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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 sometimes 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 th...

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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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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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DMC Engineers Serve up a Siemens S7 Powered DrinkBot
John Sullivan

DMC Engineers Serve up a Siemens S7 Powered DrinkBot

Working together for over a year, a group of DMC engineers built our very own DrinkBot. We developed it during a FedEx Day and improved the DrinkBot over a second FedEx Day. DMC's DrinkBot finally made its debut at the Siemens Automation Summit 2017. As happens in the development process, we slowly improved the DrinkBot over time. We started displaying it at career fairs in Colorado to help grow the team. We also took it to events in New York, Houston, Seattle, and Manufacturing...

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3 Essential Steps Before Deploying a Siemens PLC Project
Becca Stussman

3 Essential Steps Before Deploying a Siemens PLC Project

DMC regularly implements successful project solutions using Siemens PLCs. Along the way, we've learned a few quick tips that can save hours or even days of time in post-project support. If you're working on a project using a Siemens 1200 or 1500 PLC or a WinCC HMI Panel, make sure to consider these three steps below. Each one takes less than five minutes, but can help you avoid undesired post-project consequences and can make testing much easier.  Switch Your S7 PLC to Run o...

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DMC Presented at Beckhoff IoT Seminar
Jessica Mlinaric

DMC Presented at Beckhoff IoT Seminar

DMC, a member of the Beckhoff Integrator Network, led two presentations at Beckhoff's recent IoT Seminar. The event was held at Beckhoff's Chicago Field Office on March 16, 2018. The educational seminar focused on the world of IoT and its opportunities for industrial automation.  Program The program began presentations from Beckhoff breaking down IoT into its basic components and services. Attendees learned how to connect real-world applications, machines a...

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Siemens How To: Starter Executable Scripts and Custom Data Lists
Andrew Crowley

Siemens How To: Starter Executable Scripts and Custom Data Lists

SINAMIC’s G and S Series Drives are a powerful and versatile platform capable of doing all sorts of motion applications. Also included are onboard IO, PID functionality, and even logic gates! Taking advantage of all the added features of the SINAMIC’s drive system can also make it difficult to keep all the parameters straight and commission your drive system efficiently. This post will walk you through how to create a Custom Data List and Executable scripts within Starter. Thes...

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Leveraging Siemens MultiUser Engineering for TIA Portal
Gina Brooks-Zak

Leveraging Siemens MultiUser Engineering for TIA Portal

With Siemens TIA Portal V14, a great new tool for PLC and HMI development called MultiUser Engineering was released. MultiUser Engineering allows multiple developers to access a server project through local sessions and quickly and seamlessly merge updates to PLC or HMI code such as function blocks, user-defined types (UDTs), WinCC Comfort or Advanced screens, and more. DMC has been using the MultiUser tools with great success, and I'd like to share a few insights with y...

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Turning an Arduino into a Modbus Device
Eric Baggen

Turning an Arduino into a Modbus Device

A situation arises where you have a system that includes a PLC, an HMI, and some peripheral devices. The HMI displays some information to a user and allows for some basic control and the PLC manages data collection and communication through an RS485 network using a Modbus RTU protocol. Easy, right? Many PLCs already support RS485 and Modbus communication and only require a few functions blocks. There is a twist, however. The devices with which the PLC is communicating a...

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DMC Joins Beckhoff Integrator Network
Matt Puskala

DMC Joins Beckhoff Integrator Network

DMC is proud to be recognized as an inaugural member of the Beckhoff Integrator Network. This designation recognizes our proficiency in implementing Beckhoff automation solutions and our close relationship with Beckhoff. In October, DMC joined Beckhoff and a select group of integrators at Pack Expo in Las Vegas to kick off Beckhoff’s new official integrator network program. About Beckhoff Beckhoff Automation is a global provider of open automation systems based on adva...

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Siemens RFID Card Reader Setup, User Administration, and Auto-Login
Nikhil Holay

Siemens RFID Card Reader Setup, User Administration, and Auto-Login

This blog is an instruction guide to installing the necessary Comfort Panel HMI software for interfacing with a Siemens RFID card reader. Additionally, the guide will demonstrate the necessary setup elements in the PLC project, as well as instructions for getting started with user administration and auto-login. Definitions UID - Unique Identifier, tied to an individual card SOAP - Simple Object Access Protocol, Protocol specification for exchanging structured information in...

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How to Connect to an Allen-Bradley SLC 500 PLC
Jirka Hladis

How to Connect to an Allen-Bradley SLC 500 PLC

With most modern PLCs, all you need to start programming or troubleshooting is to plug in your laptop with a plain old ethernet cable. Older PLCs, however, tend to use a myriad of different cables and protocols. With a large number of legacy systems, the original programming cables and software are often long lost by the time you want to make updates or need to troubleshoot an issue. One of the most popular series of PLCs from the 1990s to mid-2000s is the Allen-Bradly SLC 500 series: SLC 5/0...

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