefit from direct data linkages to automation systems because of simplified installation; plus more information can be fed into control and automation systems.

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