What's New functions in TIA Portal V15


This section contains information on the following topics:

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  4. SINAMICS Startdrive
  6. Engineering options
  7. Runtime options


All important new features compared to existing versions are summarized here. You can find additional details on the various topics in the individual sections in this article.


All important new functions of STEP 7 are grouped according to the engineering workflow.
Hardware Configuration
• The following new CPUs of the S7-1500 series complete the product portfolio:
o CPU 1518(F)-4 PN/DP MFP (Multifunction Platform)
CPU 1516T(F)
• Hardware detection of actually present PROFINET IO devices
The "Hardware detection" online function detects IO devices in the connected PROFINET subnet. You can accept a recognized device in your project: STEP 7 inserts the IO device together with all modules and submodules, so that you do not need to insert IO devices and modules manually from the hardware catalog.
• The "Go to Device View" function enables quick navigation from the PLC variable table to an input or output configured in the Device View.
• Extended alarm display with new filtering capabilities.programming language editor
New instructions
•    You can use the "FileReadC" and "FileWriteC" instructions to read data from an ASCII file on the SIMATIC memory card on S7-1500 CPUs or write data to an ASCII file on the SIMATIC memory card.
•    You can use the "GetClockStatus" instruction to read the following information from the CPU-internal clock on S7-1500 CPUs:
o    Information about time synchronization via an NTP Server
o    Information about whether automatic switching of daylight saving to standard time is activated
•    With the help of the "EQ_TypeOfDB" instruction (SCL: "TypeofDB"), the data type of a data block which is addressed via a DB_ANY tag can be determined.
•    The existing "SCATTER" and "GATHER" instructions have been extended and now also support an anonymous STRUCT data type and PLC data types with Boolean elements only.
•    There are two new PID auxiliary functions available: They reduce the programming effort for tasks in control technology.
o    "SplitRange"
Is used for distribution of the controller output to several actuators. Dependent on the controller output, this enables different actuators to be controlled
o    "RampFunction"
This limits the sweep rate and the maximum values of signals. The slew rate can be individually limited in four operating areas: For positive or negative signals, for rising or falling signals.
Language innovations
•    "References" provides a new type of pointer. References are typed pointers that refer to a specific data type. When you use references, you define the data type during the creating of the program. Because the data type does not have to be determined at runtime, the program will perform better and be more clearly structured. "Dereferencing" gives can direct write or read access to the referenced tag without having to copy the tag beforehand or integrate additional instructions in your program.
A CPU of the S7-1500 series as of version V2.5 is required to use referencing.
•    Constants of the BOOL type can be used at inputs of instructions in LAD/FBD. This facilitates the testing or "bridging" of current paths.
An S7-1200 CPU as of FW V4.0 or an S7-1500 as of FW V1.8 is required for this function.
System functions
•    The information system offers the possibility to display hardware manuals integrated. This has the advantage that you can search, filter or use the content as a favorite. Some hardware manuals are already included in the installation of the TIA Portal V15. If necessary, you can download additional hardware manuals available as support packages. To do this, select the function "Check for updates" in the toolbar of the table of contents.
•    Local user and rights management
o    Managing project users
o    Open new function rights as read only / open project as read only + write / create users and roles
o    Managing project roles
o    Assignment of users to project roles
o    A block for industrial security with TIA Portal
o    Efficient user administration for products in a TIA Portal project
•    Global libraries can be exported as read-only libraries. The contained library types have permanent write protection and are therefore protected against changes. Write protection of the library types is retained even when they are used as a type instance. Write protection of protected global libraries cannot be revoked. Read-only libraries are available for PLC and HMI types.
New functionality for controlling operands
•    Boolean operands can be controlled by double-clicking on the monitor value. The actual values can be toggled easily and quickly.
•    Non-Boolean operands can also be controlled easily and quickly via the stored dialog.
•    Both global tags and instance tags are supported in the DB.
Cross-references for instructions used
•    User-defined "Instruction" type filters enable you to display all the instructions used in a CPU in the cross-references with the respective instruction versions.
Loading PLC tag tables
•    PLC tag tables can be uploaded to and downloaded from the device in the specified structure and enable improved team engineering on the CPU.
•    The PLC tag tables on the CPU are also displayed with "Accessible devices" and on the memory card.
•    The online/offline comparison gives you a detailed overview of the tags available online and offline in the individual PLC tag tables.
Breakpoints for S7-1500 as of firmware V2.5
•    Testing with breakpoints is also possible in mixed LAD/FBD blocks for SCL and STL programs.
•    When a breakpoint is reached, the CPU goes to the "HOLD" operating state. Tags can also be monitored and controlled when the breakpoint is reached.
•    This allows the STL and SCL program code to be tested step-by-step using breakpoints in order to find and correct logical errors during program creation. This enables easy and fast analysis of complex programs before the actual commissioning.
•    Know-how protected blocks of an S7-1500 CPU can be simulated with PLCSIM V15 (S7-1200 CPUs are currently not supported).
•    Using a slider for analog values and pushbuttons for Boolean values, you can very easily make changes to values within the SIM table for quick testing of the STEP 7 user program.
•    PLCSIM V15 and PLCSIM Advanced V2.0 can be installed on the same PC. Simultaneous use of both simulation tools is excluded, however.
•    Generation of virtual signals based on mathematical functions from the recorded signals. The following functions are supported:
o    Basic arithmetic
o    Absolute value, square root, square, 1/x, modulo operation
o    Integral, differentiation
o    Filter function
•    Calculation of the mean, RMS and integral of the selected signal in the range of the measurement cursors
•    Time tags of type TIME, LTIME, TOD, LTOD, DATE and LDT can be recorded as a signal and used to specify trigger conditions


