Categories

Entries for the 'PLC' Category

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...

Continue reading →


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...

Continue reading →


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...

Continue reading →


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...

Continue reading →


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...

Continue reading →


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...

Continue reading →


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...

Continue reading →


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...

Continue reading →


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...

Continue reading →


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...

Continue reading →


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...

Continue reading →


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...

Continue reading →


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....

Continue reading →


Application Programming with Yaskawa’s A1000 Inverter Drives
Jason Mayes

Application Programming with Yaskawa’s A1000 Inverter Drives

I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days at Yaskawa America’s North American headquarters to sit in on an A1000 Application Programming class. As a Yaskawa Solution and Service Provider PLUS, many DMC engineers have extensive application programming experience using Yaskawa’s inverter drives in the industrial workspace. In addition to being a Yaskawa Solution and Service Provider, we have frequently worked closely with Yaskawa’s software development team to aid i...

Continue reading →


Using Siemens S7-300 PLCs to Report System Errors
Jon Carson

Using Siemens S7-300 PLCs to Report System Errors

The Siemens S7-300 line of PLCs has about a million great features integrated into the programming environment. After I recently inherited a PLC project where some (many) of these were not implemented, I thought it might be a good idea to do a recap on some of the more useful functions Step7 has to offer us. By far one of the most useful, and sadly underutilized, capabilities available to us from the Step7 environment is the “Report System Errors” utility. This utility, when activ...

Continue reading →


DMC Attains Most Siemens Certified Engineers in the USA
Frank Riordan

DMC Attains Most Siemens Certified Engineers in the USA

DMC just attained a rather significant milestone - we now have eight people who have met all of the requirements for the Global Technical Certification in the SIMATIC Technology areas of S7 PLCs, SIMATIC HMIs, and SIMATIC Networking. This is signifcant from several points of view.  The first is that the certification test is, quite bluntly, pretty darn hard - I think the pass rate is less than 40%.  Secondly, in order to be part of the Siemens Solution Partner Program, an integra...

Continue reading →


DMC Hosts Webinar Comparing Competing Controller Platforms
Jessica Mlinaric

DMC Hosts Webinar Comparing Competing Controller Platforms

Last month DMC’s Nick Shea presented a webinar in conjunction with Siemens Industry, Inc.  The topic, An Unbiased Comparison of the Siemens SIMATIC S7-1200 and AB (Allen-Bradley) MicroLogix, drew an audience of over 400 registrants. Nick’s presentation focused on providing an independent analysis of both platforms from both a technological and benefits-oriented perspective.  Its aim is to help customers weigh the tradeoffs of the platforms based on their specific needs, ...

Continue reading →


DMC Presents at the 2010 Siemens Automation Summit
Tim Jager

DMC Presents at the 2010 Siemens Automation Summit

What was the best part of my trip to Charlotte, NC last week? - Watching the Blackhawks Stanley Cup game 6 on a massive screen in the NASCAR hall of fame after the Siemens award ceremony. Very surreal... and totally awesome! Yes, Siemens really knows how to put on a great event. Last week was the 2010 Siemens Automation Summit, held in beautiful Charlotte, NC. The Siemens Automation Summit is a conference that specifically focused on the end users of Siemens automaton products. It is a gre...

Continue reading →


RT-201: PLCs vs. Real-Time Systems
Eric Nielsen

RT-201: PLCs vs. Real-Time Systems

In RT-101: Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOS), I provided readers with a brief description of the many benefits that systems running an RTOS can provide in harsh and demanding environments. The bigger question is: in an industry saturated by PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers), PACs (Programmable Automation Controllers), Field Point controllers, Microcontrollers and many others, why should an engineer choose an RTOS PAC (Programmable Automation Controller) platform above all the rest? To addre...

Continue reading →


RT-301: Capabilities of Distributed LabVIEW Real-Time
Darren Jones

RT-301: Capabilities of Distributed LabVIEW Real-Time

Eric Nielsen’s Real Time blog did a good job of hitting the major strengths and benefits of any system based on a controller running a Real-time operating system. Here I’ll get into a little more depth, specifically for the capabilities these systems give in regards to distributed execution. As we’ve learned, the major benefits of running a Real-Time system are determinism and robust operation. These benefits can be realized in a very powerful way: distributed execution. Dis...

Continue reading →


Page 5 of 7First   Previous   1  2  3  4  [5]  6  7  Next   Last   

Categories