Clear parameter control and materials management

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Efficient order and material management: Advanced Process Functions (APF)

In many sectors of the process industry, for example in food production or in parts of the chemical industry, flexibility and product diversity are decisive competitive criteria. Of course, the expansion of the product range must not be at the expense of quality. The reproducibility of individual production steps must always be guaranteed. An extended product range therefore requires an efficient data management system in automated production. The administration of orders, storage locations, materials and the archiving of corresponding production processes are the core tasks of the Advanced Process Functions (APF).

Parameter control and material management – fast, simple and efficient

How to increase flexibility and transparency

Optimal for small and medium-sized process plants with simple material handling: The SIMATIC PCS 7 Tool Advanced Process Functions (APF) automates simple batch processes that are mainly characterized by dosing, mixing or stirring tasks. APF can be used for the automation of batch-oriented processes with simple recipe structures such as lists or parameter recipes. The function modules material management, parameter management, order management and archive management support the automation of production processes from raw material acceptance to release for filling and packaging.

Engineering and operation of the APF are the same for all modules. This saves time and enables faster commissioning. With the APF Engineering Tool, project-specific data such as material classes, necessary material types, material lots and materials themselves are defined for the APF modules and stored in user archives. The automation systems access the user archives via AS function blocks. These blocks are generated by the APF Engineering Tool on the basis of the project planning specifications and can be easily interconnected by the user. The projected data can be operated and monitored during process control via process pictures and faceplates.

Material management consists of material master data management and material lot management. Material master data management provides the material properties for AS and OS. An OS editor is available for the convenient creation, modification and deletion of material master data. The same applies to the processing of material lots. However, they can also be created or deleted from the automation system.

In addition to an OS editor for editing the parameter sets, the parameter management module offers an interface for data transfer or data synchronization. It provides the parameter data for AS and OS. The current parameter set can be displayed in OS operating screens via a special faceplate. Displayed parameters can be normalized or recalculated via the faceplate.

The elementary task of this module is to manage the orders (order data records) in an order list. Orders can be created and controlled via OS or AS via defined interfaces. This can also be implemented project-specifically from the IT level.

This module coordinates the storage locations and performs tasks such as synchronizing setpoints and actual values or booking in and out materials and material lots (including partial quantities). The storage location management offers a search function for quickly finding storage locations according to various selection criteria.

The archive management can be used for the modules material, parameter and order management. Archive data records are created, updated or deleted using function blocks in the AS. The archive data records can be exported and saved automatically, for example time-controlled.

Benefits

Learn more…

Learn more about parameter control and material management as a technological extension of the SIMATIC PCS 7 process control system. The documents in the download area deepen certain aspects and inform you about special functions.
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