Help with Siemens Software

Tim Ganz

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Dec 2010
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We got a machine in that cam from a division we closed several years ago and we got the machine running but now I am going through all the support items like prints, software, etc.

I have many versions of Siemens Software and need help figuring out what they are. The machine has a WinCC application that is version 6 I think and it's 1 server and 4 web clients running on thin client hardware.

There are a couple Siemens PLC for Aux operations but the main PLC that runs the machine is a Controllogix.

As an example on some of the software I have 3 boxes. one is Simatic Win CC Advanced V12 (Upgrade V11->V12). The second box is Simatic WinCC V7.2 (Upgrade V7.0->7.2 Incl Options.The thrird box is Step 7 Professional 2010 / V12 Combo (Upgrade 210 /V11->2010/V12.

Each box has a couple CD's and a Dongle. I am confused about the WinCCV7.2 box and then a Win CC Advanced V12. The thing is all this was in it's original shipping package and shipped together? Is WinCC and WinCC advanced 2 different software packages? is that why the version numbers are so far apart?

I have another shipping package that has the same version numbers as above but are SP1 and have no Dingle(Thinner box) so I assume these are just service packs and work with the same Dongle? is this correct?

One of the hin boxes in the service pack shipment has update for WinCC Advanced and Update for WinCC Comfort/ What is WinCC Comfort?

There is also a box with a disc titled WinCC ProAgent 7.2

Can anyone shed some light on this. I have a bunch more boxes with other versions also. I thought Rockwell stuff could be confusing but this beats all.
 
Each box has a couple CD's and a Dongle. I am confused about the WinCCV7.2 box and then a Win CC Advanced V12. The thing is all this was in it's original shipping package and shipped together?
Even of the software is quite different, it may be shipped together.

Is WinCC and WinCC advanced 2 different software packages? is that why the version numbers are so far apart?
Yes.
"WinCC" is 3 generations.
Up to WinCC v7. (probably the one you have that is labelled WinCC only).
WinCC Flexible from 2004 to 2008.
WinCC from v10 and higher (part of TIA). (The one you have that is labelled WinCC Advanced).

I have another shipping package that has the same version numbers as above but are SP1 and have no Dingle(Thinner box) so I assume these are just service packs and work with the same Dongle? is this correct?
Correct.

One of the hin boxes in the service pack shipment has update for WinCC Advanced and Update for WinCC Comfort/ What is WinCC Comfort?
WinCC in TIA comes in 4 variants
Basic. Only for the low-end basic panels.
Comfort. Also for the high-end comfort panels.
Advanced. Also for PC-based HMI applications.
Professional. Also for Client/Server PC based HMI applications.

There is also a box with a disc titled WinCC ProAgent 7.2
That is an option for WinCC v7. It is for managing alarms centrally (as far as I know).
 
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If I were in your situation I would try real hard to get the source PLC and HMI code for everything.
Then verify that the source code matches what currently runs on the machine.
When that goes OK you have a chance of supporting the machine for now.

WinCC v6 is quite old, and ought to be upgraded at least to v7.
You have an upgrade from v7 to v7.2, but not from v6 to v7.
That the machine runs with WinCC v6 and you have an array of not-matching upgrade packages is not a good sign.
An upgrade license is only good if you also have the previous license from which you must upgrade from.

Are there also operator panels ? If so what types ?

Bonus info: I bet that the WinCC v6 applications connects to the ControlLogix by means of OPC. So there should be an RSLinx license as well.
 
I would be confused if I went back to AB products now after so much time with Siemens!

I will make some assumptions about the software packages you have but I cannot be sure they will be 100% correct.

As far as WinCC. It is a SCADA package. So I assume there is a master PC or HMI somewhere that has an overview or information for the line. I have also seen it as an operator interface to run a machine but it was a very poor interface (may have been an issue with the machine builder though). I don't know much about this product

Step 7 2010 prof / Advanced V12
This will be the software for programming your PLC's. Simatic manager 2010 professional can program 300 and 400 series PLCs.
TIA Portal V12 (current version is V13) can program 300's, 1200's and 1500's (possible 400's but I have never used one).

WinCC Advanced V12
This would be for programming you HMI panels for basic machine operation e.g. TP1200, MP277

I think this is a simple overview you were looking for.
 
If I were in your situation I would try real hard to get the source PLC and HMI code for everything.
Then verify that the source code matches what currently runs on the machine.
When that goes OK you have a chance of supporting the machine for now.

WinCC v6 is quite old, and ought to be upgraded at least to v7.
You have an upgrade from v7 to v7.2, but not from v6 to v7.
That the machine runs with WinCC v6 and you have an array of not-matching upgrade packages is not a good sign.
An upgrade license is only good if you also have the previous license from which you must upgrade from.

Are there also operator panels ? If so what types ?

Bonus info: I bet that the WinCC v6 applications connects to the ControlLogix by means of OPC. So there should be an RSLinx license as well.

The machine is one HP server and 3 thin clients on an ethernet network. The thin clients connect to the server and Win CC using a web browser and the WinCC web navigator.

You are correct the Controllogix connection is OPC using RSLinx to do that.

I read something about newer versions of WinCC having their own driver for Controllogix and RsLinx OPC is not needed is this true?

