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Connecting to a Legacy AB PLC-5
Devon Fritz

Connecting to a Legacy AB PLC-5

Sometimes the scariest part of working with legacy hardware is connecting to it with your laptop. This blog will lead you through an easy way to connect one such legacy PLC built by Allen Bradley, the PLC-5 series. Look here if trying to connect to a B&R System. Hardware - PLC-5 Series (catalog PDF here) - Laptop with DB-9/Serial/RS-232 or USB port - DB-25 to DB-9 cable (possible cable here) - Null Modem changer (if cable is not null modem) - RS-232 to USB protoco...

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Connecting to a B&R device in B&R Automation Studio
Nikhil Holay

Connecting to a B&R device in B&R Automation Studio

Connecting to a B&R device over Ethernet or over a network is extremely helpful for updating and troubleshooting programs. Without a connection, a CompactFlash would have to be re-created for any small change that was made. In addition, it would be impossible to monitor the state of the program. This article details how to connect to your B&R device over Ethernet and over a network. Connecting to a Device over Ethernet Purpose: Allows file downloads/transfers to the B&R devi...

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Mapping Physical Keys in B&R Automation Studio
Nikhil Holay

Mapping Physical Keys in B&R Automation Studio

The ability to map physical buttons is a crucial element of fully utilizing B&R's Power Panel platform. Physical keys are a great way of making an HMI more user-friendly and robust. This article details the procedure to map physical keys in B&R Automation Studio. High Level Overview Physical button pressed on the HMI Virtual key is triggered Triggered virtual key performs action or sets variable Variable can be used as a trigger for other actions within the program ...

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DMC Joins the Siemens MOM Expertise Alliance Center
Kevin Ferrigno

DMC Joins the Siemens MOM Expertise Alliance Center

Sam Weber and I recently participated in two meetings for the Siemens MOM Expertise Alliance Center (MEAC). Sam and I spent two days discussing the future of Manufacturing Execution Systems and Manufacturing Operations Management (MES and MOM) with top experts from Siemens and other members of the SIMATIC IT ecosystem. DMC is excited to extend its partnership with Siemens SIMATIC IT by joining the Siemens MEAC.  By joining the CoE, DMC gains access to an outstanding partner network of ex...

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Motion Control Solutions with Technology Objects in Siemens TIA Portal
Otto Gottlieb

Motion Control Solutions with Technology Objects in Siemens TIA Portal

This article goes through setting up and using the Siemens S120 drive inside TIA Portal after it has been configured in STARTER. While several other Siemens drives can be started with Siemens Startdrive (G120, G120C, G120D, and G120P), performing a hardware configuration of an S120 drive is not yet integrated into TIA Portal. I have heard that the next big release will have this feature! TIA Portal Setup In this example project I’m using an S7-1500 CPU and a CU320 control unit as seen ...

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Commissioning Siemens G120 Drives with Startdrive in TIA Portal
Nicklas Thystrup

Commissioning Siemens G120 Drives with Startdrive in TIA Portal

The built-in drive commissioning features in TIA Portal make it very simple to commission a Siemens G120 drive with a Siemens S7 PLC without the need for any stand-alone software. Drives can be commissioned quickly and easily, and afterwards all drive parameters will be stored in Portal for future reference. I have described the general process of setting up Profinet drives with safety in Portal step-by-step. Small details may vary with every situation, but the general process is as follows: ...

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SIMATIC IT Line Monitoring Tool for Overall Equipment Effectiveness
Kevin Ferrigno

SIMATIC IT Line Monitoring Tool for Overall Equipment Effectiveness

DMC has recently been working closely with Siemens in expanding opportunities to utilize their Manufacturing Execution Systems and Manufacturing Operations Management platform, SIMATIC IT. One area we've pursued is development of a Line Monitoring tool to help manufacturers implement a cost effective way to measure Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and perform downtime analysis.   This result is a low cost solution built on a Siemens S7-1200 PLC and SIMATIC IT Line Montioring Syst...

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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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Siemens WinCC OA - The Open Architecture SCADA Package
Leon Grossman

Siemens WinCC OA - The Open Architecture SCADA Package

When asked if we work with a particular technology here at DMC, my answer is always "yes". PLC, Embedded, Test and Measurement, Business Logic: we do it all and more. WinCC OA (OA) is the spiritual analogue to that philosophy in SCADA form. There are native drivers for Siemens and Allen Bradley PLCs as well as an OPC driver so it will work with nearly any modern controller. Supporting a wide range of hardware is expected of a product that is targeted to the same space as Wonderwa...

