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Entries for 'Frank May'

How to Fix a PLC 5 Red Fault Light
Frank May

How to Fix a PLC 5 Red Fault Light

So, you either had a system that was working and then a red light showed up, or you bought a used PLC and the fault light showed up. Here's how to fix the fault light.  If the "BATT" Light is Red You should replace the battery within a few days. You should keep the PLC running since the PLC will lose the program if it loses power for more than a few minutes without a battery (check your PLC manual for how to do this). If it's been red for more than ten&nbs...

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6 Things You Should Know When Commissioning a SIMATIC S7-400 PLC
Frank May

6 Things You Should Know When Commissioning a SIMATIC S7-400 PLC

Your code compiles, hardware config is all set, but you can't get rid of the red lights on the 400H system. Check the following before pulling out your soldering iron and green LEDs.    1. Are the rack switches correct? If you have no idea what I'm talking about, good news, this might be it! Take the second PLC off Rack 1 and look for an exposed switch on the back. Change it so it says "Rack 1" instead of "Rack 0". The default setting of the sw...

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How to Change a Fanuc Robot's Default Speed on Cold Start
Frank May

How to Change a Fanuc Robot's Default Speed on Cold Start

Short answer:  $SCR.$coldovrd Long answer: The robot's done. Testing went perfectly, operators know how to start, stop, and reset the system from the HMI without ever needing to touch the Teach Pendant. Then, someone powers off the robot to do some maintenance and notices the robot is now unusually slow on powerup. You get a phone call and want to tell them just to use the speed adjustment keys on the Teach Pendant after they power cycle the robot. However, you're a lit...

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Boston FedEx Day Produces Smart Bike Lights
Frank May

Boston FedEx Day Produces 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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Automatically Change Windows System Sounds
Frank May

Automatically Change Windows System Sounds

For those of you who are impatient, click here to download the completed executable, and see the results below. Have you ever said: “UGH, these Windows system sounds are so bland” And then wished you could change them to something better, and do it to all your company computers, but didn’t want to go through the hassle of clicking through Windows system settings while explaining to your coworkers what you’re doing to their computer? ME TOO! That’s...

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Here's How One Team at DMC Used $500 to Make People's Day in NYC
Frank May

Here's How One Team at DMC Used $500 to Make People's Day in NYC

DMC holds an All Day Company Meeting (ADCM) a few times a year for each office. These meetings are done offsite at a fun location. The day is usually split into two parts: a morning meeting where we discuss something business related, and an afternoon part where we do something fun. This ADCM, the fun activity was "The DMC Cares Challenge". The New York and Boston offices joined forces and then divided into teams of 5-6 people. Each team had the afternoon to use $500 to&nb...

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DMC Boston Hires a T-Rex
Frank May

DMC Boston Hires a T-Rex

In an effort to hire an experienced candidate, DMC Boston hires a Tyrannosaurus rex. Check out the video below!   Learn more about DMC's company culture.

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DMC Drone Day
Frank May

DMC Drone Day

Part of the fun of working at DMC is the activity fund budget we get to use for monthly fun events. One of our new favorite things to do is buy pizza and fly some of the drones (quadcopters) we have around the park outside our office.  Before doing so, we made sure we were following all local regulations and rules regarding flying drones. Since we were flying for fun, and all the drones were under 0.55 lbs, we didn't need to worry about most of the new FAA rules.   &n...

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Corporate Challenge 3.5 mile race
Frank May

Corporate Challenge 3.5 mile race

DMC joined 324 other Boston companies to run the Corporate Challenge 3.5 mile race on June 9th, 2016. The race sold-out with a total of 9,475 particpants. Although DMC made up just 6 of those participants, DMC was the only company that had a runner in a robot box costume.   The race was a lollipop loop that started on Charles Street, went out and back along Commonwealth Ave towards Kenmore Square, and looped around the Public Garden to finish where it started. At 3.5 m...

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Boston YOE 2016: Cape Cod & Martha's Vineyard
Frank May

Boston YOE 2016: Cape Cod & Martha's Vineyard

After DMC Boston's 20th Anniversary party, everyone took off to Cape Cod for the weekend for the Boston team's Yearly Office Event (YOE). The YOE is an opportunity for DMC employees to meet near one of DMC's locations for a trip planned by employees in that office. The YOE grew out of the popularity of our annual ski trip, and Houston celebrated its first YOE this spring. In Boston, we decided that everyone needs to pronounce YOE as "yo-ee." Many people from the Chicago ...

