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Entries for 'Jason Mayes'

DMC Cares About Houston
Jason Mayes

DMC Cares About Houston

Houston was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey last month. Thousands of homes were flooded and families are struggling to clean up before they can even begin to think about rebuilding. From headline stories about Mattress Mack, JJ Watt, and the Cajun Navy, to the smaller news stories that may go unnoticed, it's been amazing to see the city band together and come to each other's aid. In my neighborhood, we received 41.25" of rain in just over three days. While I was fortu...

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How to Set Up an MRP-based Ring Network in TIA Portal
Jason Mayes

How to Set Up an 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 more in-depth network diagnostics. Today, I want to quickly show you how you can use Network Topology to configure a MRP-based Ring Network in TIA Portal. Why Ring Topology? There are many reasons why one might consider using a ring topology for your network. The most common one is ...

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Optional Hardware Configuration Control in TIA Portal
Jason Mayes

Optional Hardware Configuration Control in TIA Portal

Ever wish you could create a project with optional hardware modules? Or add hardware in the field with any programming? Configuration Control within TIA Portal allows you to configure hardware modules and even I/O network objects to be optional so that a user can, at run-time, choose what hardware should be used.

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Automatic HMI Connection Fail-over in TIA Portal with the S7-400H
Jason Mayes

Automatic HMI Connection Fail-over in TIA Portal with the S7-400H

For anyone who has spent much time working with the SIMATIC S7-400H, it becomes quickly apparent that the devil is often in the details. You find that there are many small settings and 'tricks' that you uncover while setting up redundancy, redundant Modbus communication, redundant communication interfaces for I/O, configuring hardware, etc., that you need to get things running. Sometimes those small details are hard to catch. In the words of my wise colleague Lillian Walker, "The re...

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Multiplexing Arrays of UDTs in TIA Portal V14
Jason Mayes

Multiplexing Arrays of UDTs in TIA Portal V14

It's back! When V13 SP1 was first released, one of the features I was most excited about was the ability to multiplex arrays of custom UDTs on a PLC using a simple index tag on an HMI. This feature allowed me to use a single faceplate or screen to display or modify data from multiple objects by simply changing a single tag. I was so excited, I even wrote a blog post about it then! Unfortunately, it was a feature to be short lived and, due to some unexpected consequences, mysteri...

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Customizing HMI Alarm Text in TIA Portal
Jason Mayes

Customizing HMI Alarm Text in TIA Portal

Recently, I found the need to create customizable text for some alarms in a TIA Portal project. In this particular case, I needed to include the name of the operator that was monitoring the machine for traceability, as well as some specific machine information (process tag value) when the alarm occurred. Knowing this must be possible, I set off to Google, the Siemens forums, and the TIA Portal help files. Surprisingly, I was not able to find very good documentation or examples online. Howev...

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The 2016 Houston Grand Opening Party
Jason Mayes

The 2016 Houston Grand Opening Party

After opening our DMC's Houston office last spring, we officially celebrated with a Grand Opening Party in May. The event marked the first official DMC Houston Party as well as the 20th anniversary of DMC! The night was filled with food, drinks, games and most importantly, Texas-sized fun. Despite the rainy weather, numerous guests came out to celebrate with us. To kick off the evening, we had a ribbon-cutting ceremony to toast our Houston office!  We had an excellent tim...

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DMC Presented at Siemens Oil and Gas Conference
Jason Mayes

DMC Presented at Siemens Oil and Gas Conference

DMC presented at the Siemens Oil & Gas Conference this spring. The conference took place in Houston, bringing together over 700 Siemens customers, executives, technology leaders, and industry experts to explore innovative technologies and new challenges facing the Oil and Gas Industry. DMC had their own booth and lead three different presentations. Each presentation was very successful, and we are very proud of both of the presenters. At the DMC booth, we met end users, integrators and a ...

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Attend DMC Houston's Grand Opening Party
Jason Mayes

Attend DMC Houston's Grand Opening Party

DMC has been doing business in our Houston office since last spring, but now that our Rodeo Room plaque is hung on the conference room door, we're excited to invite you inside. You're cordially invited to join us for DMC Houston's Grand Opening party on May 26, 2016! DMC Houston's Grand Opening Party May 26, 2016 4 - 10 p.m. 3311 Richmond Ave., Suite 209 Houston, TX 77098 [Directions] Join us in celebrating our Grand Opening with a Texas-sized amount of fun! We will al...

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Linking PLC UDT Tags to HMI Faceplates and Pop-ups in TIA Portal V13 SP1
Jason Mayes

Linking PLC UDT Tags to HMI Faceplates and Pop-ups in TIA Portal V13 SP1

PLEASE NOTE: This blog was written using features available in TIA Portal V13 SP1 Update 1. Some of the functionality shown was removed in Update 3, specifically the ability to multiplex UDTs. Hopefully the rest of the information will be still be helpful to you! Here at DMC, we spend a lot of time programming PLCs and HMIs. While we program systems of all types and flavors, I'm personally most experienced with Siemens (TIA Portal) and Rockwell (RSLogix5000/FactoryTalk View). Th...

