Why is the SIMATIC ET 200SP so powerfull?

Why is the SIMATIC ET 200SP so powerfull?

The SIMATIC ET 200SP is a I/O system, this ensures communication between computer systems. It has standard IP20 protection that can communicate with SIMATIC PCS 7 automation systems via PROFINET IO or PROFIBUS DP. It is designed for installation in enclosures or control cabinets.


The modest dimensions (some only 20 mm wide) of the SIMATIC ET 200SP Combined with an extensive product range make this system so attractive. Thanks to its small size and being 50% thinner than comparable equipment. Not only do you save space in your control cabinet, but you also create more options for expansion, up to 64 modules.

Despite its compactness, it doesn’t sacrifice performance either. For example, you have fast communication via PROFINET and you can replace modules and terminal boxes while the system is operational. The smart, integrated PROFIenergy profile also provides significant energy savings by measuring and shutting down the standby energy consumption of sensors and actuators where possible.

User friendly

Malfunctions can be detected and rectified in a very short time. This is due to the comprehensive, channel-specific and easy-to-program diagnostics with clear text messages. In addition, the configuration of the station is remarkably easy due to the push-in connections that are effortlessly wired, making it all user-friendly.

The new arrangement of the spring releases also allows effortless disconnection of the connections. Furthermore, the ET 200SP also makes ‘hot swapping’ possible, so a complete module can be replaced during an ongoing operation. Therefore, several modules can be removed and replaced at the same time. Only the replacement modules are disabled and not the entire station.

Communication talent

Remote I/O systems have become an integral part of modern decentralized installations. Not only do they ensure efficient communication between the actuator and the PLC, they also significantly reduce costs .

Regardless of the communication standard you use, the SIMATIC ET 200SP meets all requirements. Whether through interface and communication modules or via bus adapters. For example, you can send data at lightning speed via PROFINET or PROFIBUS and sensors and actuators can be quickly connected to each other and I/O modules. I/O link provides unified connectivity between different (RFID) devices via cost-effective point-to-point connections.

As energy management requirements in factories become an important topic in today’s production environment, there is nothing better to prepare than with the SIMATIC ET 200SP: AI energy meters are designed for machine-level use. In this way, users can configure the data needed for their applications based on more than 200 different electrical measurements and energy values ​​to understand the energy needs of individual components in their production plants. Based on these statistics, consumption forecasts and revenue determinations can then be made, leading to conclusions about tax management and service.

That is why the SIMATIC ET 200SP will meet all possible requirements. The excellent system concept has ensured that the range of ET 200SP system components has been continuously refined and expanded over the years, opening up countless application possibilities in the most diverse industrial sectors.


The SIMATIC ET 200SP open controller is equipped with all possible safety functions. The powerful new CPU 1515SP PC F enables standard automation tasks from a compact device. The controller combfail-safes the functions of a PC-based software controller with visualizations and Windows applications.

In addition, the SIMATIC ET 200SP is also suitable for fail-safe communication. Safety modules for DI and DO fit in perfectly with standard modules. Functional safety is certified according to EN 61508. The special feature of the F module on the SIMATIC ET 200SP is that the F address can be assigned during the test run, making the configuration process much faster and easier.

Modularly designed motor starters are also part of the ET 200 series. They provide reliable protection for single-phase motors up to 5.5 kW against overload and short-circuit. Available in standard and fail-safe versions, they fully comply with the streamlined structural concept of the ET 200SP IO system with an extremely compact mounting width.thickness of only 30 mm.

Future of REMOTE I/O

Still, the demands and expectations are increasing: modern I/O units are preferably safe, easy to install and use, flexible in use, powerful and compact enough for even the smallest switch cabinets. SIMATIC ET 200SP can do it all. As such, the ET200SP is the perfect successor to the ET200S, which entered the end of its series in October 2020.

In short, the SIMATIC ET 200SP heralds a new era for remote I/O. An era in which energy and cost efficiency, ease of use and safety are central. All this makes this I/O unit an indispensable partner in your decentralized production environment.

