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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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WinCC Professional Popups
Jimmy Condon

WinCC Professional Popups

SyntaxHighlighter.all(); For a recent project using WinCC Professional V12, I needed to have a pop up window that could change based on the screen window that the operator clicks (motor, VFD, valve, etc.). The popup also needed to have its location change based on where the screen window was that the operator clicked. To implement the popup, I added a screen window to the starting screen. I did not assign any of its properties: I gave it a visibility animation based on an internal tag...

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VB Script to Save an SSRS Report as a PDF
Jack Cosgrove

VB Script to Save an SSRS Report as a PDF

Reporting is almost a universal requirement for new projects coming into DMC these days. As part of an HMI we developed for a customer we also installed SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) on a Siemens PLC. This is used to generate reports for production batches run on that PLC. The customer desired these reports to be in PDF format, which after some investigation was easy to do with SSRS. A little background on SSRS... SSRS is a web application that generates nice graphical reports from SQL...

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Siemens S7-1200 Web Server Tutorial - From Getting Started to HTML5 User Defined Pages
Tim Jager

Siemens S7-1200 Web Server Tutorial - From Getting Started to HTML5 User Defined Pages

This is a brief tutorial on getting started with the Siemens embedded web server in the S7-1200 and S7-1500.  Using the concepts explained below, you can create a simple web page or a fully featured HTML5 web app.  Getting Started Step 1.  Turn on the web server.  To do this, navigate to the web server menu in the device configuration page and check the box to enable the web server.   Step 2: Download your project to your PLC and browse to its IP add...

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DMC to Present at the Siemens 2013 Automation Summit
Frank Riordan

DMC to Present at the Siemens 2013 Automation Summit

As a Siemens Solution Partner, DMC looks forward to attending the annual Siemens Automation Summit each year. Focused on the end users of Siemens automation products, the Summit offers opportunities for best practice sharing, networking, free hands-on training, and providing product input and prioritization for future enhancements. This year’s event, held June 24 – 27 in New Orleans, focuses on the theme of “Community. Experiences. Productivity."   This year, DMC ...

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Extracting Log Data from a Siemens PLC Using a .NET Client
Jack Cosgrove

Extracting Log Data from a Siemens PLC Using a .NET Client

I had the opportunity recently to work for a client who wanted to extract log data from a Siemens WinAC PLC using a C# .NET client. The application was archiving software that would run when another software component encountered an error. Log data was assembled from a variety of sources in the system stack, including the Siemens PLC. In order to keep the PLC's Step 7 code independent of this diagnostic logging, I used the Siemens WinAC ODK. The WinAC API exposes two interfaces, IPLC and ...

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Automating Siemens S7 and SiMotion Tasks Using C# .NET
Jon Carson

Automating Siemens S7 and SiMotion Tasks Using C# .NET

Siemens offers useful tools for accessing both Simatic and SiMotion projects programmatically, in the form of registered COM Type Library DLLs. These tools offer many exciting possibilities (well, it does if you're like me, and get excited by things like automating automation tools). If you have Simatic Manager installed, the following DLLs are registered with it: S7hcom_x 1.0 Type Library - The default location on my laptop is C:\Program Files (x86)\Siemens\Step7\S7BIN\S7HCOM_X.DLL) S...

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Getting Young Kids Interested in Technology
Frank Riordan

Getting Young Kids Interested in Technology

I'm always trying to get my daughters, ages 8 & 5, interested in what we do here at DMC. It's a challenge because I have a hard enough time explaining what DMC does to someone I meet at a cocktail party, never mind a couple of young kids. However, I recently had two great experiences with them that actually piqued their interest. The first was a trip to Legoland in Carlsbad, California. In addition to Miniland USA, Land of Adventure and other fun rides, there also is a Lego Factory T...

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Automation Redundancy Using ICONICS WebHMI Solutions
Jon Carson

Automation Redundancy Using ICONICS WebHMI Solutions

There are many good options for automation and controls redundancy out there. Here is an example we just recently used in the field. The customer specified a requirement of complete redundancy for all IT, networking, and HMI components of one of a large-scale manufacturing line. The system architecture we chose incorporated thin-client HMIs with server virtualization, off-the-shelf ICONICS redundancy solutions, dual KEPware OPC servers, a custom .NET service, and automatically backed-up SQL data...

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PID with a Siemens S7-1200 PLC
Jason Mayes

PID with a Siemens S7-1200 PLC

A few weeks ago I had the chance to experiment with serial communications using a Siemens S7-1200 PLC outfitted with a CM1241 (RS-485 module). Due to the limited number of projects we've had using the 1200 line of PLCs, this was an office first. And while it was very straightforward, it was still a learning experience. Recently I had another chance to be DMC's S7-1200 pioneer - this time using the S7-1200's PID blocks, and luckily, not involving death by dysentery, cholera, or sna...

