WinCC flexible is Siemens visualization software used on all Siemens Simatic HMI devices. It could be run on regular PC as well as on Siemens Simatic Operator Panels. It’s meant to be used for a single-user machine operator interface, but its capabilities depend on the device it’s running on. At maximum it supports following static/dynamic objects and features:
- Static Text
- Static Bitmap graphics
- Static Vector graphics
- Input/output fields
- Dynamic graphics
- Trends (also called as process information archiving)
- Recipes handling
User-defined Alarms are used to indicate dangerous/abnormal conditions and could be logged to the screen, printer or other device. WinCC flexible supports both Digital (bit triggered) and Analog (value out of range) alarms. Alarms could also be split into several classes, there are several predefined classes:
User-defined classes could be created if predefined classes are not enough for the application.
To prevent unauthorized access WinCC flexible has built-in access protection mechanism. When user login permissions are granted you can access certain part of the HMI application, depending on the group assigned to the particular login name.
Multilanguage support is build-in WinCC and allows switching languages on the fly (without restarting). For translation it uses standard Excel files. The text to be translated can be easily exported and given to the interpreter. After the translation text gets imported back into WinCC project.
WinCC flexible functionality could be extended with VB scripting. Scripts could be used for dynamic tags access, communicating to databases, call remote API, file operation, etc. By utilizing scripting WinCC functionality could be extended to infinity.
Integration with Simatic Step 7 and Simotion products.
WinCC project integrates into parent Step 7 project as part of it; it allows keeping all pieces of the project at one place, simplifying changes tracking.
WinCC flexible engineering (configuration) software is available in several versions. In simplifications each version supports certain series of the panels.
- Micro – Supports micro panels only
- Compact – Same as Micro version, but supports 1xx series panels as well
- Standard – the same as Compact. Additionally supports 2xx series panels
- Advanced – the same as Standard. Also adds PC support.
Siemens provides flexible licensing options for WinCC runtime. Licensing scheme includes total amount of configured tags licensing as well as licensing per feature.
These are examples of features requiring licensing:
- Archives – log process data
- Recipes – managing data records
Comparision with WinCC (SCADA system)
WinCC flexible could be mistaken with WinCC. But WinCC is other Siemens product- a full-scale SCADA system. Here is quick comparison chart between WinCC and WinCC Flexible:
|Process visualization of complex automation solutions||Operator Station (single machine control)|
|Multi-user/Distributed||Single user system|
|Have redundancy option||No redundancy option available|
|Historian option (advance data logging)||Simple data logging|