SIMATIC ET 200SP features at a glance

  • Extremely compact dimensions
  • Expandability of the station with up to 64 modules
  • Extensive module range (including Safety, motor starters, energy meters, DALI, etc.)
  • Replacement of modules during operation
  • Channel accurate diagnosis functions
  • High-speed communication via PROFINET and isochronous backplane bus
What is a PLC?

What is a PLC?

PLC stands for Programmable Logic Controller . These are electronic devices in the form of a digital computer. They are designed for controlling production processes and come in various shapes and sizes. For example, you have large ones that have 10,000 entrances and exits and require heavy racks to mount them. There are also small PLCs that fit in your pocket with only a few inputs and outputs.

A PLC contains a microprocessor that receives information via its inputs and then controls it via a number of outputs. Furthermore, a PLC is resistant to electrical noises and vibrations, which is necessary because they are often used where the system has to function under the constant influence of vibrations and noise. The PLC systems are often also protected against heat, cold, dust and moisture.

What is a PLC used for?

PLCs are used, among other things, to automate machines or production lines of factories. Because a PLC is programmed, the control of a machine is established, so it indicates what a machine has to do. It simply forms the brain of the machine. PLC systems are developed in such a way that they can withstand harmful external influences as mentioned above.

As mentioned before, a PLC consists of inputs and outputs and a CPU. It works in a continuous cycle as shown below. A PLC has two types of inputs:
Data entry from devices and machines:
– High/low, such as: pressure sensors and temperatures
– On/Off, such as: mechanical switches and buttons
Open/close, such as: pumps and values
Human-generated data inputs, such as: push buttons, switches, sensors from devices such as keyboards, touchscreens, remote controls, and card readers

A PLC is not programmed or adapted by everyone, this is work for specialists because small errors can disrupt a PLC system. PLCs are often tuned, adjusted or programmed by maintenance engineers. Software engineers devise PLCs or develop adjustments to PLCs.

Most companies use the PLC’s systems after they have been developed and installed on the machines. With a PLC system it is possible to localize faults if, for example, something no longer functions. This is considered for software, electrical and mechanical solutions.

PLCs and HMIs

PLCs often interact with HMI and SCADA applications, these applications make the collected data transparent on displays. The application checks the data and chooses whether adjustments need to be made to the PLC. If necessary, the application forwards this to the PLC, after which it implements the changes.

New products are constantly entering the market due to technical innovations such as industrial software or Programmable Automation Controllers or PACs. But the PLCs remain very popular despite the innovations because of their simplicity, usability and affordability. There are several PLC brands on the market and almost each brand requires separate training. At PartTracker we specialize in Siemens and Omron.

Difference between Siemens and Omron PLCs


  • User-friendly
  • Simple programming


  • More features
  • More complex programs
  • More popular
  • Better online materials (user manuals, samples and support website)




What is a frequency converter?

A frequency converter (frequency converter) or also called drive in the field, is a type of motor controller that an electric motor drives by changing the frequency of a supplied power supply while the voltage varies with it so that the torque is maintained. In addition, the frequency converter can also control the motor starting and stopping continuously during starting and stopping.

Usually AC drives are used to control the speed of a motor by changing the frequency of the rotating field. The term speed control is often used here because it ultimately ensures an adjustment of the engine speed.

There are many application possibilities of frequency inverters. There are drives for small drives such as a conveyor belt of several hundred watts. But also large drives of, for example, underwater motors of 6 megawatts. It doesn’t stop there, because agitators, water transport at water boards, extruders, cranes, fans and electric vehicles also use drives for the food industry. Small frequency inverters are used for light drives and mounted in the wall. With heavy drives, the drives are built in control cabinets.



Why a frequency converter?

A frequency converter has many reasons why you should apply it. For starters, it lowers the inrush current. When using the drive, the motor inrush current will not exceed 1.5 times the rated motor current.