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DMC Attends 2015 Offshore Technology Conference
Jason Mayes

DMC Attends 2015 Offshore Technology Conference

DMC recently attended the 2015 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) held May 4 - 7 in Houston. Over 94,700 attendees in offshore energy from around the world gathered at NRG Park to exchange ideas and opinions advancing scientific and technical knowledge for the safe, environmentally friendly and sustainable development of offshore oil and gas resources. DMC opened a Houston office this year, making this conference especially valuable. Ryan Taylor and I spent a day at the ...

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DMC is Expanding to Houston
Jason Mayes

DMC is Expanding to Houston

DMC is heading to Texas!  After previously expanding to the East and West, DMC is now looking South to Houston, Texas. By gaining a presence on the Gulf Coast, DMC hopes to better serve our existing clients throughout Texas and the rest of the southeastern United States as we continue to develop new business partnerships and relationships in the region.  DMC Houston’s office will be located in the Upper Kirby area, very near to Greenway Plaza, Montr...

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Datalogging From a Siemens PLC to LabVIEW: Easier Than You Think
Jason Mayes

Datalogging From a Siemens PLC to LabVIEW: Easier Than You Think

Have you ever been disappointed in the data logging options available on your Basic panel? Ever wished it were easier to set up logging directly to a database? Or perhaps you've wanted to set up some simple simulation or test sequences without modifying your PLC control code. If you have a little LabVIEW experience, you're in luck! Recently, I ran across an R&D scenario where we wanted to log some data from an S7-1500 PLC for analysis - a lot of data. We were using a TP1500 Comfor...

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DMC Boston's Silent Night Beer Bottle Christmas Carol
Jason Mayes

DMC Boston's Silent Night Beer Bottle Christmas Carol

We had grand plans here at DMC Boston of actually playing Christmas carols on beer bottles. But once we emptied all of the bottles, we were struggling to get everyone to even pay attention long enough to sit at a table. So, we did some searching for motivation and found these geniuses on YouTube. We decided they were way better than we’d ever be, so we just agreed we’d try our best and borrow their sound. That being said, all credit must go to the Bowen Beer Bottle Band. Watch ...

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Using an S7-1200 PLC as a Modbus TCP Slave
Jason Mayes

Using an S7-1200 PLC as a Modbus TCP Slave

Have a need to make data available from your S7-1200 PLC to a Modbus TCP Master (or SCADA)? Luckily, this is easy to setup. This will be short and sweet. Siemens provides two Instruction blocks for setting up Client/Server Modbus TCP connections – you can find them under Communication on the Instructions Window – MB_SERVER and MB_CLIENT. As an example, let’s set up a Modbus TCP server on our PLC. I’m starting a project from scratch, so I’m going to add an ...

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Source Code Protection For Your SIMATIC S7-1200 PLC in TIA Portal
Jason Mayes

Source Code Protection For Your SIMATIC S7-1200 PLC in TIA Portal

From time to time, we'll run across situations where a client believes it is necessary to lock down code on a PLC. In some cases, there may be valuable intellectual property they would like to protect. In others, its purpose may be to prevent unauthorized modifications to safety-related code, or activation of disabled options. There may also be cases where it is necessary to interlock a PLC program to a specific memory card or CPU, especially in cases where there may be multiple, similar (bu...

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Troubleshooting Your Siemens SIMATIC S7-1200 Timers
Jason Mayes

Troubleshooting Your Siemens SIMATIC S7-1200 Timers

I've done a lot of PLC programming over the last few years. Siemens, Rockwell, Beckhoff, Mitsubishi, Panasonic... if it's IEC61131-3 compliant, I've probably written a few rungs on it. However, I recently ran across an interesting problem that completely stumped me. I was doing a quick test on an S7-1200 PLC (programmed in TIA Portal V13) where I needed to perform a non-time critical operation approximately once a second within a re-usable FB. The two rungs that confounded me and ...

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NI Week 2014 Recap
Jason Mayes

NI Week 2014 Recap

DMC had a great time at NI Week 2014, held in Austin, Texas. The convention was a chance for those working in the fields of engineering and science to come together and learn about new National Instruments hardware and LabVIEW technology, as well as plans for future developments. DMC sent engineers from our Chicago, Boston, and Denver offices to represent the work we do for our clients and to honor our affiliation with National Instruments.  This was my first NIWeek, and having heard gre...

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DMC Boston Bears Arms
Jason Mayes

DMC Boston Bears Arms

Having moved to Boston from the Midwest, I've been really excited to explore New England. One of the things I've enjoyed the most has been the rich history of the Massachusettes Bay area. From Walden Pond and John Adams' Peacefield home to the USS Constitution and Paul Revere, history is everywhere. Boston is truly the most historic city in America - the home of Patriots and the birthplace of the American Revolution. In honor of that history and tradition, everyone here at DMC Bos...

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Source Code Protection in Studio 5000 Logix Designer
Jason Mayes

Source Code Protection in Studio 5000 Logix Designer

While working with a customer on a recent RSLogix 5000 project (now called Studio 5000), there was a need to protect some proprietary source code. In this particular case, DMC had developed a custom Add-On Instruction (AOI) to be used within the project that contained some unique logic that the client wished to protect. This is incredibly easy to do. Rockwell provides an easy tool for this that comes prepackaged with RSLogix.  Since protecting intellectual property or touchy algorithms w...

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