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Keyence Debuts XR Laser Series
Devon Fritz

Keyence Debuts XR Laser Series

Keyence has debuted their newest 3D vision system, the XR series. While this product is not yet available in America, DMC had the opportunity to preview the system in November. The most impressive features of the device were its depth resolution, the image repeatability, and the controller environment. The device has dual LED projectors, as well as a grayscale camera that scans the part simultaneously using structured light approach. The result is an image with extremely accurate de...

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Using LJ-V Keyence Lasers in LabVIEW
Devon Fritz

Using LJ-V Keyence Lasers in LabVIEW

Using the LJV-7000 laser head is a no-brainer for any high speed imaging measurement system. This blog will discuss how to use LabVIEW to gain full control of the many useful settings and sampling speeds (up to 64 kHz) that the laser head boasts. To control this laser, Keyence supplies the LJV-7000 series laser controller with LabVIEW drivers and a DLL. These are at the core of editing controller parameters. Here is the download link (you must login to Keyence's website to complete the do...

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DMC's Certified Vision Professionals
Eric West

DMC's Certified Vision Professionals

In January, Ken Brey and I passed the AIA’s “Certified Vision Professional – Advanced” exam. Passing the exam proved that we have a high level of knowledge about developing and integrating machine vision systems, and added our names to the list of CVP-Advanced members. This certification is also one of the requirements to be listed as one National Instrument’s Alliance Partners, with a specialty in Vision. Prior to the exam, I attended the AIA’s week-l...

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VB Script to Save an SSRS Report as a PDF
Jack Cosgrove

VB Script to Save an SSRS Report as a PDF

Reporting is almost a universal requirement for new projects coming into DMC these days. As part of an HMI we developed for a customer we also installed SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) on a Siemens PLC. This is used to generate reports for production batches run on that PLC. The customer desired these reports to be in PDF format, which after some investigation was easy to do with SSRS. A little background on SSRS... SSRS is a web application that generates nice graphical reports from SQL...

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DMC Joins ICONICS System Integrator Partner Program
Jessica Mlinaric

DMC Joins ICONICS System Integrator Partner Program

DMC is proud to have joined the ICONICS System Integrator Partner (SIP) program. The System Integrator Partner designation identifies DMC's proficiency with ICONICS products, and proven ability to develop ICONICS solutions, and efficient deployment of projects.  As an ICONICS System Integrator Partner, DMC will take part in the ICONICS 2013 Worldwide Customer Summit held from September 23 - 26, 2013 in Newport, Rhode Island. The theme for the event is  “Get Connected &ndas...

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DMC is recognized as a National Instruments Vision Specialty Partner
Jessica Mlinaric

DMC is recognized as a National Instruments Vision Specialty Partner

DMC is proud to be recognized as a National Instruments Vision Specialty Partner. Alliance Partners with the Vision Specialty understand system-level solutions for vision applications and can specify and integrate all of the necessary system components, including cameras, illumination, optics, image processing software and image acquisition hardware. NI Alliance Partners participating in the Vision Specialty program have proven expertise in imaging and vision systems and are identified as exp...

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Siemens S7-1200 Web Server Tutorial - From Getting Started to HTML5 User Defined Pages
Tim Jager

Siemens S7-1200 Web Server Tutorial - From Getting Started to HTML5 User Defined Pages

This is a brief tutorial on getting started with the Siemens embedded web server in the S7-1200 and S7-1500.  Using the concepts explained below, you can create a simple web page or a fully featured HTML5 web app.  Getting Started Step 1.  Turn on the web server.  To do this, navigate to the web server menu in the device configuration page and check the box to enable the web server.   Step 2: Download your project to your PLC and browse to its IP add...

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DMC to Present at the Siemens 2013 Automation Summit
Frank Riordan

DMC to Present at the Siemens 2013 Automation Summit

As a Siemens Solution Partner, DMC looks forward to attending the annual Siemens Automation Summit each year. Focused on the end users of Siemens automation products, the Summit offers opportunities for best practice sharing, networking, free hands-on training, and providing product input and prioritization for future enhancements. This year’s event, held June 24 – 27 in New Orleans, focuses on the theme of “Community. Experiences. Productivity."   This year, DMC ...

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Extracting Log Data from a Siemens PLC Using a .NET Client
Jack Cosgrove

Extracting Log Data from a Siemens PLC Using a .NET Client

I had the opportunity recently to work for a client who wanted to extract log data from a Siemens WinAC PLC using a C# .NET client. The application was archiving software that would run when another software component encountered an error. Log data was assembled from a variety of sources in the system stack, including the Siemens PLC. In order to keep the PLC's Step 7 code independent of this diagnostic logging, I used the Siemens WinAC ODK. The WinAC API exposes two interfaces, IPLC and ...