In addition, it reduces maintenance costs for an installation. Example: To eliminate pressure surges in a water drainage installation, use a frequency converter to ensure that the pressure gradually enters the pipe network. This reduces repair costs due to cracked pipes. (Example of pressure surges: if you fully open and close a tap in 1 go, you sometimes hear the pipes “clap”, those are the pressure surges.)

Furthermore, a drive can also increase production by increasing the speed of an engine. This allows the speed of, for example, a fan or conveyor belt to be increased without mechanical adjustments. Production therefore does not have to be stopped with a controller, without a drive this has to be done to adjust the gear ratio.

A drive can also save energy. When an electric motor runs faster than is actually necessary, it also consumes more energy. Particularly in pump and ventilation systems, a lot of energy is saved if the motor speed is adapted to the needs of the systems. Throttle valves are therefore no longer necessary because the flow is regulated by the frequency controller, which ultimately leads to energy savings. A frequency converter regularly saves as much as 40% on electricity or fuel.

Finally, material is also saved, in particular the saving of raw materials. A dosing installation can set the speed of the dosing screw to fine adjustment just before the correct amount has been reached. This accuracy of dosing leads to a saving of raw materials, for example.

The 10 reasons to use a frequency converter

  1. System efficiency is improved and energy is saved
  2. The power is converted into hybrid applications
  3. The motor speed is adapted to the process conditions
  4. The power or torque of an electric motor is adapted to the process conditions
  5. The organizational climate is improved
  6. Sound levels of, for example, pumps and fans are reduced
  7. The load on machines is reduced so that the service life is extended
  8. How various applications work with electric motors to be improved
  9. Energy is generated efficiently and energy consumption is limited
  10. Large taxes are equalized to avoid peak rates

What are the advantages of the Siemens Sinamics series?

The 6 advantages of the Siemens SINAMICS series:

  1. Versatility
  2. Digitalization
  3. Engineering
  4. Safety Integrated
  5. System solutions
  6. Services

The user-friendly and scalable Siemens Sinamics series frequency inverter brings many advantages. Firstly, it gives performance and functionality to the need and thus is really versatile. From low voltage and medium voltage regulators to direct voltage regulators. This drive offers future-proof and turnkey solutions for all applications.
Second, it has higher productivity and is forward-looking. An important step towards digitized data analysis is digital extended drive components. Digitization offers new dimensions to realize in availability, productivity and efficiency. Valuable insights are provided by analyzing the control data.
A third advantage is that the frequency converter is easy to use for engineers. The tasks are easy to select, parameterize and integrate. It couldn’t be simpler than this.
The fourth advantage is that the drive has maximum safety for operating and maintenance personnel. These are already integrated in the frequency converters. This also gives benefits such as short response times, less wiring and profitability.
Fifth, the SINAMICS controllers fit seamlessly on SIMOTIC motors and SIMOGEAR gear units and thus interact perfectly with each other. This saves you time, money and gives you a sustainable lead in the market. In addition, it has reliable and fast communication via PROFINET.
The latter advantage ensures the Siemens SINAMICS series availability and productivity. It sets the course for a digital future for your company. The entire life cycle for machines and systems is covered with service.

Bekijk het aanbod van Siemens

What are the advantages of the Schneider Electric Altivar series?

The 4 advantages of the Schneider Electric Altivar series:

  1. Machine Safety
  2. Versatile products
  3. Efficient performance
  4. Long life

Firstly, the low voltage AC drives provide machine safety. This is due to proper motor control and accurate speed control in any situation. Secondly, the range consists of many different products for electrically controlling small and easy machines, but also for large advanced machines. Third, the Schneider Electric Altivar is made to perform as efficiently as possible at the highest level of quality. Finally, fans, pumps and conveyors can be started gradually without causing overload. This is very important and protects the machines which ensures a longer life.

Click here to watch the video See where the Schneider Electric Altivar series is used in an industrial drive.

