Drive Controllers for Modern Automation

March 26, 2021

The SIMATIC Drive Controller sets standards regarding the perfect integration of the SIMATIC S7-1500 controller and SINAMICS S120 drive system. It integrates motion control, technology, and PLC functionalities directly in the modular SINAMICS S120 multi-axis drive system—without requiring additional control cabinet space for the controller.


Thus, the SIMATIC Drive Controller is ideally suited for applications requiring a highly dynamic drive system:

  • for medium-sized to large axis quantity frameworks
  • a broad performance/motor range
  • controlled infeed/regenerative feedback (prevention of line harmonics/high robustness in case of fluctuations in mains voltage/energy feedback during braking)

Further, the installation and wiring effort is reduced due to the integration of the controller and drive control unit in one device. The data management for the controller and integrated drive control unit is performed centrally on a SIMATIC Memory Card.


The controller is provided in two performance classes and covers sophisticated motion control solutions with the two failsafe technology CPUs. The failsafe CPUs allow the processing of standard and safety programs on the same controller. As technology CPUs, they also provide extensive motion control functions such as:

  • Speed and positioning axes
  • Synchronous operation functions
    • Synchronization with/without specification of the synchronous position
    • Actual value coupling
    • Shifting of the master value to the following axis
    • Camming
    • Cross-PLC synchronous operation
  • Cam disk
  • Cyclic specification of the motion vector from the application (MotionIn interface)
  • Kinematics
    • With up to 4 interpolating axes (for example, cartesian portal, delta picker, roller picker, articulated arm, cylindrical robot, tripod, and SCARA)
    • User-defined kinematics
  • External encoder, output cam, and measuring input

The extensive integrated interfaces and technology I/Os are consistently provided in all performance classes and allow an efficient implementation of compact and modular automation solutions with motion control functionality on the basis of the SINAMICS S120 drive system.


With fast system reaction times, the SIMATIC Drive Controller is the ideal solution wherever extensive axis quantity frameworks and very short cycle times are required to achieve high machine cycle rates and optimal product quality by applying a deterministic and reproducible machine behavior.


The SIMATIC Drive Controller is expanded with components of the modular SINAMICS S120 drive system as well as SIMATIC automation components, for example, ET 200SP I/O systems. Further drive systems such as SINAMICS S210 can be easily integrated into PROFINET.



CPU 1504D TF

CPU 1507D TF

Work Memory for Program/Data

2 MB/4 MB

6 MB/20 MB

Load Memory

plug-in via SIMATIC Memory Card

Bit memories, Timers, and Counters

S7 Counters/Timers

2,048 each

IEC Counters/IEC Timers 

Any number (only limited by the work memory)

Bit Memories

16 KB

I/O Address Area

32 KB each (all inputs/outputs are stored in the process image)

Motion Control

Number of motion control resources



Extended functions (T-CPU)


Number of extended motion control resources



Typical number of positioning axes with a motion control cycle of 4 ms and 35% CPU load due to Motion Control



Integrated Inputs/Outputs

Digital Inputs/Outputs (integrated)

12 DI, 8 DI/DQ (SINAMICS Integrated) + 8 DI/DQ (PLC)


8 DI/DQ (PLC) can be parameterized as DI, DQ, timer DI, timer DQ, oversampling DI, oversampling DQ, event/period duration measurement, pulse width modulation PWM; DQ can be parameterized as high-speed output.

Integrated Interfaces


1 x PN IO IRT (3-port switch)


1 x PN IO RT


1 x PN (Gbit)


1 x DP

OPC UA DA (Data Access)

  • Server
  • Client
  • Methods + companion specifications

 Yes (RT license required)



Integrated Drive Control

No. of axes, max.

  • with servo control
  • with vector control
  • with v/f control



Alternative control modes; drive control on the basis of SINAMICS S120 CU320-2 (firmware version V5.x); functional subset compared to CU320-2: No DCC/DCB, EPOS, free function blocks, etc.)

Standards, Approvals, Certificates 

SIL according to IEC 61508: Up to SIL2 (SIL3 when using the F-CPU only);
PL according to ISO 13849: Up to PLd (PLe when using the F-CPU only)



  • The SIMATIC Drive Controller is configured in TIA Portal using the engineering software SIMATIC STEP 7 Professional, SINAMICS Startdrive, and the option package STEP 7 Safety Advanced.
  • TIA Portal V16 is required for this
  • The innovated firmware version V2.8 is used on the SIMATIC Drive Controller. 
  • (SINAMICS Integrated: firmware V5.2)