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From: "Tom Needham"
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Avoiding PLCs
Organization: The Node of Last Resort
X-Newsreader: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 18:37:18 -0400
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 17:41:28 CDT
Walter makes a great point, and it is one I hear alot from customers.
While it is important to stick with what you know best, it is also important
to allow the controls in your plant to evolve and not stagnate.
It has been very interesting for me this past year.
I have been on the receiving end of "European Enlightenment", and I must
say it aint' that bad.
Siemens has made great strides in the US market, kicking AB and Modicon out
of several of the Big 3 auto plants my company deals with.
I am currently working on the Daimler Chrysler expansion at the Kokomo ITP2
and the spec is Siemens for all things electrical and Festo for all things
I have encountered none of the typical AB arrogance, and the Siemens/Festo
have done a great job in helping us along the way.
That says alot from a guy with 20 years AB experience.
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"Michael Marx" wrote in message
> "Walter Driedger" wrote in message
> >> One more time, WE DO NOT WANT SPECIALIZED HARDWARE AND WE DO NOT
> >> WANT SPECIALIZED PROGRAMMING.
> Rufus V. Smith wrote:
> > ( You may also get a less-than-optimum result if the programming
> > contractors are not versed in the PLC you specify. Maybe it's better
> > to let them create their solution on a platform they know intimately.
> > Or select a different contractor.)
> this is getting very interesting here. Just look at it from my point of
> We are a German based manufacturer of specialized machinery (for paper
> handling & transport, but that does not matter). We have considerable
> experience and a good customer base in Europe. Nearly (i.e. 99,5%) all of
> our machines are equipped with Siemens PLC which is "the European way" to
> it. It is just the normal and standard thing to do. The Software gets more
> and more complicated due to "modern" developments like field bus (i.e.
> "Profibus"), operator panels (make "Siemens") and and and ... The systems
> are very reliable, and very promising. Much more development to expect in
> the near future.
> Now we want to go into the US market.
> When we mention the word "Siemens" we get a "No No - WE DO NOT WANT
> SPECIALIZED HARDWARE AND WE DO NOT
> WANT SPECIALIZED PROGRAMMING". It just has to be AB (it is usually that
> name), plus odd things like DH or ModBus or FF.
> Now, consider the whole thing from another point of view.
> We have many many years of experience - and a good and satisfied customer
> base - with our Siemens machines. When we switch to AB - God knows what
> happen. The very least thing is that our programmers - possibly with a
> AB "starter" course - are not up to the task. Possibly we have to invest
> into specialized software companies. The worst thing that might happen?
> well proven machinery might totally fail, due to missing odds and ends on
> the software side. Will this be good for the customer ?!? I doubt it. And
> there will be nice clauses in the contract about penalties and such things
> It would not be so good for me as the company engineer, either.
> We know that Siemens is for Europe what AB is for US - and we are working
> this (similar as EN vs. IEC as standard?). But it may not be so easy as
> saying WE DO NOT WANT SPECIALIZED HARDWARE AND WE DO NOT WANT SPECIALIZED
> PROGRAMMING. What is "specialized" depends very very much on your point of
> view, doesn't it?
> So you might also say that the US way of insisting on "AB" as "standard"
> is just another way of keeping international / european companies out of
> US market (and I understand that AB does everything to support this
> Michael Marx
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