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5 important questions about servomotors

5 important questions about servomotors

What is a servomotor?

A servomotor also called servomechanism and is often abbreviated to servo. The name of the servomotor comes from a Latin word servus which translated into English means slave or servant. Actually, the name servo motor is related to the term servo mechanism. It is a device used to automatically control a mechanical system without direct mechanical connections. A servo is an electric motor and it can be said that this is one of the most important motors in the 21st century in mass production.


See our offer for Panasonic servomotors

What can a servo motor do?

7 most important properties of a servomotor:

  1. Large speed range
  2. Clockwise and anticlockwise rotation and standstill.
  3. Large torque range in both directions of rotation
  4. Accurate speed and torque
  5. Short torque adjustment time
  6. High standstill torque
  7. Short lead time

These types of motors are specially developed to carry out complex and accurate assignments. They rotate 360°, can stop at specified times and have the ability to change direction, i.e. turn back and forth. They are great devices because a servo can quickly start up and then come to a standstill again. In addition, they can run at many different speeds and can be programmed very well.

How does a servo motor work?

With a servo, the motor is constantly monitored to adjust its movements. So it is more of a mechanism than a specific motor. This concerns motors that continuously keep their moment, speed, position and acceleration the same. The motors use a sensor, feedback encoder and a controller to create a feedback system.

It works step by step as follows: Servo motors run on electricity. They contain a spinning rotor on ball bearings, which is controlled by an encoder or pulse generator. Such an encoder sends a signal to a sensor, which automatically measures the position of the rotor. The sensor sends a signal to the servo amplifier, which controls the movements of the rotor. By programming the encoder, a servo-rotor has its own feedback mechanism.

What is the difference between stepper motors and servo motors?

A big misunderstanding is that a stepper motor is also a kind of servomotor, yet this is not correct and it does make a difference. With a stepper motor there is no feedback, while this is characteristic of servo motors and this is exactly what “servus” stands for.

The 4 biggest differences between a stepper motor and servo motor:

What are different types of servo motors?

More or less there are two types of servomotors. The first are DC servo motors that operate on direct current and the second are AC servo motors that operate on alternating current. Below is a table with the main features:


Engine Benefits Disadvantages
DC servo motor
  • Wash for very large powers
  • Predecessor of servo technology
  • Carbon Brushes
  • DC power supply
  • Expensive engines
  • Maintenance sensitive
AC servo motor
  • Small mass inertia
  • High speed possible
  • Fast torque build
  • High thermal load
  • Compact design
  • Low maintenance
  • Not worth mentioning
As can be seen in the table, there are no significant drawbacks for the AC servo motor. Then why would you use a reducer? Firstly, because this allows you to achieve a very low speed, possibly together with a higher torque. Second, also if you want higher torque (there are high torque servo motors only they get exponentially more expensive compared to the smaller motors). Thirdly, for inertia matching, so that the load does not determine the behavior of the motor. Fourth, to absorb the high radial or axial forces of the application. And ultimately also because gear units are available in right-angled versions and because of this you can turn a corner because otherwise the motor is outside the construction.

See our offer for Siemens servomotors

11 tips for an effective HMI

11 tips for an effective HMI

There are many different ways to develop HMI screens for machine and process automation applications. An effective structure requires discipline in the design. The feel, appearance and ease of use of an HMI can vary widely. This is because of all the tools, object libraries, animations and colors available on modern HMI software. However, there are standards to improve HMI effectiveness.

These standards can serve as a basis for establishing internal HMI design guidelines, which in turn can be used to create consistent and effective HMI displays from one machine or process to another. Standards are important and users should consult them before final implementation of an HMI design, but they can be difficult to read and interpret. The tips below are intended as design aids.

