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Entries for 'Eric Baggen'

DMC Office Update: DMC Seattle Finds New Hobbies
Eric Baggen

DMC Office Update: DMC Seattle Finds New Hobbies

Each month, everyone at DMC meets in person or by video conference for a monthly company meeting. We share knowledge, introduce new employees to the company, celebrate anniversaries, and much more.  However, what we often most look forward to are office update videos! This DMC tradition started in our Boston office a few years ago and quickly spread to Houston. From there, it was only a matter of time before all the DMC offices were competing to see who can make the funniest office ...

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Flattening WinCC's Skeuomorphism: The Toggle Switch
Eric Baggen

Flattening WinCC's Skeuomorphism: The Toggle Switch

I recently developed an HMI using WinCC 7.4 for an automation project. Building it from the ground up afforded me the opportunity to deviate from WinCC’s default skeuomorphic controls and instead experiment with more modern, flatter UI elements found on consumer-facing products like smartphones and web interfaces (think Facebook, Google, and Apple). I relied on WinCC’s faceplate types to create generic controls that could be dragged and dropped as needed without additional ov...

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Turning an Arduino into a Modbus Device
Eric Baggen

Turning an Arduino into a Modbus Device

A situation arises where you have a system that includes a PLC, an HMI, and some peripheral devices. The HMI displays some information to a user and allows for some basic control and the PLC manages data collection and communication through an RS485 network using a Modbus RTU protocol. Easy, right? Many PLCs already support RS485 and Modbus communication and only require a few functions blocks. There is a twist, however. The devices with which the PLC is communicating a...

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Creating a Slackbot Personal Assistant with .NET and an Office Fish
Eric Baggen

Creating a Slackbot Personal Assistant with .NET and an Office Fish

It wasn't too long ago that DMC Boston added a Particle Internet Button to remind us to feed our fish, Stevie. With Stevie doing so well, and DMC's FedEx Day coming up, we started brainstorming of what else could we do. We landed on turning Stevie the fish into an alternate online personality in the form of a personal assistant bot! Automated personal assistants are everywhere these days. Siri and Google Now keep us talking to our phones. Amazon Echo and Google Homes ar...

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Using IoT, a Particle Internet Button, and Slack to Feed a Fish
Eric Baggen

Using IoT, a Particle Internet Button, and Slack to Feed a Fish

"Stevie is a fish. Stevie has no motors. Stevie prefers that you don’t tap on the tank. Stevie doesn’t know what Wi-Fi is. This is a picture of a computer. It’s not a fish. Stevie is a fish! I bet Stevie wishes he had hands so he could play with tablets." This description is printed on a sign that sits next to Stevie’s tank. Who is Stevie, you might ask? Stevie is DMC Boston’s office fish, and he is a valued member of the team. Like us, he ...

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