A Closer Look at Siemens SIMATIC S5 Programmable Controllers

You could argue that despite being obsolete the Siemens SIMATIC S5 range of programmable logic controllers remain one of the most popular automation systems on this planet, with a large number of manufacturers around the globe still reliant on this technology.

Manufactured and sold by Siemens AG, the Siemens SIMATIC S5 range was first previewed at the Hannover Fair in 1979 and quickly established itself a firm favourite with machinery manufacturers, system integrators, panel builders and automation distributors. During the early 1980’s automation customers were demanding increased system functionality and the SIMATIC S5 range was the answer.

Available in a range of different chassis styles (90U, 95U,101U,100U,115U, 135U, and 155U) the Siemens S5 gave users a choice of several CPUs, memory types, i/o, power supplies, communication cards, interface modules and function modules. These S5 options could be configured to suit the users production requirements and budget. A general rule of thumb is the higher the S5 chassis number, the more sophisticated and more expensive the system. Siemens SIMATIC S5 are versatile and can be used in any number of industries and functionalities.

In the mid 80’s programming on the Siemens S5 became far simpler due to the introduction of operator panels and graphical programming tools such as Step 5. Step 5 is PC based software programming tool which is the main tool for programming, testing, and commissioning, programs for SIEMENS S5 SIMATIC PLCs. The original Step 5 versions ran on the CPM operating system. Later versions ran on MS-DOS, and then versions of Windows through Windows XP. The final version of Step 5 is version 7.2. No further development of this product line has occurred since that time, due to its announced obsolescence.

Despite being obsolete Siemens S5 remains a popular platform and can be found installed in thousands of manufacturing facilities across the globe. Increasingly users are migrating to Siemens Simatic S7, the latest generation programmable logic controllers from Siemens AG.

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