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Siemens WinCC OA - The Open Architecture SCADA Package
Leon Grossman

Siemens WinCC OA - The Open Architecture SCADA Package

When asked if we work with a particular technology here at DMC, my answer is always "yes". PLC, Embedded, Test and Measurement, Business Logic: we do it all and more. WinCC OA (OA) is the spiritual analogue to that philosophy in SCADA form. There are native drivers for Siemens and Allen Bradley PLCs as well as an OPC driver so it will work with nearly any modern controller. Supporting a wide range of hardware is expected of a product that is targeted to the same space as Wonderwa...

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Hitting the Ground Running…to China
Ryan Landwehr

Hitting the Ground Running…to China

As we enter the Christmas season, I can’t help but think back to this time last year. I was less than three months away from graduating college and faced with a big decision. It was only a few days before Christmas Eve, that I decided to start the next chapter of my life at DMC Boston. Before I knew it, June rolled around and I found myself on a city bus in Chicago heading into my first day of training at the Chicago office. I’d had summer internships in the past and felt like I had ...

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B&R Automation Studio: Troubleshoot Hardware Using Network Command Trace
Otto Gottlieb

B&R Automation Studio: Troubleshoot Hardware Using Network Command Trace

I recently had to troubleshoot an issue in which my servo drive was not responding to my PLC commands - as expected. In order to see the interaction between the PLC and the servo drive, I used the Network Command Trace.   Learn more about DMC's B&R Automation Studio Programming Services.

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DMC Congratulates LabVIEW Certified Architects and Developers
Darren Jones

DMC Congratulates LabVIEW Certified Architects and Developers

As a National Instruments Alliance Member, DMC takes pride in delivering top-notch solutions for all NI related projects. We take our education and the custom solutions we deliver our clients seriously. We have worked particularly hard to maintain a high level of competency in National Instruments LabVIEW programming. DMC is honored to demonstrate our expertise by having the most LabVIEW Certified Architects in the Midwest, as well as an all over strong team of LabVIEW Certifie...

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Nobel Committee Recognizes Inventors of Blue LED
Ken Brey

Nobel Committee Recognizes Inventors of Blue LED

I want to congratulate the Nobel Committee for recognizing the inventors of the Blue LED - a truly transformative technology. As an engineer working with machine vision systems I have been using LED lighting longer than most people. LEDs are great for their brightness, strobing capabilities, and consistent intensity over a long product life. The first time I saw a blue LED was in a trade show in 1998. One booth of lighting equipment has a light that was a brilliant deep blue. I asked the man ...

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Siemens PLC Communication with I-Device
Jimmy Condon

Siemens PLC Communication with I-Device

For a couple of recent projects I needed to transfer a few bytes between Siemens PLCs. I had used PUTs and GETs in the past, which I find very useful for sending large amounts of data. But if I only need to send a few bytes or speed is critical, setting up one of the PLCs as slave to the other PLC can be more efficient. Siemens makes this quick to do with I-Device, and I’ll show a couple of examples below. S7-300 PLCs and Profibus, Both PLCs In The Same TIA Portal Project When u...

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B&R Automation Studio: Create Popup Windows on HMI Pages
Otto Gottlieb

B&R Automation Studio: Create Popup Windows on HMI Pages

Creating popup windows on HMI pages enhances the interaction between the operator and the machine. The creation of popup windows in Automation Studio involves many other important aspects of making an HMI more dynamic such as formatting layers on pages, controlling and using the HMI display in program code, and manipulating the statuses of HMI elements. If you are new to creating HMI pages with Automation Studio, then you can learn a lot from this video. Learn more about DMC's B&R Aut...

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Using an S7-1200 PLC as a Modbus TCP Slave
Jason Mayes

Using an S7-1200 PLC as a Modbus TCP Slave

Have a need to make data available from your S7-1200 PLC to a Modbus TCP Master (or SCADA)? Luckily, this is easy to setup. This will be short and sweet. Siemens provides two Instruction blocks for setting up Client/Server Modbus TCP connections – you can find them under Communication on the Instructions Window – MB_SERVER and MB_CLIENT. As an example, let’s set up a Modbus TCP server on our PLC. I’m starting a project from scratch, so I’m going to add an ...

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Refreshing Datasources in Iconics’ Genesis64 HMI/SCADA Development Software
Sudeep Gowrishankar

Refreshing Datasources in Iconics’ Genesis64 HMI/SCADA Development Software

Datasources in Genesis64 are defined within the GridWorX64 application to cache data for display and use in the HMI. My experience with datasources has been as a link between a SQL server database and Genesis64. However, while developing an application that contained numerous datasources (40+), I ran into an issue that rendered the application unusable. This blog post describes the issue and a workaround. The Problem: Refreshing datasources with a time trigger takes an increasingly long amou...

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Review of the Iconics Genesis64 HMI/SCADA Development Software
Sudeep Gowrishankar

Review of the Iconics Genesis64 HMI/SCADA Development Software

Over the course of the last few months, I have delved deep into the Genesis64 HMI/SCADA development software package by Iconics while working on a standardized solution for recipe editing in manufacturing lines. Overall, it is a competitive option when fast development time and web access are valued.  One of the features that enables fast development is the ability to use data from a SQL server database, a standard in many industries. Genesis64 uses an application called GridWorX64 Serve...