HMI devices
The following HMI devices can also be configured in the TIA Portal:
•    TP1200 Comfort PRO
•    TP1500 Comfort PRO
•    TP1900 Comfort PRO
•    TP2200 Comfort PRO
HMI device versions
To optimize the size of the standard installation, older versions of the HMI device images are swapped out to an additional DVD. The device versions affected are:
•    V13
•    V13 SP1
•    V13 SP2
•    V14
SVG graphics
In WinCC, the format SWG is also supported for graphics.
Extension of the ProDiag functionality
The criteria analysis display can be configured for improved process diagnostics. This makes it possible to display the operands with error that have triggered a selected ProDiag or GRAPH alarm in the user program.
OPC UA Client in WinCC RT Professional
Communication via OPC UA has been extended.
•    Arrays and array variables are supported.
•    Communication via an OPC UA connection can be protected with a password.
Number of connections with WinCC RT Professional
The number of possible integrated connections for S7-1200 and S7-1500 was increased to 128.

SINAMICS Startdrive

SINAMICS Startdrive Basic (formerly SINAMICS Startdrive)
•    Enhancements for CU320-2 PN-based drive devices:
o    Support of G130, G150, S150 and Sinamics MV (up to 85.00 kW)
o    Support of Chassis and Cabinet Modules (not Blocksize Modules)
o    Support of SIMOTICS asynchronous motors and non-Siemens motors
o    Vector control
o    Parameter comparison (online/offline, comparison to factory setting)
•    Enhancements for SINAMICS G120 product family:
o    Support of SINAMICS Firmware Version V4.7 SP9
o    Further optimization and expansion of the commissioning wizard:
- Configuration of motor holding brake
- Cancel online
- CU250D-2: SSI encoder as motor encoder
o    PROFINET name assignment without restart of G120 Control Unit also in the list of accessible devices
o    Support of CU240D-2/CU250D-2 with polymer optical fiber (POF)
•    Openness for drive devices:
o    Creating drive devices and components (including frame configuration)
o    Setting of selected drive parameters (offline and online, reading and writing)
o    Download to the device (no upload)
SINAMICS Startdrive Advanced
•    Introduction of Startdrive Advanced license for use of additional engineering functions with high added value
•    Only license key is needed, no additional installation
•    Free trial license without license key (21 days)
•    Functions in V15: Safety acceptance test for G120 family


The following new features and innovations are available at SIMOCODE ES in the TIA Portal:
•    User-configurable display of device parameters
o    A new view of the device parameters, the "Expert list", is available in the parameter editor.
o    Groups of parameters as well as individual parameters can be marked as favorites.
o    A filtered parameter view is possible based on these favorites.
o    Export and import this selection of favorites (without values)
•    Bulk engineering
o    High-performance function for bulk engineering of devices within a project (also for different SIMOCODE for each device)
o    Selected and appropriately set parameters can be transferred to a group of devices in a single step.
•    Parameter wizard
o    Step-by-step configuration of all important device parameters
o    Settings for the fieldbus interface, device configuration, motor protection and monitoring functions can be queried and stored
o    User can call up the wizard directly from the Parameter Editor at any time.
•    Automatic generation of PLC tags
o    If STEP 7 is additionally installed and one SIMOCODE per device is connected to a PLC, PLC tags are automatically generated for all inputs and outputs that are exchanged with a PLC via PROFIBUS or PROFINET.
o    Thanks to this function, the user can directly access these data in the user program using symbolic addressing.
•    Automatic layout of graphical blocks
o    Placement of the blocks in fixed columns similar to the IPO principle (IPO = input, processing, output)
•    All parameters can now be edited in the graphics editor, not just the connections.
o    Values can be entered directly at the function block using the keyboard.

