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Siemens Open Library Version 3.0 Release
Jeff McCormick

Siemens Open Library Version 3.0 Release

Version 3.0 has just been released for the Siemens Open Library. This is by far the largest update since the initial release of the library and includes changes for TIA Portal V14 SP1. COMING SOON: A TIA Portal V15 version of the Siemens Open Library that includes full simulation for all devices! Major Updates Twenty-nine newly supported blocks! Including brand new blocks such as Digital Output, Siwarex Load Cell Modules, Hydraulic Valve, Danfoss VFDs and more! Full document...

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SQL Express Scripting from WinCC Advanced
John Williams

SQL Express Scripting from WinCC Advanced

The ability to access a SQL database in real time from WinCC runtime can be beneficial for manufacturing processes. It can be used to determine what should be run on a line, log parameters of a process, or provide tracking of products in real time. This tutorial will go through some of the steps necessary to access data from an SQL database with WinCC advanced. An important note is that SQL access is not allowed through scripting from a Siemens Comfort Panel. One way to work around this&...

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Beckhoff's New TwinCAT HMI
Jacob Bruce

Beckhoff's New TwinCAT HMI

Last February, DMC visited Beckhoff’s U.S. headquarters in Savage, MN for a training course on their new TwinCAT HMI platform. We were very impressed by the platform and have since had some successful implementation on projects. Here are a couple of the features integrated into Beckhoff’s new HMI worth taking note of: Web-based Control and Monitoring WYSIWYG Web Page Design Development in Visual Studio Easy Extention and Customization Read on for more details...

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ABB Vision-Guided Movement – These ARE the Droids You’re Looking For
Keith Janson

ABB Vision-Guided Movement – These ARE the Droids You’re Looking For

Of all the unanswered questions of the universe, the one that consistently keeps me up at night is this: In Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, if recovering the Death Star plans were so vital to the security of the Galactic Empire, why would you send Storm Troopers to do a job that a machine could do just as well, especially if the machine would be immune to Jedi mind tricks?  To prove to myself that it could not have been an issue of technological limitations (and have an excuse to pla...

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WinCC Comfort/Advanced HMI Heartbeat
Furqan Ayub

WinCC Comfort/Advanced HMI Heartbeat

WinCC Advanced provides a way to monitor the heartbeat of the HMI through an area pointer called coordination word. PLC can monitor this life bit and find out when the HMI gets disconnected. This blog shows you how to monitor the HMI life bit on a Siemens PLC. Create a data block variable of type Word called wCoordinationWord and open HMI connections in Portal. After you select the HMI connection that is linked to your PLC, select the area pointer tab. Enable the Coordination area point...

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DMC Is Ignition 7.9 CORE Certified
Nick Shea

DMC Is Ignition 7.9 CORE Certified

DMC is excited to announce that we are now Ignition 7.9 CORE certified. Project Engineer Elizabeth Hill passed the Ignition Core Certification exam designed to test understanding and knowledge of Ignition. The test covers Ignition architecture, real-time status and control, historical data logging, UDTs and templates, and alarming. Testing & Certification The test itself consists of two parts and takes an average of eight hours to complete. Part one, Troubleshooting Prompt...

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5 Tips For Getting Started In PLCSIM Advanced
Nikhil Holay

5 Tips For Getting Started In PLCSIM Advanced

Siemens' S7-PLCSIM Advanced allows simulation of functions while configuring and engineering without a physical connection. Overall, PLCSIM Advanced implements many improvements over PLCSIM including simulation for the web server, OPC UA, distributed IO, and many more. Below are a couple tips and tricks I’ve used to get started with PLCSIM Advanced. Tip One: Downloading To PLCSIM Advanced Downloading to PLCSIM Advanced is a little different for a developer accustomed...

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Quick Solution For Rockwell BootP Communication Error
Lillian Walker

Quick Solution For Rockwell BootP Communication Error

Have you ever been commissioning a new PLC late in the afternoon when something goes wrong? Yeah, us too. The other night, we faced the problem below and the solution blew our minds, so I had to share it. We were setting the IP Address on a new Allen Bradley CompactLogix PLC using Rockwell's BootP utility. When we tried to submit our changes, we go the following error: Credit: Rockwell Automation Error message text: "Communication Error. Failed to complete the requested ...

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DMC To Present at PCC Oktoberfest
Nick Shea

DMC To Present at PCC Oktoberfest

DMC is excited to present two presentations at the PCC Okterberfest: Tap Into Technology event taking place on Thursday, September 27th, 2018 at the Washington County Fair Park & Conference Center in West Bend, WI. Expect a day of seminars, workshops, a technology automation fair, hands-on product stations, and one-on-one discussions with experts.  Be sure to stop by the DMC booth and check out our DrinkBot demo! Also, don't miss out on presentations from DMC'...

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Beckhoff Visits DMC Chicago to Talk TwinCAT 3 and EtherCAT
Jacob Bruce

Beckhoff Visits DMC Chicago to Talk TwinCAT 3 and EtherCAT

DMC recently hosted Daymon Thompson and Mike Rauch of Beckhoff Automation who shared with DMC the latest updates on the TwinCAT (The Windows Control and Automation Technology) platform. TwinCAT is a software system from Beckhoff that can turn almost any PC into one or multiple controllers for real-time systems. As the TwinCAT product manager for North America, Daymon was able to give us some insider information on exciting new features coming soon to TwinCAT, as well as a lot of insight in...