  1. Storyboards are a good start
  2. Talk to operators
  3. Use color and animation wisely
  4. Add charts
  5. Display matching image
  6. Keep important items together
  7. Provide situational awareness
  8. Limit the number of clicks per screen
  9. Beware of pop-ups
  10. Use date and time stamp logging
  11. Create a style guide

Tip 1. Storyboards are a good start

A good starting point for an HMI design is a text based on the overview of the proposed content of each screen. For operator and ease of use, the designer creates storyboards for the main screen, equipment status screens, setpoint or recipe screens, manual functions, message displays, fault displays and other subsidiary screens. The designer can then convert these text contours into a storyboard for each screen. The storyboards should emphasize dynamic images such as status indicators and should contain repeated images.

Tip 2 Talk to operators

When creating the storyboards, ask yourself what is most important to the operators. But even better is to ask if the operators are available for consultation. More data on screen isn’t always better, so don’t overload the operators with information. In return, focus on their tasks and what it takes to understand the machine and the process. Present the information in such a way that the overall company status can be understood at a glance. Then have an experienced operator review the proposed storyboards.

Use a prototype of the HMI in time in the design cycle and see how the operator uses the interface. If this is not possible, use the storyboards for a pilot operation session with the operator. Look at tricky situations where an operator struggles to interpret what he or she sees, and look at the number of actions required to complete a common task. Are there extra features you can add to relieve the operators of unnecessary button presses or otherwise make them more efficient?

Finally, it is important to ask the operators for their advice and opinion, but filter their comments. They may not always see the big picture. Never forget that you build the HMI for their use, so their input is very valuable.

Tip 3. Use color and animation wisely

HMI guidelines recommend limiting the use of color and using low-contrast gray backgrounds. This is to make the screens less cluttered. For example, a light gray screen background, where a typical indicator would be dark gray in the off position and white in the on position, is pleasing to the eye and intuitively logical, because a light bulb turns white when lit. So generally use muted colors or shades of gray and use bright/saturated colors to indicate different conditions.

Be careful when developing graphics. Do not use too many colors and graphic animations available in the software, this should be avoided. Animate only if it makes the operator more efficient.

For example, using animation to show the position of a part on a transfer line can be an efficient and quick indication of production status. However, showing a pump motor running is distracting if the screen’s intent is to show only high-level fault indications.

Tip 4. Add charts

The purpose of every HMI screen is to develop situation awareness among the operators. In other words, the ability to identify the process and understand the important elements of a situation. To raise awareness, displaying in schematic form will help and be an important factor for design on an HMI display.

Operators understand the meaning of an image faster than a piece of text or the status of a group of colored buttons. And when there’s a language barrier, images become even more important. With most HMIs it is possible for objects to overlap

ppen, so consider that a small image may overlap a button. But limit their use or isolate them on alternative displays or it may slow down the performance of a particular display.

The display of data is important in HMI design and different types of data require different display types. A number on a screen can accurately represent the speed, but the engineering units can be questioned and the acceptable range is unknown. Solve this by adding the following units, for example centimeters per second, and tabulating the maximum and minimum values. A line graph with a trend function can display past and present data and is a good indicator of future values ​​because an operator can quickly see that the values ​​are moving towards an upper or lower limit.

Tip 5. Display matching images

An image of the machine, the process being controlled or other realistic depiction can be very helpful and can help the operator understand the location of problems such as faulty sensors or blocked actuators.

By using clear pictures of the machine, location indicators and arrows to the valves and hatches that must be opened to clear a fault. Can be guided to the fault location in seconds. But resist the temptation to only import design drawings and diagrams, as that often results in a busy screen with an abundance of details.

Tip 6. Keep important items available

Save a portion of the screen for important items such as start, stop, and important setpoints. This way, the operator immediately knows where to look for this critical information. A strip can also be placed above or to the side of the controls. Just make sure that this area is completely consistent and displayed on every screen.

Most HMI software packages provide a background screen feature that allows designers to create, edit, and maintain such an area at a location in the project layout. It can then be displayed on multiple screens.

