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Data Logging with Siemens S7-1200 PLCs
Otto Gottlieb

Data Logging with Siemens S7-1200 PLCs

The creation and maintenance of data records for machines is a very important part of keeping machines running efficiently. For example, tracking downtime and uptime is crucial to provide proper maintenance on the machine, while logging stoppages and other events can help provide insight into troubleshooting any system. Maintaining these data logs sometimes requires purchasing additional software and hardware, as well as some programming to integrate everything together. Siemens has been prov...

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Using a Script to "Multiplex" Boolean Tags in Siemens Portal
Nikhil Holay

Using a Script to "Multiplex" Boolean Tags in Siemens Portal

After spending some time working with multiplexed tags in Siemens Portal, I found that I was unable to set boolean values through a multiplexed tag. Instead of using a multiplexed tag, a simple script can help achieve the same function. The function of the script is to take the input parameters and set the proper boolean tag based on those parameters. Example: Controlling Multiple Motors with One Pop-up In this example, multiple motors need to be controlled from an HMI. Without a script, e...

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B&R Automation - Changing Automation Runtime Configurations
Nikhil Holay

B&R Automation - Changing Automation Runtime Configurations

Within the Configuration view, ArConfig contains the Runtime Configuration. The Runtime configuration includes all sorts of useful information, including the unit's assigned IP address, host name, subnet mask, and much more. These functions serve to be extremely useful when configuring a device.  However, if you want to change these setting from the HMI of a unit, there are a few more steps involved.  In the Logical view, add the AsARCfg library to your global librarie...

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WinCC Comfort/Advanced V13 SP1: Pop-Up Screens and Slide-In Screens
Jeff McCormick

WinCC Comfort/Advanced V13 SP1: Pop-Up Screens and Slide-In Screens

Earlier this year (January 2015), Siemens released their latest service pack for the TIA Portal V13. This included updates to Step7 V13 SP1 and WinCC Comfort/Advanced V13 SP1, along with several others. Along with the WinCC V13 SP1 pack came the addition of the Pop-Up Screen and Slide-In Screen features. It is important to note that this is only available for HMIs running WinCC Comfort/Advanced V13 SP1 and WinCC Runtime Advanced V13 SP1. Currently, these features are only available for Comfort a...

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MS SQL Stored Procedures Directly from Beckhoff TwinCAT PLC
Nicklas Thystrup

MS SQL Stored Procedures Directly from Beckhoff TwinCAT PLC

Beckhoff TwinCAT 2 and 3 PLCs have the ability to execute SQL stored procedures to read or write data without the need for an HMI. This is achieved by setting up TwinCAT Database Server on the PLC to manage the database connections, and using functions from the TcDatabase library to execute stored procedures. This blog will go through the steps to setup the TwinCAT Database Server and execute a pre-existing stored procedure. 1. Setup your SQL database and write your stored procedure. 2....

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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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