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Subject: Re: Avoiding PLCs
X-Newsreader: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2720.3000
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 23:04:52 +1300
NNTP-Posting-Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 23:04:41 NZDT
I disagree about going "AB" is a way of keeping others out. Siemens PLCs
have a track record of POOR backwards compatibility (unlike AB who have
EXCELLENT backwards compatibility and support. In one installation I was
aware of, Siemens PLCs were chosen by a consultant that had his own agenda
for not going AB. Within 2-3 years the support problems were so significant
(and the costs of upgrading to the next iteration of Siemens hardware so
prohibitive) that it was easier to walk away from the installation and
completely replace it with an AB installation.
In Australasia in particular the technical support of Siements is ABYSMAL,
and is no cheaper than alternative brands! Why would anyone who wants their
equipment to give a life of 20 years or so even think about brands that have
such a poor track record?
I realise the situation (and support) may be different in Europe, but until
European manufacturers provide an equal or better service to others
elsewhere (e.g. North America) they can't expect to get any degree of market
My thoughts fwiw.
"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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