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Entries for the 'Automation' Category

Siemens WinCC Sm@rtServer Set-Up
David Berno

Siemens WinCC Sm@rtServer Set-Up

As of TIA Portal V14, the built-in remote access utility called WinCC Sm@rtServer is now available to Basic Panels and no longer requires a separate license for Comfort Panels. This means that if you have a Comfort Panel-running device (version 14.0.0 or later), you can remotely access your panel from a PC, tablet, or smartphone without the need for an additional license. All you have to do is set up the Sm@rtServer on the panel and use Internet Explorer or the Sm@rtClient app to contr...

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Configuring a WinCC Professional Trend to Update Start and End Times based on DateTime Tags
Lillian Walker

Configuring a WinCC Professional Trend to Update Start and End Times based on DateTime Tags

I was recently working on a project with a tricky trending feature: display a trend over the course of a batch while the batch is running. No matter how long the batch had been running, we wanted to show the process value for the length of the trend. This isn't an out of the box feature for a WinCC Professional trend control, but with some simple scripting, it was ready to go! Check out this quick guide to get started. Step 1: Create the Required Tags On the HMI, we will need to hav...

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Custom Data Logging from a Siemens PLC to Microsoft SQL Using VBScript
Alexander Yared

Custom Data Logging from a Siemens PLC to Microsoft SQL Using VBScript

DMC worked on a project where we wanted to log data to a local Microsoft SQL server to be able to save and display it using Microsoft Report Designer. However, the standard format of Siemens’ data log did not match up with the schema we wanted to use in our SQL table. Not all projects require a full PC Station, there is also the option of using a Comfort Panel and logging data as a CSV file to the onboard USB drive or SD card slot. For a walkthrough of that method, visit my colle...

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Automation with an Arduino, PLC, or Custom Embedded Controls?
Josh Smith

Automation with an Arduino, PLC, or Custom Embedded Controls?

Automation and control come in a lot of different varieties and flavors. On the surface, Arduinos, PLCs, and embedded controls all appear to do the same function. So how do you determine which is best for your application? In this post, I’ll detail some of the pros and cons, as well as the typical applications of Arduino microcontrollers, PLCs and custom embedded projects. What's the Difference? Arduino is a common brand of microcontroller with built-in digital and analog, inp...

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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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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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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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Redundancy in WinCC + Process Historian Connection
John Michael Frullo

Redundancy in WinCC + Process Historian Connection

Certain control systems require operation 24/7, 365. That is: these systems should always be in action! In such applications, a fault in the controller or computer could prove disastrous. Therefore, redundant systems are introduced to handle automatic fail-over in the case of a primary system fault. SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems are a prime candidate for redundant applications, as they monitor and control the status of the entire operation. DMC has worked with sever...

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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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DMC to Speak at Siemens Food & Beverage Digitalization Day
Ryan Landwehr

DMC to Speak at Siemens Food & Beverage Digitalization Day

DMC will be attending Siemens Food & Beverage Digitalization Day on November 28, 2018. This event will take place at the Hackberry Creek Country Club in Irving, Texas.  Food and Beverage Digitalization Day aims to share industry best practices that spur innovation through digitalization. A series of panels and presentations will address ways to increase productivity and efficiency, increase performance, improve safety and quality, and increase sales and customer focus. D...

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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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