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Setting up a MRP-based Ring Network in TIA Portal
Jason Mayes

Setting up a MRP-based Ring Network in TIA Portal

One of the great, and underused, features in TIA Portal is the Network Topology tab of "Devices and Networks." It can enable you to accomplish a number of advanced tasks while simultaneously providing much more in depth network diagnostics. Today, I want to quickly show you how you can use Network Toplogy to configure a MRP-based Ring Network in TIA Portal. There are many reasons why one might consider using a ring topology for your network. The most common one is to provide a semi-...

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DMC Hits the Trails: Mountain Biking in Lake Tahoe
Andrew Crowley

DMC Hits the Trails: Mountain Biking in Lake Tahoe

After heading west for a client project, Leigh Matthews and I recently decided to hit the trails for some mountain biking around the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The incredible topography of the area was a big change for us, coming from the Houston and Chicago offices respectively. We chose to bike the Flume Trail, a one-way, 14-mile ride at 7000’ to 8000’ feet in elevation. For perspective, the elevation of DMC's Chicago office is at an ...

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Siemens Open Library Version 1.5 and WinCC OA Open Library Alpha Release
John Sullivan

Siemens Open Library Version 1.5 and WinCC OA Open Library Alpha Release

Version 1.5 has just been released for the Siemens Open Library. This includes a Portal V14 SP1 release, including WinCC Pro and WinCC OA support. Explore and download the Siemens Open Library at openplclibrary.com. V14 SP1 contains the following updates: Added Tested Faceplates for WinCC Professional Updated PID to utilize Data Block Parametrization Fixed bug with fcSwapWords Updated Example Project An Alpha release of the WinCC OA Open Library has also been added....

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Siemens Automation Summit 2017 Highlights
Boris Cherkasskiy

Siemens Automation Summit 2017 Highlights

The 2017 Siemens Automation Summit took place June 26-29th at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Boca Raton, Florida. Per Siemens, the Siemens Automation Summit is, "a user conference for manufacturing professionals who use Siemens automation technologies, including DCS, PLC, HMI, industrial networks, factory automation, motion controllers, process instrumentation, motors and drives, and are interested in cyber security and safety." Automation professionals from all over to...

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DMC Quote Board - July 2017
Jessica Mlinaric

DMC Quote Board - July 2017

Visitors to DMC may notice our ever-changing "Quote Board," documenting the best engineering jokes and employee one-liners of the moment.

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Using Siemens S7-1500 PLC with High-Speed I/O: Siemens TM Timer DIDQ Modules
Emily Shanker

Using Siemens S7-1500 PLC with High-Speed I/O: Siemens TM Timer DIDQ Modules

With the release of Siemens TIA Portal V14, and even more recently V14 SP1, DMC has been able to develop larger, more complex applications within one development environment which used to require two or more development environments (ex. TIA Portal with SIMOTION SCOUT for motion control applications). While many improvements have been made recently to allow for more technically sophisticated controls systems to be developed exclusively within TIA Portal, DMC has run into some limitations. ...

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DMC Chicago YOE was Boat-tastic
Elisha Harris

DMC Chicago YOE was Boat-tastic

With such harsh winters, Chicagoans make the most of their summers. Between attending free movies in Millennium Park every Tuesday night or food truck festivals on the weekends, there's never a boring day during Summertime-Chi. So, there were high expectations for DMC Chicago to host its second annual Yearly Office Event (YOE). Each DMC office hosts a YOE every year for visitors from our other offices. It's a great chance to enjoy fun activities together and relax with co-wo...

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Generating an Azure Shared Access Signature in PHP
Peter Rijks

Generating an Azure Shared Access Signature in PHP

A Shared Access Signature (SAS) is the primary means of authenticating a client when connecting to many Azure services. It is a (relatively) newer authentication scheme, replacing Access Control Service (ACS). Even though SAS has been around for several years, the Azure SDK for PHP only supports ACS. There is an open issue to add SAS support to the SDK, but until that support is added, you will not be able to use the SDK if your Azure service does not have ACS enabled, and in the past few yea...

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4 Tips for Ignition Designer
Elizabeth Hill

4 Tips for Ignition Designer

Ignition is an expandable and scalable Java-based SCADA platform from Inductive Automation. As a developer, the two main components that you interact with are the Designer and the Gateway. The Designer is where you edit the lower level components, like screens, tags, and scripts. The Gateway is where all of the higher level configuration lives – OPC connections, database connections, user management, etc. Here are some basic tips and tricks that I have found useful when devel...

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Access Denied to Azure SaaS Applications
Timothy Johnson

Access Denied to Azure SaaS Applications

Somewhere over the course of the last 6 weeks, Microsoft has been making changes to where Office 365/Azure AD SaaS applications are managed. Just about everything that was once accessed in the Azure Classic Portal has been moved to the new Azure Portal (portal.azure.com). This includes the management of Azure Active Directory, which was something that could only be accessed via the classic Azure Portal. As of the publication date of this blog, both portals continue to be ava...

