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Watch Our Siemens Open Library Webinar
John Sullivan

Watch Our Siemens Open Library Webinar

DMC and Siemens recently co-hosted a webinar on "Developing PLC and HMI Code Faster Through Use of the Siemens Open Library." I joined Carson Kennedy of Siemens in presenting a free, 45-minute educational webinar that was originally introduced at the 2016 Siemens Automation Summit.  The Siemens platforms have always encouraged the use of modular, reusable, and object oriented code. Until recently, this meant that everyone was responsible for creating and maintaining their own i...

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Siemens Decentralized Motion Control with SINA_POS
Otto Gottlieb

Siemens Decentralized Motion Control with SINA_POS

In a previous blog I discussed programming motion control with a S7-1500 with Technology Objects in TIA Portal. This is a very popular method of doing the motion control on the PLC. We can also offload the motion control to the drive control unit using Siemens’ library motion blocks such as SINA_POS and allow the PLC to control more drives. The Siemens library motion blocks are also available for S7-300 PLCs, which do not support the same Technology Objects as S7-1500 PLC...

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How to Upload and Monitor Code on a Beckhoff TwinCAT 3 PLC
Nicklas Thystrup

How to Upload and Monitor Code on a Beckhoff TwinCAT 3 PLC

This guide will get you started with Beckhoff PLCs by showing step by step how to go online with an existing PLC to monitor or troubleshoot existing code on a running PLC. To upload the code from the PLC for modification or backup, just follow step 1. Upload PLC code Open the TwinCAT XAE in Visual Studio. Select File > Open > Open Project From Target… Select the PLC, then OK. See this guide for finding and connecting to a PLC. Select location on local compute...

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How to Connect to Beckhoff TwinCAT 3 PLCs
Nicklas Thystrup

How to Connect to Beckhoff TwinCAT 3 PLCs

This guide will get you started with Beckhoff PLCs by showing step by step how to connect to a Beckhoff PLC.     Download and install Beckhoff TwinCAT 3 programming environment. Once the programming environment is installed, this icon  will appear in the system tray. Select > Router > Edit Routes. In the TwinCAT Static Routes window that pops up, select Add... The Add Route Dialog will appear:  For most situations, the Broadcast Search option wi...

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Webinar: Developing PLC and HMI Code Faster Through Use of the Siemens Open Library
Jessica Mlinaric

Webinar: Developing PLC and HMI Code Faster Through Use of the Siemens Open Library

Join John Sullivan of DMC and Carson Kennedy of Siemens for a 45-minute educational webinar on Wednesday, August 24 at 2 p.m. EST. John Sullivan will present on "Developing PLC and HMI Code Faster Through Use of the Siemens Open Library."             The Siemens platforms have always encouraged the use of modular, reusable, and object oriented code. Until recently, this meant that everyone was responsible for creating and maintaining ...

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Customizing HMI Alarm Text in TIA Portal
Jason Mayes

Customizing HMI Alarm Text in TIA Portal

Recently, I found the need to create customizable text for some alarms in a TIA Portal project. In this particular case, I needed to include the name of the operator that was monitoring the machine for traceability, as well as some specific machine information (process tag value) when the alarm occurred. Knowing this must be possible, I set off to Google, the Siemens forums, and the TIA Portal help files. Surprisingly, I was not able to find very good documentation or examples online. Howev...

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Why Work with a Siemens Solution Partner?
Jessica Mlinaric

Why Work with a Siemens Solution Partner?

There are many great reasons for working with a certified Siemens Solution Partner. After all, Siemens Solution Partners are the #1 choice for the engineering, system integration, and implementation of superior, tailored, future-oriented solutions.  For this year's Siemens Automation Summit, DMC collaborated with Siemens Solution Partners to produce a fun video series offering a few reasons to work with a Solution Partner. We hope you enjoy it! Technologies Experience on eve...

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DMC's Siemens Automation Summit 2016 Highlights
John Sullivan

DMC's Siemens Automation Summit 2016 Highlights

This year's Siemens Automation Summit was as eventful as ever and full of excellent presentations, informative sessions, and advanced technology. Here are some of our favorite moments from the 2016 Automation Summit.   Virtual Reality at the Tech Café The Technology Café was well-attended and enjoyed by a variety of conference attendees. The Café consisted of four different stations with different Virtual Reality applications. Station One displayed a roller coaster application ...

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WinCC Pro Dynamization Settings:  Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
Grant Anderson

WinCC Pro Dynamization Settings: Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

(With Apologies to Robert Lamm and The Chicago Transit Authority.) As I was walking down the street one day a man came up to me and asked me what the time was that was on my HMI time indicator, yeah, and I said: Uhhh...don't ask me. I seem to only be able to get a 2 second resolution on this thing. It updates like...well...clockwork, but a clock that only works at half the expected rate. Odd thing, too, since the scheduled task script I'm running to update this thing...

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Pool Vision Application
Devon Fritz

Pool Vision Application

Every DMC office has at least one table sport at its heart. For Denver, this game is pool. So on FedEx Day 2016 Otto, Tyler, and I set out to automate our office Spencer Marston pool table. What does this look like you may ask? Our goal was to automatically detect what pool balls remain on the table. So during our 3-way, 5-way, or even 7-way cut throat games we don't have to worry about what balls are sunk and what balls are not.   Preparation was key for this project. We sel...