Engineering options

PLCSIM Advanced

·        Synchronization of PLCSIM Advanced with co-simulations tools on process image partitions of cyclic OBs (e.g. cyclic interrupt OBs)

·        Support of acyclic services (RDREC/WRREC) and interrupts (e.g. hardware interrupts)

·        Hardware interrupts configured in the TIA Portal can be read out via the API

·        Simple backup and reloading of the software und hardware configuration of PLCSIM Advanced instances

·        The storage path of the virtual SIMATIC memory card is freely selectable.

·        GUI expansions:

o   Autocomplete

o   Buttons for RUN / STOP and Memory Reset integrated in the GUI of PLCSIM Advanced

·        Computer-to-computer transfer of SIMATIC memory cards via the API

·        Improved performance for symbolic access

·        Parallel installation of PLCSIM and PLCSIM Advanced on a PC

User Management Component

·        Central. cross-project user management in the system

·        Managing user groups

·        Import of Windows users and user groups is possible

·        Efficient administration of users / user groups in a system

·        Fault tolerance through redundant design of a UMC domain

·        Load distribution of login request surges by means of several UMC stations in a UMC domain

·        Licensing via the number of users

Multiuser Engineering

·        Multiuser objects are now automatically selected when editing. Manual selection is still possible. Automatic selection increases the reliability when working together with Multiuser Engineering.

·        Working with Multiuser Engineering is now also possible offline and without a direct server connection.

·        Comment functions for documentation of the type and scope of the changes made have been added to the multiuser editors.

·        When checking in, a filter is available for viewing objects with "conflicts".

·        The multiuser server provides extended project history with a restore function. This enables traceability of the project process on the multiuser server. The milestones of a project can be commented and saved. The project history can be exported for extended evaluation.

·        Multiuser Server V14 and V15 can be used side-by-side. Multiuser Server V15 also supports TIA Portal projects from V14 with the corresponding scope of functions.

·        The external multiuser tools for the configuration and administration of the multiuser server are now available in all languages of the TIA Portal.

SIMATIC Visualization Architect

·        Generation of alarms, alarms classes and alarm groups

·        Support of the HMI objects "trend view", "f(x) trend view" and "f(t) trend view"

·        Support of screen templates

SIMATIC Energy Suite

·        Visualization of energy data in energy objects does not require additional PowerTags in WinCC RT Professional.

·        S7 energy efficiency monitor for machines (new S7 instruction in STEP 7: "EnS_EEm_Calc" and "EnS_EEm_Report"):

o   For production-related and standardized determination of energy consumptions in machines (according to VDMA 34179)

o   Easy integration in machine controller (S7-1200/1500) and local visualization of the efficiency status

o   Automatic long-term measurements (e.g. batch, shift)

o   Efficiency report (.csv) for data evaluation and documentation

·        Support of Sentron PAC 3200/4200 configured using the Hardware Catalog (MDD) – previously only GSDML was supported.

SIMATIC TIA Portal Openness

·        Openness DLLs of V14SP1 and V15 in scope of delivery
Because the Openness DLLs of V14SP1 and V15 are included in the scope of delivery, applications based on V14SP1 also run in V15 without modification. To make use of the functions of V15, you must integrate the DLL of V15 and recompile the application

·        Export and import of SCL blocks
Both SCL blocks as well as LAD and FBD blocks with SCL networks can be exported and imported as XML.

·        PLC download
The download of standard S7-1500 PLCs can be automated. A stop and start of the PLC is implicitly performed for this. Protection level passwords and binding passwords can be transferred from the application.

·        Reading a checksum
The checksum of the standard PLC program can be read from an offline PLC.

·        ProDiag
FBs, instances and assignments for ProDIAG can be created.

·        System folder for UDTs
System UDTs can be accessed in the system group within the user data types.

·        Block numbering
The automatic block numbering can be switched on and off. In addition, block numbers can be changed.

·        Technology objects
Openness includes enhancements for downloading and saving data of the TO Plotter and for new TO features.

·        Startdrive
DriveObjects and frames can be created for the SINAMICS G120 and SINAMICS S120 drives. Selected drive parameters can be set online and offline. Downloading to the device is possible.