How could I get an upgrade set from V6 to V7? If I start a Siemens support contract would that cover it?

What's up with the Dongles? is there no software based activation method with Siemens? Just a piece of info but the running application server does not have any Dongles?
 
A lot of your confusion probably comes from the fact that someone at Siemens had the bright idea to expand "WinCC" from the name of one product, to basically the brand name for all of their HMI software. Gotta love marketing!

The machine is one HP server and 3 thin clients on an ethernet network. The thin clients connect to the server and Win CC using a web browser and the WinCC web navigator.

You are correct the Controllogix connection is OPC using RSLinx to do that.

I read something about newer versions of WinCC having their own driver for Controllogix and RsLinx OPC is not needed is this true?

Yes. All of the WinCC TIA (V11+) versions support Controllogix comms, and I believe WinCC Scada versions v7 or newer do as well.

How could I get an upgrade set from V6 to V7? If I start a Siemens support contract would that cover it?
You would need to upgrade all of the WinCC v6 licenses and options you have. I'm guessing that means at a minimum, the main scada server, as well as Web Navigator (for the 4 web clients). I think the "Server" option may be required for more than 3 clients, so that may exist as well. At least some of those licenses would be different depending on your tag count (more tags = more expensive, obviously).

Regardless, a Siemens sales rep can help you figure out what you have, and what you would need to upgrade. Getting you current would probably be the first part of a support contract, but then the contract could keep you updated from there.

What's up with the Dongles? is there no software based activation method with Siemens? Just a piece of info but the running application server does not have any Dongles?

I've only ever seen dongles actually required for the asian version of WinCC Scada. If you have the "normal" version of WinCC v6 (and for all the other software), the licenses should be stored in a program called Automation License Manager (ALM). It mainly stores the licenses locally, but there are also ways to configure it to share/transfer licenses between computers, if needed.

The licenses do often come on USB sticks originally, though, if thats what you mean by "all the dongles". You simply open up ALM and transfer the license from the stick onto your hard drive. If the system is currently running, this has probably alread been done. They may have kept the sitcks around for documentation purposes. The important thing to hang on to is the certificate with the shiny/holographic background. This is the REAL license, and has the serial # info, etc. If you ever lose/delete/corrupt the floating licenses, you can call tech support and the info on those certificates allows them to be regenerated.

In the last year or so, Siemens has started pushing their online download option, instead of mailing USB sticks halfway across the world. I've had mixed results with it so far. On one project, the plant engineers couldn't download their licenses because their firewall blocked it, and their IT department wouldn't change any settings to help. I've also had plenty of projects where the purchasing manager's email was included as the person who would download the licenses, and they somehow never got into the hands of the engineering team. Everyone had to jump through hoops to get the email addresses changed out.
 
What's up with the Dongles? is there no software based activation method with Siemens? Just a piece of info but the running application server does not have any Dongles?
Siemens supply licenses in USB flash drives, when you install software you just transfer license from usb flash drive to pc, that's what your dongles are.
 
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A Siemens license is transferred from floppy disk or USB stick to the target PC, much the same way as Rockwell EVRSI licenses used to. Before it was changed to "hosting" by factorytalk licensing.

Yes. All of the WinCC TIA (V11+) versions support Controllogix comms, and I believe WinCC Scada versions v7 or newer do as well.
For WinCC v6-v7, the only way to communicate with non-Siemens devices is by OPC.
Only WinCC Flexible and TIA WinCC has a native Ethernet/IP driver.

I would stick to OPC, even if you upgrade to TIA WinCC v13. This because you can probably handle the OPC symbols for the COntrolLogix PLC much easier in an RSLogix + RSLinx environment.
At this stage, I would not change anything.
Later maybe I would upgrade WinCC to v7.2
 
How could I get an upgrade set from V6 to V7? If I start a Siemens support contract would that cover it?
No the upgrades you get when you have an SUS contract are only triggered when a new version is introduced. And since v7 is in the past you would not get an upgrade from v6 to v7. If v7.3 comes you would get an upgrade from v7.2 to v7.3.
I think you must not get an SUS contract. Instead buy a one-time upgrade to v7.
Siemens and RA are different in the way that for Siemens there is no compelling need to have a support contract, except that you want to have all upgrades as soon as they are released. For RA, you HAVE to have a support contract if you want to live. I call it the "Rockwell Automation Tax".

Also, you must sort out all the other licenses. It seems to be a mess with various variants, and unused upgrades floating around.
 
For WinCC v6-v7, the only way to communicate with non-Siemens devices is by OPC.
Only WinCC Flexible and TIA WinCC has a native Ethernet/IP driver.

I would stick to OPC, even if you upgrade to TIA WinCC v13. This because you can probably handle the OPC symbols for the COntrolLogix PLC much easier in an RSLogix + RSLinx environment.
At this stage, I would not change anything.
Later maybe I would upgrade WinCC to v7.2


According to the WinCC V7 communications manual, it does support some AB processors via ethernet.

https://support.industry.siemens.com/cs/us/en/view/37436836/12178919819

I do agree with your suggestion though. If OPC is working, it is probably simplest to not change.
 
I see. I believe there were 3rd party drivers in v5. These were dropped in v6, and Siemens said that it was OPC from now on. I did not know they had come back in v7.
 

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