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DMC Boston Lip Dub
Frank May

DMC Boston Lip Dub

The DMC Boston office decided to have some fun replicating the "Nobody But Me" Lip Dub as seen on the TV series The Office.  Learn more about DMC's company culture.

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How to Use FANUC PC Developer's Kit (PCDK)
Frank May

How to Use FANUC PC Developer's Kit (PCDK)

FANUC offers an easy way to command and configure a robot from a PC using their PC Developer's Kit (PCDK).The kit allows a PC to access variables, registers, IO, programs, positions, and alarms on the robot. Most of the help documentation already covers Visual Basic, so I'll explain how to get started with C#. Installation First step is to install Visual Studio. Visual Studio Community is free and works perfectly for this application. After installing Visual Studio, go...

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Deluxe Drink System
Frank May

Deluxe Drink System

For one of our office parties, DMC's Boston office made an automatic bartender by utilizing industrial automation equipment. Before we disassembled it, we made a '90s style infomercial. The blog linked above has much more detail on how we built the automatic bartender, but here's a short list of some of the tech used: Siemens S7-1500 PLC Siemens S7-1200 PLC configured using I-Device Siemens KP8 key panel Philips Hue lightbulbs And of course, here is our infomercia...

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How to Create Fanuc HMI Panels Using the Panel Wizard
Frank May

How to Create Fanuc HMI Panels Using the Panel Wizard

Even though you want Fanuc robots to be as autonomous as possible, you sometimes need operators to interact with your robots and need a simple interface for that. Using third party HMIs to communicate with Fanuc Robots is certainly an option, but there is a bunch of setup needed, and accessing all the variables on the robot is difficult. Instead, you can create the interface using the built-in "Panel Wizard" to create up to four different operator screens. This blog will show you ho...

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How to Find and Replace items in WinCC 7.2
Frank May

How to Find and Replace items in WinCC 7.2

There is no global CTRL+F and Replace in  WinCC v7.2 that catches everything at once, but there are a few tools that can help you accomplish the same thing.  Let’s say we have a picture for Robot Defense. This picture has tags, text, script, and dropdown options for Robots. We want to make an identical screen, but for Alien Defense. Below is what we start with: Highlight everything on the screen and right click to bring up "Linking Options" Select "...

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How to Make and Test Your First Android App in Android Studio, FAST!
Frank May

How to Make and Test Your First Android App in Android Studio, FAST!

Android Studio is Google's free IDE for making Android apps and replaces Eclipse as the primary IDE for making Android apps.  In this less than 10 minute video, I'll show you how to: Install Android Studio (along with the Java Development Kit) Design a simple "Hello World" app Test the app on a Virtual Device Attach a real device to your computer and test the app there Fix common installation problems Learn more about DMC's custom softwar...

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The DMC Office
Frank May

The DMC Office

The DMC Boston Office decided to spoof an episode of 'The Office'.   In this episode of The DMC Office, Liz wants a cat and Jason comes up with a good way to see if a cat is right for the office. Learn more about DMC's company culture.

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DMC Boston Camping Trip to Acadia National Park
Frank May

DMC Boston Camping Trip to Acadia National Park

DMC traveled to Acadia National Park for a weekend full of nature, sunrises and fire. The trip there took about five hours, but we passed the time with podcasts, Pandora and checking out the fantastic foliage. Fall was just around the corner for Boston, and that corner was already at the Maine-New Hampshire border. All the deciduous trees were showing off their carotenoid (yellow and orange) and anthocyanin (red and purple) pigments.  Once we arrived, we set up on our three adjacent campsit...

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Clarifying the Heart
Frank May

Clarifying the Heart

The human heart is confusing and has befuddled countless musicians and poets. I’m here to throw engineering topics shed clarity on the issue and maybe even help someone like Taylor Swift understand a few things about the heart. Engineers love it when a system’s inputs and outputs are all measurable, since this lets them model the system and then predict the output. I’ll do this with heart rate as an output and speed and incline as inputs. These are by no means all the inputs...

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Frank & Bill's Chicago River Welcome Party
Frank May

Frank & Bill's Chicago River Welcome Party

After a few weeks on the job for the new Boston hires, DMC threw Bill Sowerine and me a welcome party consisting of dinner and drinks on the Chicago River. We took two electric boats on the river, which anyone could drive! It turns out that DMC has a few good captains hiding under engineering titles. Both of our self-appointed boat captains headed north towards Goose Island with the slightly lighter boat taking the lead. We enjoyed a dinner of sandwiches, fresh fruits, and bite sized desserts as...

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