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Siemens S7-1200 Serial Communication
Jason Mayes

Siemens S7-1200 Serial Communication

Today, I found myself setting up some simple point-to-point serial communication on a Siemens S7-1200. For the current application, I was writing a simple function block to broadcast data to a Red Lion serial slave display, but there are a variety of situations in which you may need to do to this, such as communicating with a VFD. While there are many people in this office who do this regularly with other Siemens PLCs, it was the first time for any of us on an S7-1200, so I though...

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Using an iPhone to Control a Factory
Jimmy Condon

Using an iPhone to Control a Factory

Most Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) are in a static location. Sometimes, this can be inconvenient if you need to check a device (motor, valve, diverter, etc.), but the sight line from the HMI is blocked and you need to be able to watch the device move. Several projects that DMC has worked on involve a central server (typically Windows Server 2008 R2) that has the HMI editing software (I used Iconics GraphWorx), OPC server for gathering data from the PLC, and the HTML pages used by the thin cl...

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The Basics of Siemens S7 PLC I/O Addressing
Nick Shea

The Basics of Siemens S7 PLC I/O Addressing

Are you a new user of Siemens PLCs a and wondering what terms like "process image" and "peripheral address" mean? What does the "P" in "PIW" stand for? Are you an experienced user and are too embarrassed to ask? Or, maybe you are like me and just need refresher every once in a while? Fortunately, the Siemens support website has a great article that explains these different ways to access I/O for Siemens S7-300 and 400 PLCs. Here are some summary t...

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March Programming Madness - Let the Nerdament Begin
Danny Budzinski

March Programming Madness - Let the Nerdament Begin

With the first few rounds of the tournament in the books, I figured it was time to dive into the first round of our programming language tournament (or Nerdament as I like to call it.) For a rundown of the competitors, you can check out the opening bracket or you can also review some of the snubs. Once you are caught up, I hope that you are as excited for some fast-paced compiler vs. IDE action as I am. Our first matchup features the highly favored C# .Net taking on lowly, old-timey conferenc...

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March Programming Madness - The Bracket
Danny Budzinski

March Programming Madness - The Bracket

With the final few plays of the super bowl still fresh in mind, we enter March on the verge of another of the greatest events in sports, the March Madness of Programming Languages. This epic, world-renowned event (not to be confused with the similarly named athletic event) pits some of best programming languages head to head. At DMC, we pride ourselves in being fluent in many, many software languages from LabVIEW and .Net to PLC’s and microcontrollers. A team of engineers came...

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Iconics, VBA, VBScript, and Writing to OPC Tags
Jimmy Condon

Iconics, VBA, VBScript, and Writing to OPC Tags

Background DMC has often had to download a high number of values from a SQL server to an OPC server. In the past, this had usually been done with VBA code that was called from an Iconics HMI screen. The code looped through about 600 tags in less than a minute. The VBA code was always executing locally (on the same PC) as the OPC server it was writing to. For a particular application, the HMI architecture switched to using WebHMI. Therefore, the VBA code needed to be converted to VBScript f...

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High-speed Position Latching using Yaskawa's MotionWorks IEC
Jason Mayes

High-speed Position Latching using Yaskawa's MotionWorks IEC

I was recently working on a multi-axis Yaskawa-based motion control project and ran into an issue using an in-software position latch. In this case, we were running a servo at fairly high speed and trying to record the encoder position when a sensor was triggered. It turned out that the PLC scan rate, servo speed, and gearing ratios involved were resulting in unacceptable accuracy issues. For this project, all programming was done using Yaskawa’s MotionWorks IEC Express. We were using a...

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Siemens S7-1200 Analog IO
Nick Shea

Siemens S7-1200 Analog IO

If you find yourself working with Analog IO on the Siemens S7-1200 for the first time, you may wonder how and where to start.  Here are some basic tips for working with Analog IO on this PLC platform.  For the purposes of this blog, I will focus on implementing 4-20mA inputs and outputs, but the concepts should apply to other signal types as well. Configuring Analog Input/Output Models: Open the Device Configuration for the PLC.  Add your module, then configure each channel...

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Siemens PLCS, Networking, and More--DMC at the SITEC 2011 Conference
Jon Carson

Siemens PLCS, Networking, and More--DMC at the SITEC 2011 Conference

I recently had the opportunity to attend my first Siemens technical conference. The conference, called SITEC, took place May 16-20 in Atlanta, GA, and Kristie Shea and I represented DMC. SITEC is Siemens’ technical conference where solution partners like DMC, distributors, and internal Siemens staff learn about the latest Siemens software and hardware technology solutions. I had a great time seeing what's new and upcoming in the automation world, as well as meeting the people behind th...

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DMC to Present at the 2011 Siemens Automation Summit
Frank Riordan

DMC to Present at the 2011 Siemens Automation Summit

DMC is excited to attend and present at the Siemens Automation Summit 2011 held from June 27-30 at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts in Orlando, FL. The Summit is an annual conference that focuses on the end-users of Siemens automation products and provides a great venue for interacting and learning with our peer companies. DMC is a proud Siemens Solutions Partner with the most S7 Certified Engineers in the United States. Tim Jager, Nick Shea, and I will be attending the conference....

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