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Selecting a Pricing Tier in Azure: The Free Tier
Peter Rijks

Selecting a Pricing Tier in Azure: The Free Tier

Per Microsoft, "Azure is a growing collection of integrated cloud services that developers and IT professionals use to build, deploy, and manage applications through our global network of data centers." There are tons of services and features to consider when making a decision about what might be right for your needs. We have already explored the importance of SQL Database DTUs and how you should not Forget About Bandwidth when selecting your pricing tier for Azu...

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Low Cost Function Generator Amplifier DIY
Tim Jager

Low Cost Function Generator Amplifier DIY

Introduction A majority of function generators are only capable of driving a couple hundred milliamps, which is fine for most applications. If you want more output current, you can shell out $400 dollars for a professional signal generator amplifier, or you can do what I did and hack one together for under $40. A signal generator is an indispensable tool for developing and testing electronic designs. You may find yourself wishing yours could output more current. You could test your po...

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How To Batch Update Text on a SharePoint Wiki
Jason W

How To Batch Update Text on a SharePoint Wiki

SharePoint wiki pages are a great way to collaborate with coworkers and team members. You can add and edit information, links, and pictures to a wiki page through an easy process. SharePoint wikis have a wide range of uses. Here at DMC, we use wiki pages to host our Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).  Our SOPs often contain links to other SharePoint pages. Recently, we reorganized our SharePoint taxonomy, otherwise known as a scheme of classification. During thi...

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Getting Started With PackML
David Sestrich

Getting Started With PackML

PackML, or Packaging Machine Language is a programming standard defined by the Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC) as defined by the International Society of Automation's Technical Report 88. It is meant to be a convenient project template that can be used in discrete manufacturing of many products, from bottled drinks to wrapped candy. I thought it would be helpful to assemble this guide of PackML basics for anyone who is getting started with this standard. PackML h...

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DMC Quote Board - June 2017
Jessica Mlinaric

DMC Quote Board - June 2017

Visitors to DMC may notice our ever-changing "Quote Board," documenting the best engineering jokes and employee one-liners of the moment.      

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DMC Takes a Stroll for PAWS 17th Annual 5K Walk/Run
Molly Graham

DMC Takes a Stroll for PAWS 17th Annual 5K Walk/Run

On Sunday, June 4th, a group of DMCers and friends got together for the 17th Annual PAWS Chicago 5K Walk/Run along Lake Michigan at Montrose Beach. We were joined by tons of other local pet lovers. The dog to human ratio was very close to 50/50, and the air was filled with the sounds of lots of happy yips, barks, and panting. What is PAWS? Nearly 9,000 cats and dogs are euthanized in Chicago each year because they don’t have a home, but PAWS Chicago finds homes for h...

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DMC to Host National Instruments Exams in 2017
Darren Jones

DMC to Host National Instruments Exams in 2017

DMC will be hosting two National Instruments certification exam dates at our Chicago office this year. The exams will be held on Thursday, June 22 and Thursday, October 19. The testing can cover any of the practical exams in the NI lineup, including the Certified LabVIEW Developer and Certified LabVIEW Architect exams. A representative from NI will be proctoring the exams. Learn more an enroll on the National Instruments website.  June 22 and October 19 1 - 5 p.m. 2222 N. Elston Ave...

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NIWeek 2017 Highlights
Steven Dusing

NIWeek 2017 Highlights

Last month, DMC joined hundreds of other National Instruments professionals at the annual NIWeek conference. DMC’s Darren Jones, Jon Carson, Jason Mayes, Jesse Batsche, Peter Rijks, Bill Sowerwine, Nick Aroneseno, Mark Locascio, and Steven Dusing attended the event in Austin, Texas. The conference is an opportunity for DMC engineers to expand their NI knowledge base, talk to other NI professionals, and give presentations on relevant topics. What is NIWeek? Per National Inst...

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SITEC 2017 Siemens Open Library Presentation
Jeff McCormick

SITEC 2017 Siemens Open Library Presentation

Recently, I had the privilege of speaking at the 2017 SITEC National Conference. I shared my experience as the lead developer on the Siemens Open Library and demonstrated how to utilize and contribute to the Open Library. Per Siemens, the SITEC Conference aims to keep engineers and specialists up-to-date on the latest products and technologies from Siemens by providing, "specific, effective and customized training along with a certification path to ensu...

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New Office 365 Reporting Options
Timothy Johnson

New Office 365 Reporting Options

Microsoft recently introduced the new Office 365 administrative interface, which provides Administrators with the ability to setup an Office 365 tenant, manage users and subscriptions, and get useful insights into how the Office 365 tenant is used. The new admin interface is designed to more closely resemble the look and feel of Azure. Enhanced reporting makes it a lot easier for our team to monitor the Office 365 environments of our clients to detect abnormalities and prepare month...

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