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Tips for a Successful Synchronous Serial Communication Driver using Siemens SCL
Alex Bernard

Tips for a Successful Synchronous Serial Communication Driver using Siemens SCL

Modern industrial communication is often performed over Ethernet protocols, especially within the Siemens product ecosystem. However, some external devices (especially non-Siemens devices) communicate using serial protocols. Luckily, Siemens provides communication modules and a library of communication functions to facilitate communication. All that said, smooth implementation requires a stable driver which predictably handles requests, responses, and edge cases. I recently implemented such a...

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Setting up a new Allen-Bradley PLC and HMI: Tips and Tricks
Kevin Best

Setting up a new Allen-Bradley PLC and HMI: Tips and Tricks

In this blog, I’ll walk you through the basic commissioning steps to get a brand-new Allen-Bradley PLC and HMI up and running. All the information covered here is also available in Rockwell’s help documentation, but I tried to distill out the most important bits to get you off the ground as fast as possible. Before we start, you'll need all of the components networked together and powered on. You'll also need a PC with all the relevant Rockwell software installed. Once you...

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How To Disassemble and Fix a Fried S7-1200 PLC
Jirka Hladis

How To Disassemble and Fix a Fried S7-1200 PLC

Don’t you hate it when your coworker inadvertently wires up a 24V PLC to wall power and lets out the magic smoke? Just such a mishap happened in our lab a while back and the broken PLC was sitting around in the junk bin for a while. Figuring there wasn't anything to lose, I decided to try my luck and see if it could be revived.  Fortunately, the Siemens S7-1200 series PLCs are quite easy to disassemble, and I was able to replace the damaged components and restore it t...

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Using Digital Inputs and Command Data Set 1 to Control a Siemens G120 CU240
Ryan Lake

Using Digital Inputs and Command Data Set 1 to Control a Siemens G120 CU240

I was recently on site with a client to commission a Siemens G120 VFD. This particular VFD was being used to drive a blower motor and inflate an airbag. The client required hard-wired manual control of the motor, in addition to controlling it from the main 1500 PLC. Manual mode control would simply turn the motor on and off at a specified setpoint. Before arriving onsite, DMC decided to use control data set 0 for Profinet control, and data set 1 for hard-wired control. This required some pa...

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DMC Writes a Custom MQTT Driver for Siemens PLCs
Jimmy Condon

DMC Writes a Custom MQTT Driver for Siemens PLCs

DMC has found that more of our customers have the need for their PLCs in remote locations to be able to not only report data to a central server but also be capable of accepting commands from the central server. If this sounds a lot like the Internet of Things, that’s because it is. Only instead of the more common “things” such as light bulbs or thermostats, DMC is connecting large industrial equipment. The PLC library only requires a few blocks to get up and runni...

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Importing CSV Recipe Files into Siemens HMI and Iteratively Downloading Multiple Data Records from HMI into PLC
Andrew Neill

Importing CSV Recipe Files into Siemens HMI and Iteratively Downloading Multiple Data Records from HMI into PLC

Similar parts in production can be processed with small changes by a machine using part data to define variables for each part or set of parts. For example, a machine may need to produce 30 widgets at 90º angle, 20 mm length then 20 widgets at a 45° angle, 15 mm length and so on. The part data can be used to create a list of these operations which the controller will reference to execute the correct instructions to make these resulting parts. Often the controls syste...

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Siemens PLC to Sick IO-Link Sensor Through Beckhoff Coupler
Will Todd

Siemens PLC to Sick IO-Link Sensor Through Beckhoff Coupler

Working at a client site alongside Andrew Neill, we came across an unusual integration scenario. The machine we were providing commissioning support for was equipped with a Siemens 1518 safety controller and had numerous Siemens and Beckhoff components. The hardware setup for one portion of the machine included several Sick IO-Link sensors. These sensors were used to measure the location of mechanical arms on the machine and move them accordingly for different machine setups. Before divi...

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Easy Alarm Generation in RSLogix and FactoryTalk View Studio ME
Kevin Best

Easy Alarm Generation in RSLogix and FactoryTalk View Studio ME

Manually adding alarms in FactoryTalk View can be tedious. When you have a system with lots and lots of devices, as DMC often does, this can become nearly impossible. That’s why during one of our annual FedEx days, DMC engineers built a custom Windows application to do all the grunt work for us. Quick Summary This tool takes in a CSV file of the controller tags, which is easy to generate in RSLogix (Tools -> Export -> Tags and Logic Comments). In this example, we will use any b...

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Tips for Importing Allen-Bradley Tags into an InTouch HMI
Joe Kraemer

Tips for Importing Allen-Bradley Tags into an InTouch HMI

Creating tags in a Wonderware InTouch HMI project that connect to your Allen-Bradley PLC is quick and easy for small projects. However, on projects with hundreds or thousands of tags, it can become time consuming! To speed up this process, we use InTouch's DBDump and DBLoad features, which allows the use of Microsoft Excel to change the tagname dictionary. Method 1 - Manual Tag Creation (Small Projects) Start in InTouch WindowMaker by opening the T...

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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 Get the Siemens Open Library updates. Twenty-nine newly supported blocks! Including brand new blocks such as Digital Output, Siwarex Load Cell Modules, Hydraulic Valve...

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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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