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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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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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SAFECONF Tutorial: Programming a TRISAFE-S Device
Becca Stussman

SAFECONF Tutorial: Programming a TRISAFE-S Device

Want to use SAFECONF to program your TRISAFE-S Phoenix Contact Safety Module? Luckily, this free software (available to registered users here), is intuitive and easy to use for even beginner automation programmers. Below is a guide to performing some key tasks using the software. In order to make this Tutorial easer to navigate, I've included quick links below to jump straight to your topic of interest: Create a New Project Create your Password Configure your I/O Redundant...

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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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Siemens HMI Toolbox: HTML Browser
Emily Shanker

Siemens HMI Toolbox: HTML Browser

Each post in the Siemens HMI Toolbox series highlights a native HMI object in the Siemens WinCC Comfort, Advanced, or Professional environments. It is our goal to help users become more familiar with HMI development by sharing some of our best practices and useful tools we have learned. This post focuses on the HTML Browser object. Overview: The HTML Browser object allows you to view simple HTML pages in your HMI runtime application. DMC has used this HMI element to serve many different...

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Siemens HMI Toolbox: PDF View
Emily Shanker

Siemens HMI Toolbox: PDF View

Each post in the Siemens HMI Toolbox series highlights a native HMI object in the Siemens WinCC Comfort, Advanced, or Professional environments. It is our goal to help users become more familiar with HMI development by sharing some of our best practices and the useful tools we have learned. This post focuses on the PDF view control object. Overview: The PDF view object allows you to display PDF documents in your HMI runtime application. This can be an incredibly powerful tool in applica...

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Siemens S7 Graph Tips and Tricks
Nikhil Holay

Siemens S7 Graph Tips and Tricks

SIMATIC S7 Graph is used for programming sequence logic in a graphical, flow chart representation. For those of us who have been programming sequences in ladder logic or SCL, Graph presents an alternative method that includes some built-in functionality. For those that haven’t used Graph (and maybe those who have!), I’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you develop quickly and efficiently. Pre/Post Instructions Pre and post-instructions run cyclically, before and after...

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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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8 Readability Tips to Try on Your Next HMI Project
Ashley Sherwood

8 Readability Tips to Try on Your Next HMI Project

Why do we code PLCs, design HMIs, create complex SCADA networks? The short answer is - so that somebody can use them to get a job done. For an HMI to be useable, it must be readable. Readability isn't just a matter of word choice. Technical choices like text alignment, line width, or font size can make or break readability. Here are eight tips for ensuring readability in your HMIs:  1. Left-align Text Likewise, justifying text creates awkward g...

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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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Employees Lead Company Improvements During FedEx Day 2018
Anna Jankovsky

Employees Lead Company Improvements During FedEx Day 2018

DMC recently took a break from day-to-day tasks to participate in one of our favorite company traditions, FedEx Day. Routine work on hold, our offices still brimmed with life and projects while everyone worked on whatever they wanted.  FedEx Day is always an opportunity for fun, learning, and collaboration, with only two catches: the project must in some way help to improve the company, and it must be deliverable by the end of the day. This year, our employees took on everything ...

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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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5 Ways DMC Engineers Ensure Project Success with Critical Support
Jesse Batsche

5 Ways DMC Engineers Ensure Project Success with Critical Support

To ensure broad-based project success, DMC places a significant focus not only on the technical and engineering aspects of our projects, but also on following well-formulated project communication, management, and quality practices. Thus, as part of DMC’s standard project process, there are many critical supporting services that DMC performs for our clients. Here are five ways DMC ensures the success of projects:  Design Reviews Application Testing and Project Quali...

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