Tip 7. Provide situational awareness

Ensure relevant data is clearly displayed so operators can see the current state of the machine or process at a glance. A good display answers two important questions: “What state is the machine or process in now?” and “How does that relate to optimal conditions?”
In addition, the HMI screens can be divided into four basic groups, which can make things even clearer for the operators:

Tabular and text based screens: lists or tabular groups of data and status values
Schematic screens: data is displayed on schematic diagrams of the current process
Trend screens: current and historical data values ​​displayed on graphs with time
High Performance Displays: Actual data supplemented with basic graphical elements to convey additional information
For simple machines, it may be sufficient to display data related to the current state of the machine, but for more complex machines or processes, the screen design and layout should aim to help an operator foresee potential problems.

Tip 8. Limit the number of clicks per screen

Keeping all screens within two or three clicks of the home or main screen is essential, considering how the workflow might apply. Ask questions such as which tasks are performed most often and which are the least. With this knowledge, optimize the layout to be as efficient as possible.

Keep screen menus and screen switching actions as accurate as possible around the application and always leave a clear path so that even the least experienced user does not get lost in the menus.

Tip 9. Beware of pop-ups

Don’t use too many pop-ups on an HMI. It is not intended that a series of pop-up error messages appear on the screen and must all be acknowledged one at a time before the operator on the screen can solve the root cause.

Tip 10. Use date and time stamp logging

In addition to a good HMI design, it is also important that alarm and event logging is used in a smart way. Record the alarms and events when they occurred. Recurring problems often seem unrelated, but often related to shift changes, equipment startup or shutdown, breaks, or other periodic factory activities.

Alarm acknowledgment requirements show how quickly operators respond to conditions. For example, if responses are slow, you can refine the layout or design of the HMI to make them respond quickly.

Tip 11. Create a style guide

Make one together
following common styles for constancy between all HMIs in your and multiple plants. By using charts, trend objects etc consistently, the operator understands it better and becomes familiar with it. It is useful to find HMI software packages that offer object libraries and screen libraries for storing and sharing successively proven elements or entire screens. This allows you to easily reuse the same items for multiple projects.

Use these tips to develop HMI design guidelines and use these guidelines to create consistently effective displays from one project to another.

Introducing: Peter Brakenhoff

Introducing: Peter Brakenhoff

PartTracker is growing. In order to give our clients the attention they deserve, we have strengthened our team with Peter Brakenhoff. So this month we ask our five questions to Peter.

Who are you and what are you doing here?

My name is Peter Brakenhoff, I live in the longest ribbon village in the Netherlands, beautiful Assendelft. I am a real Zaankanter and a huge tennis fan and on beautiful sailing days you can meet me on the Zaan or Alkmaardermeer. Doing nothing is not an option for me… I enjoy working in a dynamic environment.

What is your background?

Born into a large baker’s family, I would naturally continue in our family business. It turned out differently. My pleasure is to further develop dealing with customers and customer contacts. That is how I came to Unilever in the sale of foodservice products. Here I built great sales relationships with chefs of fine restaurants and buyers in the food industry.

What is your best sales experience?

During the Unilever period, I was given responsibility for the On-the-Go market at a good time. That’s how I came to KLM Catering Services and got good contacts with different disciplines. We were invited for a tender to come up with proposals for various catering moments for passengers. Quite a story, I remember exactly the moment and time that my contact person from KCS called me: “Peter…….. you won our tender”

What’s great about PartTracker?

I got to know Alex, an entrepreneur and above all a ‘people person’, Alex also lives in Assendelft. In my previous work, everyone was aware of the importance of sustainable business practices and of thinking out of the box solutions. I like that PartTracker is at the forefront of thinking along with our customers about circular ecosystem developments.

What will you mean for our customers?

Warm and honest customer contacts are important to PartTracker, which is why Alex and Wesley have grown so successfully with PartTracker. Continuing on this beautiful road is extremely important to me and PartTracker. I also trust that my experience will contribute to further expanding it successfully. My personal motto: “challenges make it fun”