When designing the system, Siemens focused on the overall openness. For this purpose, open API interfaces such as TIA Portal Openness were implemented which enable automated engineering, on the one hand, and considerably simplify data exchange during operation, on the other hand. For this, an ODK (Open Development Kit) and an OpenPipe interface are available to the user, as well as the option to integrate other applications into the user interface of WinCC Unified.
Engineering is consistently integrated in the TIA Portal, the engineering framework with modern programming languages and seamless data flow. Components created once can be re-used on all platforms, whether on the operator panel, on the PC or as apps in the Cloud- and Edge environment. WinCC Unified Runtime can be accessed via all modern Internet browsers without the installation of separate plug-ins. In the first version, WinCC Unified is available for Panel- and PC-based solutions. The use of WinCC Unified in the Edge- and Cloud environment will be possible in a later delivery stage.
With the Simatic WinCC Unified system, Siemens will present a new generation of high-end HMI devices at the SPS 2019: The Simatic HMI Unified Comfort Panels are available in display sizes from 7 to 22 inches, have a glass front with capacitive multitouch technology, and offer users in the industrial environment a high degree of usability, similar to the operation of a smartphone or tablet. High brilliance in colors and contrast improve readability and operability. Visualization on the devices is based on Simatic WinCC Unified and brings many new possibilities to the devices: Dynamic SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), extensive UI controls or "collaboration", a convenient mechanism for exchanging data between WinCC Unified stations.
The functional expansion possibilities through apps represent a paradigm shift in the SIMATIC HMI product portfolio. While the HMI panels were used exclusively for the visualization software in the past, Siemens now gives users the possibility with the integrated Edge functionality to also operate other apps on the devices at the same time.