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Dissecting the Siemens Open Library: Configuring Multiple Items On a Faceplate Using a UDT
John Sullivan

Dissecting the Siemens Open Library: Configuring Multiple Items On a Faceplate Using a UDT

The Siemens Open Library is a great resource that includes many commonly used Function Blocks and Faceplates. However, every project is different and customer requirements sometimes necessitate changes or the creation of new things. In the Dissecting the Siemens Open Library Series (this is the first post), I plan to break down some of the methods used by the Open Library to make configuration quick and easy. One thing that the Open Library does really well is it...

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Watch Our Siemens Open Library Webinar
John Sullivan

Watch Our Siemens Open Library Webinar

DMC and Siemens recently co-hosted a webinar on "Developing PLC and HMI Code Faster Through Use of the Siemens Open Library." I joined Carson Kennedy of Siemens in presenting a free, 45-minute educational webinar that was originally introduced at the 2016 Siemens Automation Summit.  The Siemens platforms have always encouraged the use of modular, reusable, and object oriented code. Until recently, this meant that everyone was responsible for creating and maintaining their own i...

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Siemens Decentralized Motion Control with SINA_POS
Otto Gottlieb

Siemens Decentralized Motion Control with SINA_POS

In a previous blog I discussed programming motion control with a S7-1500 with Technology Objects in TIA Portal. This is a very popular method of doing the motion control on the PLC. We can also offload the motion control to the drive control unit using Siemens’ library motion blocks such as SINA_POS and allow the PLC to control more drives. The Siemens library motion blocks are also available for S7-300 PLCs, which do not support the same Technology Objects as S7-1500 PLC...

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How to Upload and Monitor Code on a Beckhoff TwinCAT 3 PLC
Nicklas Thystrup

How to Upload and Monitor Code on a Beckhoff TwinCAT 3 PLC

This guide will get you started with Beckhoff PLCs by showing step by step how to go online with an existing PLC to monitor or troubleshoot existing code on a running PLC. To upload the code from the PLC for modification or backup, just follow step 1. Upload PLC code Open the TwinCAT XAE in Visual Studio. Select File > Open > Open Project From Target… Select the PLC, then OK. See this guide for finding and connecting to a PLC. Select location on local compute...

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How to Connect to Beckhoff TwinCAT 3 PLCs
Nicklas Thystrup

How to Connect to Beckhoff TwinCAT 3 PLCs

This guide will get you started with Beckhoff PLCs by showing step by step how to connect to a Beckhoff PLC.     Download and install Beckhoff TwinCAT 3 programming environment. Once the programming environment is installed, this icon  will appear in the system tray. Select > Router > Edit Routes. In the TwinCAT Static Routes window that pops up, select Add... The Add Route Dialog will appear:  For most situations, the Broadcast Search option wi...

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Webinar: Developing PLC and HMI Code Faster Through Use of the Siemens Open Library
Jessica Mlinaric

Webinar: Developing PLC and HMI Code Faster Through Use of the Siemens Open Library

Join John Sullivan of DMC and Carson Kennedy of Siemens for a 45-minute educational webinar on Wednesday, August 24 at 2 p.m. EST. John Sullivan will present on "Developing PLC and HMI Code Faster Through Use of the Siemens Open Library."             The Siemens platforms have always encouraged the use of modular, reusable, and object oriented code. Until recently, this meant that everyone was responsible for creating and maintaining ...

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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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DMC's Siemens Automation Summit 2016 Highlights
John Sullivan

DMC's Siemens Automation Summit 2016 Highlights

This year's Siemens Automation Summit was as eventful as ever and full of excellent presentations, informative sessions, and advanced technology. Here are some of our favorite moments from the 2016 Automation Summit.   Virtual Reality at the Tech Café The Technology Café was well-attended and enjoyed by a variety of conference attendees. The Café consisted of four different stations with different Virtual Reality applications. Station One displayed a roller coaster application ...

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DMC Releases Free Siemens Open Library
John Sullivan

DMC Releases Free Siemens Open Library

DMC is excited to announce the release of the Siemens Open Library. The Siemens Open Library was developed by DMC, Inc. over several years. In partnership with Siemens Industry, we've improved, documented, and released this series of function blocks as an open source library for anyone to use and distribute.   By releasing the library via an open source license, we welcome users to contribute content to help enhance the overall availability of functionality to the greater Siemens Use...

