I recently had the opportunity to attend my first Siemens technical conference. The conference, called SITEC, took place May 16-20 in Atlanta, GA, and Kristie Shea and I represented DMC. SITEC is Siemens’ technical conference where solution partners like DMC, distributors, and internal Siemens staff learn about the latest Siemens software and hardware technology solutions. I had a great time seeing what's new and upcoming in the automation world, as well as meeting the people behind the scenes at Siemens. Conferences such as SITEC help keep DMC engineers current with the latest and greatest technologies, as well as maintain relationships with the people we get to work with.
We had the opportunity to take three courses each at the conference. The ‘Remote Connectivity,’ course was an opportunity to learn about the multitude of options Siemens offers for remotely connecting to, viewing, and programming their systems, whether through connected subnets, WLAN/Internet, or phone modems and teleservice adapters. This was perhaps my favorite course of the week; we had a great instructor, it was fast paced, and I had the opportunity to work with some very cool hardware including the SINAUT cellular modem, the SCALANCE S series of routers and VPN servers and clients, and the teleservice adapter modem.
My second course was an introduction to the TIA Portal v11 software – the latest and greatest programming environment for Siemens PLCs, HMIs, and industrial PCs. This is a huge software release for Siemens, with a remarkable amount of new features. The programming environment now integrates PLC programming, HMI development, as well as features previously only available with the WinCC SCADA software, into one piece of software. As a result, the TIA portal 11 is going to significantly decrease the time it takes to develop software for our customers’ automation solutions—as well as make it more enjoyable to program.
Lastly, Kristie and I both took the Advanced Safety Concepts course. We enjoyed the lab-based teaching style along with the self-paced course structure. I got to experiment with various safety hardware systems including the Mobile Panel 277F wireless HMI, safety communications with iDevice and shared devices, the WinAC RTX-F safety-rated industrial PC, and much more.
Not only did Kristie and I walk away with our Siemen’s technology certificates, but with a significant amount of applicable project knowledge that I now get to pass along here at DMC. I am very thankful for the opportunity, and very much hope I get to attend next year’s event.
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