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Basic LabVIEW UI Control Customization
Steven Dusing

Basic LabVIEW UI Control Customization

A common gripe about using LabVIEW is that the user-interface (UI) is not very attractive. Well, that is only true if you do not know how to customize LabVIEW controls to make them look truly modern and visually appealing. Fortunately, there is a way to change the default LabVIEW controls! While National Instruments and many other LabVIEW developers have documented this process before, for completeness, I will go through the basics with lots of screenshots before posting some of ...

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DMC is Expanding to St. Louis
Patrick Corcoran

DMC is Expanding to St. Louis

DMC is proud to announce our next office expansion to St. Louis, Missouri. Further strengthening DMC’s Midwest presence, St. Louis offers the opportunity to reach many new market areas in the central part of the nation. We are excited to bring our diverse set of services offerings to meet new challenges and support more specialized market verticals.With a targeted official opening in Q4 of 2017, we have already begun supporting new clients and partners in the local metro area. ...

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Cooking Up New Ideas (and BBQ) at DMC's FedEx Day
Molly Graham

Cooking Up New Ideas (and BBQ) at DMC's FedEx Day

DMC recently held another one of our favorite company-wide traditions... FedEx Day! On FedEx Day, everyone in the company takes a break from their day-to-day tasks and works on a project that they think will improve DMC. It's a great opportunity to collaborate with people we don't normally work with, develop new skills, and have fun. It's called a FedEx Day because the planned project must be delivered by the end of the day. With five offices and more employees than ever, the...

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Geek Challenge Results: The Perfect Bracket
Cameron Fyfe

Geek Challenge Results: The Perfect Bracket

Congratulations to Grant Anderson of DMC, Michael Deck of Avant, and John Jacobsma! All correctly answered last month’s Geek Challenge with C: 93.424%! Michael Deck is this challenge’s winner for his extensive solution that not only solves the proposed problem but handles more involved aspects not considered by the OP.  Michael’s solution is below. 1 Introduction The problem is stated here. 2 Solution 2.1 Main solution First, we set forth the probability ...

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DMC Quote Board - May 2017
Jessica Mlinaric

DMC Quote Board - May 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 Achieves Microsoft’s Gold Cloud Productivity Competency
Rick Rietz

DMC Achieves Microsoft’s Gold Cloud Productivity Competency

DMC recently upgraded our Silver Cloud Productivity competency to Microsoft Gold for Cloud Productivity! This certification recognizes DMC for its expertise and experience helping clients deploy Microsoft cloud and hybrid solutions. Hybrid solutions rely on a combination of cloud and existing investments in on-premises resources.  This Microsoft Gold level certification makes DMC eligible for exclusive training opportunities that further the implementat...

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Selecting a Pricing Tier in Azure: Don't Forget About Bandwidth
Peter Rijks

Selecting a Pricing Tier in Azure: Don't Forget About Bandwidth

Microsoft Azure is an enterprise-grade cloud service platform: a complete set of secure application services for computing, storage, data, networking, and app development. When considering your specific needs, the Azure Pricing Calculator is a great tool to estimate in advance how much you might expect to spend on an Azure solution. Not immediately obvious is that the calculator doesn’t automatically include pricing for bandwidth.  In many cases, bandwidth pricing won’t have ...

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Smart Bike Lights
Frank May

Smart Bike Lights

It's not fair.  Your car shows brake lights when it brakes. Some cool cars turn their lights on when you approach your car at night. Some really cool cars change the intensity of brake lights when they brake hard.  My bike has a red light that turns on when you press a button.  NOT FAIR.  For my FedEx Day project (a day where our company lets us make anything for 'next day delivery'), I brought my bike into the future with the help of a coworker and a ...

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DMC to Assist with PackML Workshops on May 22
Molly Graham

DMC to Assist with PackML Workshops on May 22

OMAC is hosting its annual PackML workshop on May 22 at the Chicago Marriot O’Hare. The Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC) helps manufacturers and suppliers work together to identify new and innovative ways to increase the effectiveness of their production operations.  Siemens will be offering a hands-on PackML Programming and Installation workshop, led by experts in PackML implementation on the Siemens platform. DMC’s David Sestrich will be there al...

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Displaying Slack Channels in SharePoint
Jordan Harris

Displaying Slack Channels in SharePoint

DMC recently updated our SharePoint intranet site to SharePoint 2016, and with that upgrade, we decided to do a refresh of the UI.  We concentrated on adding interesting and useful items to the homepage. One of those pieces of content was a display of our office-specific Slack channels.  This blog explores what I had to learn and do in order to implement a Slack display inside a SharePoint web part page. Getting ready in Slack My first step was to learn how to communica...

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Programmatically Replace LabVIEW VIs Using VI Scripting
Eric West

Programmatically Replace LabVIEW VIs Using VI Scripting

VI scripting provides powerful tools for automating common development tasks. Scripting is the backbone of LabVIEW QuickDrop, allowing developers to create macros that can be invoked using keyboard shortcuts. This blog describes how to use LabVIEW VI scripting to automate the duplication of a VI and its references into a new VI. Motivation Over years of LabVIEW development, DMC has created a powerful and flexible state machine architecture that is well-suited for industrial applica...