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Downgrading Siemens PLC Projects From V15 to V14 SP1
Josh Smith

Downgrading Siemens PLC Projects From V15 to V14 SP1

Siemen’s TIA Portal provides quite a few useful features that make it very easy to update and maintain code. Updating projects from one version to the next is as easy as opening the project in the newer version of Portal. However, there are times when you want to revert a project to an older version of TIA Portal, something that Portal cannot do. That’s where TIA Portal Openness can help. For those looking to revert projects from V15 to V14, this post will outline the pr...

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Custom Data Logging using a Siemens Comfort Panel and VB Script
Caleb Stoll

Custom Data Logging using a Siemens Comfort Panel and VB Script

I recently worked on a project that required the use of data logging. However, the formatting of Siemen's data logging was not ideal for this implementation. So, I made my own version of data logging using Visual Basic scripts on my Comfort Panel that create and append to a CSV file. One of the first things to think about is where you want to store these logs. For Comfort Panels, you can access the onboard USB drive and the SD card slot via VBScript. You can also access a networ...

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How to Fix a PLC 5 Red Fault Light
Frank May

How to Fix a PLC 5 Red Fault Light

So, you either had a system that was working and then a red light showed up, or you bought a used PLC and the fault light showed up. Here's how to fix the fault light.  If the "BATT" Light is Red You should replace the battery within a few days. You should keep the PLC running since the PLC will lose the program if it loses power for more than a few minutes without a battery (check your PLC manual for how to do this). If it's been red for more than ten&nbs...

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Siemens Summit 2018 Highlights
John Sullivan

Siemens Summit 2018 Highlights

The 2018 Siemens Automation Summit was held last month at the JW Marriott Beach Resort on Marco Island, Florida. Twelve DMC representatives from around the country met to attend the annual conference from June 25-28. Fresh off of the excitement of ten more of our engineers passing the Siemens Technical Certification exam, we arrived in Florida with an extra spring in our step. The team enjoyed a week full of excellent presentations (including some from our own enginee...

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6 Things You Should Know When Commissioning a SIMATIC S7-400 PLC
Frank May

6 Things You Should Know When Commissioning a SIMATIC S7-400 PLC

Your code compiles, hardware config is all set, but you can't get rid of the red lights on the 400H system. Check the following before pulling out your soldering iron and green LEDs.    1. Are the rack switches correct? If you have no idea what I'm talking about, good news, this might be it! Take the second PLC off Rack 1 and look for an exposed switch on the back. Change it so it says "Rack 1" instead of "Rack 0". The default setting of the sw...

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10 More DMC Engineers Pass the Siemens Certification Exam
Nick Shea

10 More DMC Engineers Pass the Siemens Certification Exam

DMC has a lot of Siemens Certified Engineers. In fact, we have the most in the United States. As we continue to grow, so does our number of Siemens experts. After a recent Siemens Global Certification exam in the Chicago suburbs, we are proud to add ten more certified engineers to the list bringing our current total to 39! Even though our engineers are already smart, they spent four days training for this Technical Certification in the SIMATIC Technology areas of S7 PLCs, SIMATIC HMIs, a...

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How to Upload A Project From A MELSEC F-Series PLC
Becca Stussman

How to Upload A Project From A MELSEC F-Series PLC

Need to upload a project from a MELSEC F-series PLC? You're in luck! This tutorial explains how to upload the software on a MELSEC F-series PLC using GX Developer, the MELSOFT developing platform for this line of controllers.    1. Connect the PLC to your PC. MELSEC F-Series PLCs use an SC-09 RS232 to RS422 adapter cable, which can be purchased from many places, including on Amazon. This cable connects to the front, female port on your PLC and plugs dire...

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Using an S7-1500 PLC as a Modbus RTU Slave
Becca Stussman

Using an S7-1500 PLC as a Modbus RTU Slave

Need to make data available from your 1500 PLC to a Modbus RTU master? As long as you have a Modbus RTU capable serial communications adapter module, setting up a Modbus RTU server is pretty simple. Communications Adapter Since S7-1500 PLCs don't typically come with onboard serial communication ability, you'll need to use an adapter module that supports the Modbus RTU slave protocol, with a port interface that meets your system connection requirements. See below for two ...

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WinCC OA Object Oriented Programming with Ctrl++
Leon Grossman

WinCC OA Object Oriented Programming with Ctrl++

As demonstrated in the blog Siemens WinCC OA - The Open Architecture SCADA Package, I’m a huge fan of the WinCC OA (OA) package from Siemens and the platform continues to evolve with usability improvements. One of those improvements is the inclusion of Object Oriented programming constructs such as properties, enumerators, and classes into the CTRL language as of version 3.15. These new extensions are called CTRL++. When these extensions were first released, some DMC engineers and I ...

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Siemens Open Library Customization with HMI Styling
Otto Gottlieb

Siemens Open Library Customization with HMI Styling

Siemens TIA Portal Libraries have helped me develop PLC and HMI code faster and manage it better. Recently, I have been working with the HMI Styling section of the Portal Library, and I have found it very helpful. This blog shows some practical examples of using HMI Styling in projects. Specifically, it focuses on how styling can work with the Siemens Open Library. Siemens has released all the documentation you need to get started. Part 1: The Basics When you create a Comfort Panel...

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