Our opinion

This depends almost exclusively on the level of knowledge of your specialist staff.

Actually, there is no “main problem” per se with Siemens Simatic S5 controllers. Instead, it is a bundle of risks that threatens you.

Each individual risk can be controlled relatively well on its own. Yet a combination of just two problems could place an enormous, possibly even critical, burden on your business.

The 5 most common causes of catastrophes

Now, you should not think that it is very unlikely that two problems meet at the same time. Just the opposite is the case! Most of the time, two or more S5 problems happen at the same time.

Here I show you the typical causal chains that can lead to major problems in production operations:

+ An S5 controller goes into stop
+ You no longer have any employees who are familiar with S5 =
Plant downtime typically 1-3 days, max. 6 days known to us


+ You still have an employee who knows about S5
+ You no longer have a functioning S5 programming device
= Plant downtime typically 1-3 days, max. 5 days known to us


+ You have a functioning S5 programming device
+ But you do not have a current program backup
= Plant downtime typically 2-5 days, max. 34 days known to us


+ You can easily identify the cause,
+ But you don't have a replacement module,
+ You have to try to get a replacement module from a used module dealer via the Internet
= Plant downtime typically 2-3 days, max. 9 days known to us


+ You cannot procure a replacement module,
+ You must send your defective module to a special workshop and have it repaired
= Plant downtime typically 3-7 days, max. 16 days known to us

Our offer to you

A false sense of security

You think these scenarios are exaggerated? I can assure you that this is by no means the case. Naturally, no entrepreneur would want to experience that kind of embarrassment.

There are many companies that believe that they have all the necessary program backup for all their control systems. However, most maintenance engineers typically do not even know which assemblies contain S5 software. So are you supposed to know that you have program backups for all assemblies and memory modules? Let alone that they are up-to-date?

Another common problem is that, in the past, S5 software was on floppy disks. Commendably, many maintenance personnel have long since transferred the S5 files from floppy disks to hard disks. Yet only very few of them have ever opened the files with the corresponding S5 software (e.g. S5 PG software or COM143, WF470, etc.) and loaded them into an assembly. Again and again we experience that the files are damaged and can no longer be used. The reason for this is probably that the files had already been damaged on the old floppy disks.

The mega disaster

Now imagine that you have managed to get the hardware back in order with great effort. Now you find out that you no longer have the S5 program or the files for a COM or special module that you need to load now and you can no longer obtain it from the previous supplier – something called a total loss in the automotive field.

It's as if you still had your server in the administration department, but someone had simply deleted your merchandise management system and your SAP system and you have no backup.

What concrete threat potential does your production plant have?

This depends on the respective machine or plant and the S5 controller. If, for example, your only palletiser breaks down, your production will probably be limited to a massive extent or even impossible. However, if only one old pallet binder is no longer working, then this is not a tragedy.

You should also consider whether and how you would still be able to operate if your high-bay warehouse in the dispatch department were to fail for several days.

Siemens Simatic S5 controller
Steuerung SPS S5 155, Retrofit und Modernisierung

For over 20 years, the Siemens Simatic S5 controller was one of the leading control systems. Even in 2020, the Siemens S5 controller is still being used in some industrial companies.

The Siemens Simatic S5 controller is an automation system that works on the basis of programmable logic controllers. The S5 controller was used in particular to control machines in production.

In 2020, the Siemens S5 controller is considered obsolete, as it no longer meets the requirements of a modern control system for production plants in the sense of Industry 4.0. Currently, the use of the Siemens Simatic S5 is associated with the risk of production downtimes, since many problems can only be solved with difficulty.

Siemens replaced the Simatic S5 controller with the newer Simatic S7 PLC control system. SIMATIC S7 CPUs are characterised in particular by integrated S7 communication services with which the user program can read and write data. The controllers can be used in a flexible way for a wide variety of tasks.


PLC is the leading automation technology with the widest range of applications.

The most popular PLC system is the Siemens Simatic S7 controller with the series S7-300, S7-200 and S7-400 (with Step7 software).

Scope of services

  • Consulting
  • Planning
  • Engineering
  • Commissioning
  • Training
  • Support

My offer to you

Jürgen Kohl, Geschäftsführer von Artschwager + Kohl

Naturally, I am not yet aware of your current threat potential. But I can find that out with your help.

Please call me any time. Let's talk about your situation free of charge and without obligation. Let's find out how I can help you.

Jürgen Kohl

+49 9132 836660

Form to arrange a contact


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