The Advanced Process Library (APL) is the standard library of SIMATIC PCS 7 for performing automation and process control tasks. It is based on many years of experience of configuration engineers and plant operators and takes into consideration current NAMUR recommendations and PNO specifications.

The functions of the APL can be basically categorized as follows:

  • Channel blocks for standard signals (e.g., Analog In, Analog Out, Digital In, Digital Out) and for fieldbus signals

  • Blocks for integrating drives and motor management starters (e.g., SIMOCODE or SINAMICS)

  • Technological function blocks such as motors, valves, measured values, controllers, operator control blocks, counters, interlocks, etc.

  • Advanced closed-loop control functions – Advanced Process Control (APC) such as Gain Scheduler, PID Tuner, Smith Predictor, or Model Predictive Controls

  • Maintenance blocks for alarm suppression and maintenance alarms

  • System blocks such as for manipulated variable/coefficient calculation or conversion blocks

  • Logic blocks (analog, binary, mathematical functions)

  • Block icons and faceplates for visualization and for operator control and monitoring

The function blocks allow easy and fast engineering. The signal status is thereby consistently tracked together with the value of a signal. Information about the quality of the represented value is available at any time via displays on the operator station. The faceplates are adapted to the requirements of the operating personnel, which not only enables optimum process operation but also a good overview of the plant status. With these user-oriented APC functions, demanding APC applications can be implemented easily and cost-effectively in small and medium-sized plants.


Optimization of usability

In order to optimally support the plant operator despite growing tasks and increasingly complex systems, the APL offers numerous engineering features to enable operation perfectly matched to the plant and the workplace. The new functions increase engineering standardization and new blocks extend the range of available functions.
Faceplates can be adapted to the optimal size. For ease of operation, all faceplates are freely scalable up to 200%. This setting is made centrally for all faceplates of an operating station.

For higher flexibility, the APL offers the possibility of integrating further units adapted to the process (in addition to the already existing ones) via the APL numbering process. This increases the user-friendliness of the engineering and enables continuous display on all levels.
The new communication blocks enable standardized communication between PCS 7 controllers and S7-1500 controllers in the TIA Portal. This ensures simple configuration and quick fault detection/troubleshooting.
The expansion of the Advanced Process Control (APC) portfolio integrated into PCS 7 enables continuous calculation of status values for process optimization or KPI display based on the extended Kalman filter (EKF).
The APL provides these and existing features "out of the box", but still offers options to flexibly adapt them to individual needs.