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Hitting the Ground Running…to China
Ryan Landwehr

Hitting the Ground Running…to China

As we enter the Christmas season, I can’t help but think back to this time last year. I was less than three months away from graduating college and faced with a big decision. It was only a few days before Christmas Eve, that I decided to start the next chapter of my life at DMC Boston. Before I knew it, June rolled around and I found myself on a city bus in Chicago heading into my first day of training at the Chicago office. I’d had summer internships in the past and felt like I had ...

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B&R Automation Studio: Troubleshoot Hardware Using Network Command Trace
Otto Gottlieb

B&R Automation Studio: Troubleshoot Hardware Using Network Command Trace

I recently had to troubleshoot an issue in which my servo drive was not responding to my PLC commands - as expected. In order to see the interaction between the PLC and the servo drive, I used the Network Command Trace.   Learn more about DMC's B&R Automation Studio Programming Services.

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Informational Webinar 11/12: Changing Machinery, Changing Software
Tim Jager

Informational Webinar 11/12: Changing Machinery, Changing Software

Join John Sullivan in conjunction with Siemens for a complimentary 45-minute educational webinar focused on converting industrial equipment from one vendor's tools to another. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, November 12 (1 p.m. CDT) and will be targeted toward those interested in software conversions for machinery. A variety of business demands can require a company to convert their industrial equipment from one vendor’s gear to another supplier’s tools. The m...

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Siemens PLC Communication with I-Device
Jimmy Condon

Siemens PLC Communication with I-Device

For a couple of recent projects I needed to transfer a few bytes between Siemens PLCs. I had used PUTs and GETs in the past, which I find very useful for sending large amounts of data. But if I only need to send a few bytes or speed is critical, setting up one of the PLCs as slave to the other PLC can be more efficient. Siemens makes this quick to do with I-Device, and I’ll show a couple of examples below. S7-300 PLCs and Profibus, Both PLCs In The Same TIA Portal Project When u...

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B&R Automation Studio: Create Popup Windows on HMI Pages
Otto Gottlieb

B&R Automation Studio: Create Popup Windows on HMI Pages

Creating popup windows on HMI pages enhances the interaction between the operator and the machine. The creation of popup windows in Automation Studio involves many other important aspects of making an HMI more dynamic such as formatting layers on pages, controlling and using the HMI display in program code, and manipulating the statuses of HMI elements. If you are new to creating HMI pages with Automation Studio, then you can learn a lot from this video. Learn more about DMC's B&R Aut...

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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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View DMC's 2014 Siemens Automation Summit Presentations
Tim Jager

View DMC's 2014 Siemens Automation Summit Presentations

DMC attended the annual Siemens Automation Summit last month, held June 23 - 26, 2014. We enjoyed four days of learning and networking with new friends at Walt Disney World's Contemporary Resort in Orlando, FL. The week kicked off with Monday night's popular Connect Event. This casual cocktail event allowed attendees to build their network using a mobile friendly app or website developed by DMC and Prism Systems to connect and share contact information. Attendees also got a previ...

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DMC Joins Siemens SIMATIC IT Partner Program
Tim Jager

DMC Joins Siemens SIMATIC IT Partner Program

DMC is proud to announce its affiliation with the Siemens SIMATIC IT Partner Program. SIMATIC IT Partners offer value added services helping customers realize solutions tailored to their unique business environments in order to maximize the efficiency of MES installations. We're excited to join a community of technical experts with industry specific know-how who are recognized as high-level consultants dedicated to helping customers achieve their business goals. SIMATIC IT Partners a...

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Beckhoff Automation and Programming Demo at DMC
Simon Healey

Beckhoff Automation and Programming Demo at DMC

Beckhoff visited the DMC Chicago office not long ago in order to demo some cool automation equipment. Many of us are already familiar with Beckhoff’s products, but it was really valuable to be able to take a step back from working with the equipment just to see it from an operational standpoint. For those DMC engineers who don’t work with Beckhoff equipment as often, this was an amazing opportunity to get more intimately acquainted with the hardware.  For those who don’...

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