12 May 2020

Meet the Automation & Controls Product of the Year: SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU

The Olympics may have been postponed, but that didn’t stop us from bringing home the gold.

The SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU module was voted winner of Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year award in the Automation & Controls category. Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year program is the premier award for new products in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries. The finalists of the 32nd annual Plant Engineering Product of the Year awards stretched across 13 categories. This program honors the best innovations of 2019, as voted by the audience of Plant Engineering.

This module contains the Intel Movidius Myriad X Vision processing unit, which enables the efficient processing of neural network structures and the use of machine learning algorithms. The installed VPU, Intel’s new Myriad X VPU chip, is the first in its class to have a dedicated hardware accelerator for deep neural network structures. 

Artificial intelligence is creating new opportunities

With the S7-1500 TM NPU, users can connect compatible sensors such as cameras or microphones via the integrated USB 3.1 and Gigabit Ethernet port interfaces included onboard the card. The data collected from the connected sensor systems, as well as information from the CPU program itself, can be processed using neural networks then evaluated in the CPU program. AI makes control logic more agile and production processes more flexible and precise.  How you can benefit from AI with the SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU?

  1. Greater flexibility

    Thanks to AI and machine-learning algorithms, the SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU module makes even the handling of unknown objects easy – without resource-intensive programming.

  2. Higher quality 

    Expert knowledge for fast and reliable quality checks are transferred directly to the SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU module thanks to the higher-level training of a neural network.

  3. Greater efficiency

    With the SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU module, machines can respond flexibly and automatically to situations that used to require manual intervention, which reduces downtime and increases availability.

  4. Greater cost-effectiveness 

    The SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU module makes it possible to detect problems in production early on and avoid the cost of having to rework or even discard the product.

Innovative solutions to complex problems

The potential applications for the SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU module are endless. Applications in the areas of robotics, quality assurance, and condition monitoring are especially suitable – limited only by the user’s imagination.

With this module, Siemens is taking another step toward the integration of future technologies into industrial applications. Thanks to AI, the SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU module enables countless new approaches and innovative strategies in automation. What once seemed complex is now surprisingly easy, and what used to be impossible is now possible.

Will you reimagine your automation systems with artificial intelligence?

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