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B&R Automation Studio Output Devices
Nikhil Holay

B&R Automation Studio Output Devices

For my very first project at DMC, I was tasked with setting up a file handling system through B&R Automation Studio 3. The application was to create a CSV file, populate the file with the revelant information, and then move the file to a new folder. As a new engineer, setting up a brand new system architecture can be a little daunting, so I was happy to find that Automation Studio makes it extremely straighforward to set up paths to different folders on your local storage (in this case, a co...

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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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Beckhoff Drive Diagnostics
Nikhil Holay

Beckhoff Drive Diagnostics

Recently, I was working with a client that was using TwinCAT 3 and Beckhoff drives to control machinery. One night, as they were running this machine, the drive faulted. Without any diagnostic message visible on the HMI, they were completely in the dark as to why the drive failed. Typically, as a programmer, I'll diagnose this by opening up Drive Manager and taking a look at the diagnostic message.     As this is useful information for an operator to see, this led m...

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The Force Awakens Your PLC
Boris Cherkasskiy

The Force Awakens Your PLC

It seems like lately the Force has awakened everywhere. The only corner of the universe that was still dark and quiet was the PLC and factory automation galaxy. To fill the gap I decided to show PLCs the way of the Force. And what could be better than to teach it some forceful music? The obvious PLC choice for this mission was a Siemens S7-1200 PLC that we happened to have in the lab. I quickly realized that Force is not very strong in PLCs, and they are not very musical. Since they weren'...

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Sharing Tags between Beckhoff PLCs Using ADS Read
Nicklas Thystrup

Sharing Tags between Beckhoff PLCs Using ADS Read

Often it becomes necessary to read a few tags from another Beckhoff PLC without setting up a full publisher subscriber EAP system. Automation Device Specification (ADS) reads and writes can be used to do this with very minimal setup, as long as both PLCs are on the same network. Setup consists of mapping the variable in the source PLC at a static memory location, and then reading it from the destination PLC using an ADS Read command. Steps Define the variable in the source PLC...

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Connecting to a Siemens PLC with Access Address
Leon Grossman

Connecting to a Siemens PLC with Access Address

There are occasions when a Siemens PLC may need to be commissioned with a different IP address than the one assigned in the project. In the case of a single PLC, this is no big deal and it is a simple matter to update the project to match the IP address of the PLC as installed in the final location.   There are several ways this might happen: The PLC IP address was changed from the value set by the original builder. There is a managed switch performing 1-to-1 NAT between the PLC ...

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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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Comfort Panel HMI Faceplate Programming with a Siemens PLC
Otto Gottlieb

Comfort Panel HMI Faceplate Programming with a Siemens PLC

Recently I was working on an S7-300 PLC project that required a fairly advanced HMI, so we chose the Comfort Panel to use Faceplates for the many pop-ups and identical controls required. Creating these Faceplates was a great way to increase our productivity in development, and I would like to share one very important lesson that we learned in the process. The test project I created uses an S7-300 PLC and a Comfort Panel HMI. The HMI control that I created is a Start-Stop HMI pushbutton...

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Connecting Custom Applications to the Factory Floor
Jon Carson

Connecting Custom Applications to the Factory Floor

DMC has expertise in both industrial and PC-based software development. In other words, we do a great deal of projects involving PLCs; but we also write plenty of complex PC-based apps. But my personal favorites are projects that combine the two. We’re seeing them more and more. Don’t get me wrong, off the shelf solutions are great, and should be used wherever they make sense. But sometimes they don’t fit all of the requirements our customers need. Here are some examples I&r...

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Read the Serial Number or MAC Address of your Siemens PLC
Ryan Landwehr

Read the Serial Number or MAC Address of your Siemens PLC

A recent DMC project for an OEM machine builder involved automatically generating log files for each machine. The twist? Each log file needed to be unique and easily traceable to the machine that generated it. This can be achieved using the PLC serial number and/or MAC address, and Siemens has a built-in System Function Block (SFB52 - RDREC) that can be used to extract this data. First let's take a look at the block and its inputs. REQ: Boolean input to request a Read. ...

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UDP Communication on Beckhoff’s TwinCAT 3
Sudeep Gowrishankar

UDP Communication on Beckhoff’s TwinCAT 3

Have you ever received a tweet from a machine on the factory floor? These days, modern PLCs interact with the typical PC and Information Technology world (Ethernet, SMTP/emails, SMS/text messaging, cloud technologies), but there often are caveats. You might need an OPC server to talk to the PLC and then a separate web service to interface with the your intranet. You might need to send messages out from the PLC to a PC-based server, specially configured to listen and interpret. You might need ...

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