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7 Tips for Programming Beckhoff TwinSAFE Safety Logic
Nikhil Holay

7 Tips for Programming Beckhoff TwinSAFE Safety Logic

TwinSAFE is a module of Beckhoff’s TwinCAT programming software that allows a programmer to set up safety logic for Beckhoff Safety PLC’s. I've picked up a few tips and tricks in my time working with TwinSAFE, and I hope you will find them useful. 1. SafeAND – Use A Standard Bool As you develop your safety program, you’ll notice that most of your inputs will be required to safety bool input. However, when using a SafeAND block, your first input (and only your fi...

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2017 Siemens Automation Summit to Feature 5 DMC Presentations
John Sullivan

2017 Siemens Automation Summit to Feature 5 DMC Presentations

Every year, we look forward to sharing industry innovations and best practices at the Siemens Automation Summit. The 2017 Siemens Automation Summit will be held from June 26-29 at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Boca Raton, Florida. Hundreds of automation professionals will take advantage of networking and training sessions focused on interacting with the latest Siemens solutions and products. We're proud to be among the many presenters at this year's summit. If ...

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How to Convert from ProTool to WinCC Flex
Nikhil Holay

How to Convert from ProTool to WinCC Flex

ProTool is an HMI software package from Siemens. Most people (myself included) are most familiar with WinCC Flexible and Portal as the two primary Siemens HMI software packages. ProTool is the predecessor to WinCC Flex, and was phased out in 2004. So, what do you do if you have an HMI stuck in ProTool? Luckily, the conversion to WinCC Flex is very straightforward. Why Convert? There are several good reasons to convert your project from ProTool to WinCC Flex.  1. Many current Siemen...

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DMC Houston Office Expansion Is Underway
John Michael Frullo

DMC Houston Office Expansion Is Underway

After first expanding to Houston in August 2015, DMC settled into a cozy office space on Richmond Ave. in the Upper Kirby district. Since then, we've had more engineers (and an extra-large dog) join in the fun at DMC Houston. We needed more space… Intro: Houston Office Expansion! Ch-ch-changes We’re expanding our kitchen to take over the old, small conference room and open up the space. Our new conference room will be a massive 14’x18’ beauty at ...

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DMC Chicago Holds First Blood Drive
Heather Talbert

DMC Chicago Holds First Blood Drive

Like most people after the New Year, DMC wanted to find some ways to start 2017 off right. So, when our Director of Finance and HR Deborah Nunaley suggested we hold an onsite blood drive, I thought, “Yeah! That’s a great idea!" Why Give Blood? Having not donated blood before, I learned some very cool and exciting facts about being a donor: Of those people entering the hospital, 1 in 7 will need blood. Every time you donate whole blood, you can save the li...

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9 More DMC Engineers Attain Siemens Global Certifications
Nick Shea

9 More DMC Engineers Attain Siemens Global Certifications

Back in 2011, DMC attained the most Siemens Certified Engineers in the United States when eight of our employees passed the Siemens Global Certification or Recertification exams. We have grown as a company since then, and so have the number of Siemens experts at DMC!  DMC is proud to continue to have the most Siemens Certified engineers in the United States. Thirty-one DMC engineers have met all of the requirements for the Global Technical Certification in the SIMATIC Technology areas...

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Relative Gearing to an External Encoder with a Siemens 1500 PLC
Patrick Smith

Relative Gearing to an External Encoder with a Siemens 1500 PLC

DMC has often encountered a scenario where a customer wants to have a motor drive follow the position of an external encoder. However, a regular 1500 PLC does not allow you to directly gear to an external encoder; this functionality requires a 1500T PLC. The T-series processors allow much more complex motion control, but are also more overhead for simpler projects. As it turns out, with a little creativity, it is possible to gear to an external encoder using a regular 1500 PLC. While you can&...

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DMC Makes List of Chicago's Top 5 Places to Work
Jessica Mlinaric

DMC Makes List of Chicago's Top 5 Places to Work

DMC Has Been Named the #4 Best Place to Work in Chicago. For the fourth consecutive year, DMC was named one of Chicago’s “Best Places to Work” by Crain's Chicago Business. Crain's highlighted DMC's continued growth and emphasis on social relationships during an awards reception held on April 6. Companies Prioritizing Culture Melissa Harris of the University of Chicago's Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation hosted the event. "It's...

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Geek Challenge: The Perfect Bracket
Cameron Fyfe

Geek Challenge: The Perfect Bracket

With March Madness wrapping up and everyone’s brackets broken once again, this month’s Geek Challenge is about what it might take to build the perfect bracket. It's time for all the mathletes out there to show off their skills. Imagine that for every game in the NCAA tournament you know the probability p for the favored team to win the game. For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume p is the same for all the games in the tournament. You fill out your bracket to reflec...

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