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Source Code Protection For Your SIMATIC S7-1200 PLC in TIA Portal
Jason Mayes

Source Code Protection For Your SIMATIC S7-1200 PLC in TIA Portal

From time to time, we'll run across situations where a client believes it is necessary to lock down code on a PLC. In some cases, there may be valuable intellectual property they would like to protect. In others, its purpose may be to prevent unauthorized modifications to safety-related code, or activation of disabled options. There may also be cases where it is necessary to interlock a PLC program to a specific memory card or CPU, especially in cases where there may be multiple, similar (bu...

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High-Speed Vision Inspection Presentation at NIWeek 2014
Eric West

High-Speed Vision Inspection Presentation at NIWeek 2014

This year at National Instrument's annual conference, NIWeek, DMC was invited to present on "Real-world Techniques in High-Speed Vision Inspection." DMC is an NI Silver Alliance member with a specialization in vision. Ken Brey and I are Certified Vision Professionals and were excited for the chance to share some of the knowledge and experience we have gained through various vision inspection projects. We worked together with Dan McCarty, Sr. Software Manager at W.H. Leary Co. to cr...

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Troubleshooting Your Siemens SIMATIC S7-1200 Timers
Jason Mayes

Troubleshooting Your Siemens SIMATIC S7-1200 Timers

I've done a lot of PLC programming over the last few years. Siemens, Rockwell, Beckhoff, Mitsubishi, Panasonic... if it's IEC61131-3 compliant, I've probably written a few rungs on it. However, I recently ran across an interesting problem that completely stumped me. I was doing a quick test on an S7-1200 PLC (programmed in TIA Portal V13) where I needed to perform a non-time critical operation approximately once a second within a re-usable FB. The two rungs that confounded me and ...

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20th Annual NI Week Conference Vision Inspection Presentation
Darren Jones

20th Annual NI Week Conference Vision Inspection Presentation

The 2014 NI Week Conference in Austin, Texas hits day three of four today Wednesday, August 6. The 20th Annual National Instruments Conference is an opportunity for those working in the fields of engineering and science to come together in the spirit of sharing information, inspiring innovation and exploring new technologies. DMC has sent engineers from each of our Chicago, Boston, and Denver offices to present on topics ranging from automation, to battery management systems and vision i...

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DMC Presents at the Siemens Bier Tek Conference
Kevin Ferrigno

DMC Presents at the Siemens Bier Tek Conference

I recently presented at the inaugural Siemens Bier Tek conference in San Diego. Bier Tek was designed to help micro-brewers and craft brewers learn about how to take advantage of technology to improve their brewing operations. DMC partnered with Siemens MES to showcase the Simatic IT Line Monitoring System (LMS) software package. Simatic IT LMS is an ideal platform to help even small brewers improve performance in the filling and packaging areas of their breweries.  The LMS presentati...

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View DMC's 2014 Siemens Automation Summit Presentations
Tim Jager

View DMC's 2014 Siemens Automation Summit Presentations

DMC attended the annual Siemens Automation Summit last month, held June 23 - 26, 2014. We enjoyed four days of learning and networking with new friends at Walt Disney World's Contemporary Resort in Orlando, FL. The week kicked off with Monday night's popular Connect Event. This casual cocktail event allowed attendees to build their network using a mobile friendly app or website developed by DMC and Prism Systems to connect and share contact information. Attendees also got a previ...

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DMC Joins Siemens SIMATIC IT Partner Program
Tim Jager

DMC Joins Siemens SIMATIC IT Partner Program

DMC is proud to announce its affiliation with the Siemens SIMATIC IT Partner Program. SIMATIC IT Partners offer value added services helping customers realize solutions tailored to their unique business environments in order to maximize the efficiency of MES installations. We're excited to join a community of technical experts with industry specific know-how who are recognized as high-level consultants dedicated to helping customers achieve their business goals. SIMATIC IT Partners a...

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Improved Straight Edge Fitting in LabVIEW Vision Applications
Bill Sowerwine

Improved Straight Edge Fitting in LabVIEW Vision Applications

When writing a vision application, it’s easy to imagine noise within an image as a sinister character hiding in the shadows and fingering the end of a grease-slick mustache. "That’s a nice straight line you have there," his voice nasally dripping with malice. "It would be a shame if anything happened to it." The problem is, he's right. LabVIEW has a suite of powerful vision tools, most of which work fantastically well out-of-the-box. IMAQ Find Straight E...

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Source Code Protection in Studio 5000 Logix Designer
Jason Mayes

Source Code Protection in Studio 5000 Logix Designer

While working with a customer on a recent RSLogix 5000 project (now called Studio 5000), there was a need to protect some proprietary source code. In this particular case, DMC had developed a custom Add-On Instruction (AOI) to be used within the project that contained some unique logic that the client wished to protect. This is incredibly easy to do. Rockwell provides an easy tool for this that comes prepackaged with RSLogix.  Since protecting intellectual property or touchy algorithms w...

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VBScript Strings and Siemens HMI Smart Tags:  'Play nice, you two!'
Grant Anderson

VBScript Strings and Siemens HMI Smart Tags: 'Play nice, you two!'

String concatenation. If a programming language supports strings, it's going to support concatenating them. The means of doing so are usually straightforward and often times involve a simple library call or even a one character operator such as "+" or "&." Internal string representation typically follows one of two paradigms: either the string uses a unique terminator to signal the end of the string, or it includes within the type itself the length of the n...

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