·        SINAMICS in AutomationML
V90 slaves und SINAMICS G120 Profinet head modules can be exported and imported using AutomationML.


SIMATIC STEP 7 Safety Basic/Advanced V15, the high-performance option package for programming fail-safe S7 controllers for the Totally Integrated Automation Portal V15.

·        Fail-safe arrays (read) for data types INT and DINT

Safety V15 provides new instructions for reading fail-safe integer and double integer values from fail-safe arrays.  The arrays can be created in global fail-safe data blocks (F-global DBs) and may contain up to 10,000 elements of the data type INT or DINT.

The array elements are accessed with the instructions RD_ARRAY_I or RD_ARRAY_DI. The instructions are available for the fail-safe S7-1500 CPUs.

·        Hardware and software signatures

The F-collective signature uniquely identifies a particular status of the safety program and the safety-relevant parameters of the F-CPU and F-I/O.

In addition to the F-collective signature, with Safety V15 you receive additional information regarding the fail-safe software and hardware signatures for the fail-safe S7-1200 and S7-1500 CPUs. These additional signatures enable a better differentiation between hardware- and software-relevant changes, thus simplifying the acceptance of changes.

The F-signatures are displayed in the Safety Administration Editor (SAE) and are part of the Safety printout.

·        Overflow handling

When converters or mathematical functions such as additions, multiplications etc. are used, there is the possibility of a range overflow, which is detected by fail-safe processing and results in a STOP of the CPU.
This STOP can be prevented by reliable overflow handling.
Fail-safe S7-300 / S7-400 CPUs require the placing of a corresponding overflow instruction "Query status bit OV" in the following network.
Overflow handling can be programmed considerably easier and by analogy with the STEP 7 Standard for the fail-safe S7-1200 / S7-1500 CPUs.
Overflow handling is programmed and a STOP of the CPU in the event of an overflow can be prevented just by wiring the enable output ENO. If the result of the instruction is outside the range permitted for the data type, then the enable output ENO returns the signal state "0". The result of the instruction then behaves like the corresponding instruction in a standard block.

Overflow handling is supported for the following instructions:

o   ADD: Add

o   SUB: Subtract

o   MUL: Multiply

o   DIV: Divide

o   NEG: Create two's complement

o   ABS: Form absolute value (S7-1200, S7-1500)

o   CONVERT: Convert value

·        Isochronous fail-safe OB

The isochronous F-OBs of Safety V15 enable the connection ofisochronous PROFIsafe devices such as SINAMICS S120 (as of FW V5.1) for minimum response times and jitter.

Requirement: F-CPUs S7-1500 firmware version 2.0 and higher that support IRT.

·        Usability improvements

With V15, Safety Basic / Advanced offers a number of usability improvements which simplify the creation of fail-safe user programs:

o   Readback of fail-safe F-FB Out tags also on S7-1200 and S7-1500 CPUs

o   Writing von F-FB input tags analogous to the STEP 7 standard

o   Start values of instance DBs can be changed

·        Other innovations

o   The monitoring of system-integrated F-IO-DBs and F-runtime group information DBs using ProDiag is supported.

o   DINT -> INT converter (S7-1200, S7-1500)

o   ABS: Form absolute value (S7-1200, S7-1500)

Runtime options


The following new options are only offered as a runtime option with the TIA Portal. ProDiag is already integrated into the existing STEP 7 and WinCC products and only needs to be licensed when used on the real hardware. Unlike the engineering options, the runtime options are not version-dependent.


S7 GRAPH blocks as of version 5.0 allow GRAPH step and GRAPH transition names to be compiled, as well as the initial values of interlocks and transitions to be reset.

Improvements for multiple selection in global data blocks, function blocks and tag tables

New monitoring functions added, even when the multiple selection contains non-Boolean elements

Deletion includes all monitoring functions, even if an element contains more than one monitoring function

All the properties of the monitoring function are included in copying when a monitoring function is copied. During insertion, new monitoring functions are created with the copied properties and existing monitoring functions are overwritten. If an element contains several monitoring functions, these are deleted and one or more new monitoring functions with the copied properties are created.

During automatic filling of the cells, new monitoring functions are created in the marked cells of a global data block or of a function block and the properties of the selected monitoring function(s) are applied.

Within the tag table, the FB block interface or global data blocks the "Monitoring" column displays how many monitoring functions the absolute address contains.

The global search now also finds the ProDiag texts of the created monitoring functions from the Inspector window, from the ProDiag function blocks and from the ProDiag monitoring functions.

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