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DMC Releases Free Siemens Open Library
John Sullivan

DMC Releases Free Siemens Open Library

DMC is excited to announce the release of the Siemens Open Library. The Siemens Open Library was developed by DMC, Inc. over several years. In partnership with Siemens Industry, we've improved, documented, and released this series of function blocks as an open source library for anyone to use and distribute.   By releasing the library via an open source license, we welcome users to contribute content to help enhance the overall availability of functionality to the greater Siemens Use...

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DMC to Present at the Siemens 2016 Automation Summit
Frank Riordan

DMC to Present at the Siemens 2016 Automation Summit

The Siemens Automation Summit is one of our favorite events every year for sharing best practices and industry innovations. The 2016 Siemens Automation Summit will be held from June 27-30 at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. It's a great opportunity for attendees to take advantage of networking and training sessions focused on improving performance and efficiency with Siemens automation.   DMC is proud to be among the many presenters at this year's summit. ...

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How to Use FANUC PC Developer's Kit (PCDK)
Frank May

How to Use FANUC PC Developer's Kit (PCDK)

FANUC offers an easy way to command and configure a robot from a PC using their PC Developer's Kit (PCDK).The kit allows a PC to access variables, registers, IO, programs, positions, and alarms on the robot. Most of the help documentation already covers Visual Basic, so I'll explain how to get started with C#. Installation First step is to install Visual Studio. Visual Studio Community is free and works perfectly for this application. After installing Visual Studio, go...

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DMC Hosts Chicagoland Siemens User Group (ChUG)
Nick Shea

DMC Hosts Chicagoland Siemens User Group (ChUG)

DMC proudly hosted the inaugural Chicagoland Siemens User Group (ChUG) meeting at our office on April 7, 2016. The event was the first in an ongoing initiative to grow the local Siemens User Community. The first ChUG meeting drew a fantastic turnout of around 30 attendees that came from as far as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Alabama. The group included end users, OEMs, and integrators interested in improving their automation engineering capabilities and sharing best practices. Siemens r...

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B&R Automation Studio Output Devices
Nikhil Holay

B&R Automation Studio Output Devices

For my very first project at DMC, I was tasked with setting up a file handling system through B&R Automation Studio 3. The application was to create a CSV file, populate the file with the revelant information, and then move the file to a new folder. As a new engineer, setting up a brand new system architecture can be a little daunting, so I was happy to find that Automation Studio makes it extremely straighforward to set up paths to different folders on your local storage (in this case, a co...

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Deluxe Drink System
Frank May

Deluxe Drink System

For one of our office parties, DMC's Boston office made an automatic bartender by utilizing industrial automation equipment. Before we disassembled it, we made a '90s style infomercial. The blog linked above has much more detail on how we built the automatic bartender, but here's a short list of some of the tech used: Siemens S7-1500 PLC Siemens S7-1200 PLC configured using I-Device Siemens KP8 key panel Philips Hue lightbulbs And of course, here is our infomercia...

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Beckhoff Drive Diagnostics
Nikhil Holay

Beckhoff Drive Diagnostics

Recently, I was working with a client that was using TwinCAT 3 and Beckhoff drives to control machinery. One night, as they were running this machine, the drive faulted. Without any diagnostic message visible on the HMI, they were completely in the dark as to why the drive failed. Typically, as a programmer, I'll diagnose this by opening up Drive Manager and taking a look at the diagnostic message.     As this is useful information for an operator to see, this led m...

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Sharing Tags between Beckhoff PLCs Using ADS Read
Nicklas Thystrup

Sharing Tags between Beckhoff PLCs Using ADS Read

Often it becomes necessary to read a few tags from another Beckhoff PLC without setting up a full publisher subscriber EAP system. Automation Device Specification (ADS) reads and writes can be used to do this with very minimal setup, as long as both PLCs are on the same network. Setup consists of mapping the variable in the source PLC at a static memory location, and then reading it from the destination PLC using an ADS Read command. Steps Define the variable in the source PLC...

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Connecting to a Siemens PLC with Access Address
Leon Grossman

Connecting to a Siemens PLC with Access Address

There are occasions when a Siemens PLC may need to be commissioned with a different IP address than the one assigned in the project. In the case of a single PLC, this is no big deal and it is a simple matter to update the project to match the IP address of the PLC as installed in the final location.   There are several ways this might happen: The PLC IP address was changed from the value set by the original builder. There is a managed switch performing 1-to-1 NAT between the PLC ...

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Linking PLC UDT Tags to HMI Faceplates and Pop-ups in TIA Portal V13 SP1
Jason Mayes

Linking PLC UDT Tags to HMI Faceplates and Pop-ups in TIA Portal V13 SP1

PLEASE NOTE: This blog was written using features available in TIA Portal V13 SP1 Update 1. Some of the functionality shown was removed in Update 3, specifically the ability to multiplex UDTs. Hopefully the rest of the information will be still be helpful to you! Here at DMC, we spend a lot of time programming PLCs and HMIs. While we program systems of all types and flavors, I'm personally most experienced with Siemens (TIA Portal) and Rockwell (RSLogix5000/FactoryTalk View). Th...

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