SIMATIC PCS 7 PowerControl is now able to provide a solution for electrical switchgear featuring devices for protection and control functions (IEDs, Intelligent Electronic Devices) that is based on the IEC 61850 standard protocol. The uniform concept for integration of the switchgear automation into the SIMATIC PCS 7 process control system means that both
automation worlds can be brought together, thereby increasing the degree of integration of the entire plant.

SIMATIC PCS 7 PowerControl is our solution to integrating switchgear automation in process industries. It enables the integration of process automation and automation of electrical switchgear for medium voltage in one single control system. The advantage to plant operators: significant cost savings over the entire life cycle of the plant.


Automation levels in power supply and distribution

Electrical energy is distributed or transformed in electrical switchgear, whereby loads/consumers are bundled in load groups. With the help of switching devices, network nodes implemented as busbars connect incoming and outgoing cables, the so-called feeders.

When such a substation is dimensioned, account must also taken of changes to the network topology in the event of faults, as well as the isolation and grounding of equipment for maintenance work.

SIMATIC PCS 7 PowerControl puts an end to the strict separation between process automation and the automation of the electrical switchgear for power generation for the process. With SIMATIC PCS 7 PowerControl, now enables you to integrate switchgear automation devices into the SIMATIC PCS 7 process control system by means of Ethernet TCP/IP communication using the IEC 61850 transmission protocol, as well as via PROFIBUS DP.

The process automation and automation of electrical switchgear for medium-voltage in the range of 4 to 30 kV can therefore be combined in a single control system.

Intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) such as SIPROTEC protective devices or interoperable third-party devices are used for automating switchgears, that is, for protection, control, measuring and monitoring functions in electrical energy transmission and distribution.

Conventional process control system integration of protection devices on PROFIBUS DP is specified, in particular, for:

  • Repeated use of an existing PROFIBUS DP infrastructure
  • Partial modernization of existing plants
  • Hybrid configurations comprising IEC 61850 and PROFIBUS DP integration in plant expansions

Operator control and monitoring of the protection devices based on technology objects is uniform from the viewpoint of the operator, i.e. regardless of the integration via IEC 61850 or PROFIBUS DP.


Integration of switchgear automation with SIMATIC PCS 7 PowerControl provides substantial cost savings over the entire life cycle of the plant by means of, for example,

  • Simpler plant structures with more transparency in the technological dependencies
  • Further increase in the level of integration of the plant
  • Uniform process control and further expansion of the operator’s task area
  • Long-term investment security thanks to globally valid standard IEC 61850
  • Rational, integrated engineering and fast commissioning
  • Lower administration, service and training costs resulting from a uniform holistic view
  • Cost-effective modernization of plants using an existing PROFIBUS DP infrastructure

Integration options for automating medium voltage switchgears

Using SIMATIC PCS 7 PowerControl, switchgear automation devices can be integrated into the SIMATIC PCS 7 process control system as follows:

  • Via Ethernet TCP/IP communication with IEC 61850 transmission protocol
    • Protective devices directly on the plant bus
    • Protective devices via a station controller (PCS 7 AS RTX) on the plant bus
    • Protective devices via a station gateway (single or redundant) on the plant bus
  • With the help of driver blocks of the PCS 7 PowerControl PROFIBUS Driver Library
    • SIPROTEC protection devices on PROFIBUS DP

Separate automation systems for energy  supply and the actual process? This need not be the case! With SIMATIC PCS 7 PowerControl, you can integrate the automation of your switchgear in the process control system and thus bring both worlds together.

You benefit from simpler plant configurations with more transparency, further increase the level of integration of the plant, and achieve significant cost savings over the entire life cycle of your plant.


In many process plants, large electrical consuming devices with high energy consumption are in use, for instance large drives, heavy fans, compressors, pumps, mills and crushers, large centrifuges, electrolysis and electroplating plants or power supply to buildings. Integrating them takes place via medium-voltage switchgear which controls, switches and automates the individual consumers by means of devices for protection and control functions (Intelligent Electronic Devices – IEDs) based on the standard protocol IEC 61850. In practice generally so far, different systems have been used for monitoring and controlling the switchgear on the one hand, and the actual process control systems on the other hand. With SIMATIC PCS 7 PowerControl now the switchgear can be integrated in homogeneous manner in the SIMATIC PCS 7 distributed control system, creating a uniform system platform for process and power supply. This is freely scalable: from the simple visualization of the protective devices in small systems up to highly available integration of electrical load consuming devices for large systems.