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Automating Siemens S7 and SiMotion Tasks Using C# .NET
Jon Carson

Automating Siemens S7 and SiMotion Tasks Using C# .NET

Siemens offers useful tools for accessing both Simatic and SiMotion projects programmatically, in the form of registered COM Type Library DLLs. These tools offer many exciting possibilities (well, it does if you're like me, and get excited by things like automating automation tools). If you have Simatic Manager installed, the following DLLs are registered with it: S7hcom_x 1.0 Type Library - The default location on my laptop is C:\Program Files (x86)\Siemens\Step7\S7BIN\S7HCOM_X.DLL) S...

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Getting Young Kids Interested in Technology
Frank Riordan

Getting Young Kids Interested in Technology

I'm always trying to get my daughters, ages 8 & 5, interested in what we do here at DMC. It's a challenge because I have a hard enough time explaining what DMC does to someone I meet at a cocktail party, never mind a couple of young kids. However, I recently had two great experiences with them that actually piqued their interest. The first was a trip to Legoland in Carlsbad, California. In addition to Miniland USA, Land of Adventure and other fun rides, there also is a Lego Factory T...

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Automation Redundancy Using ICONICS WebHMI Solutions
Jon Carson

Automation Redundancy Using ICONICS WebHMI Solutions

There are many good options for automation and controls redundancy out there. Here is an example we just recently used in the field. The customer specified a requirement of complete redundancy for all IT, networking, and HMI components of one of a large-scale manufacturing line. The system architecture we chose incorporated thin-client HMIs with server virtualization, off-the-shelf ICONICS redundancy solutions, dual KEPware OPC servers, a custom .NET service, and automatically backed-up SQL data...

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PID with a Siemens S7-1200 PLC
Jason Mayes

PID with a Siemens S7-1200 PLC

A few weeks ago I had the chance to experiment with serial communications using a Siemens S7-1200 PLC outfitted with a CM1241 (RS-485 module). Due to the limited number of projects we've had using the 1200 line of PLCs, this was an office first. And while it was very straightforward, it was still a learning experience. Recently I had another chance to be DMC's S7-1200 pioneer - this time using the S7-1200's PID blocks, and luckily, not involving death by dysentery, cholera, or sna...

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DMC receives Patent for Dimensional Detection System
Cesar Pena

DMC receives Patent for Dimensional Detection System

One of the most interesting and fun projects I have worked at DMC was to develop a Dimensional Measurement system for our customer LTS Scale.   In a nutshell, the system calculates the volume of an object on a forklift pallet. This is achieved by scanning the object with a laser, taking multiple images and analyzing these images with computer vision algorithms. The project also involved motor control, Linux, C++ and a lot of number crunching to derive the...

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Siemens S7-1200 Serial Communication
Jason Mayes

Siemens S7-1200 Serial Communication

Today, I found myself setting up some simple point-to-point serial communication on a Siemens S7-1200. For the current application, I was writing a simple function block to broadcast data to a Red Lion serial slave display, but there are a variety of situations in which you may need to do to this, such as communicating with a VFD. While there are many people in this office who do this regularly with other Siemens PLCs, it was the first time for any of us on an S7-1200, so I though...

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NI Week 2012 Wrap Up - Customizing Windows Embedded
Danny Budzinski

NI Week 2012 Wrap Up - Customizing Windows Embedded

The days have certainly flown by, and, I’m sad to say, NI Week 2012 has run its course. The last day was shorter and leaner than the others, so, unfortunately, none of the sessions really stood out to me. I did learn a little more about TestStand and sat in on a session on Network Connection Managers that reaffirmed a lot of DMC’s decisions in developing the network messaging daemon that we use. I also got an interesting look from JKI at a Continuous Integration implem...

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NI Week 2012 - Robot Summit
Danny Budzinski

NI Week 2012 - Robot Summit

It’s already day 2 of NI Week 2012, and it feels like things are really moving fast. In the same way, I broke out my goals for NI Week, I’ve been trying to focus each of the 4 days more or less on a specific theme. In light of that, I took day 2 to treat myself to a predominately robot themed day, favoring a number of the sessions on this year's “Robotics and Autonomous Vehicles Summit.” It seems like maybe that little bird at NI reads my blog because the first thing ...

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NI Week 2012 Quick Update
Danny Budzinski

NI Week 2012 Quick Update

I know it might be hard to believe given my LabVIEW Architect status and 5+ years’ experience, but I arrived in muggy-but-nice Austin, TX this afternoon for my very first NI Week. No matter what the weather has been like in Chicago this summer, and even if Ken thinks the rooms inside are too cold to bear, it is pretty intensely HOT. Despite the fact that my cab from the airport didn’t have A/C, I’m trying to keep a positive attitude and soak in as much of the experience as I ca...

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Using an iPhone to Control a Factory
Jimmy Condon

Using an iPhone to Control a Factory

Most Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) are in a static location. Sometimes, this can be inconvenient if you need to check a device (motor, valve, diverter, etc.), but the sight line from the HMI is blocked and you need to be able to watch the device move. Several projects that DMC has worked on involve a central server (typically Windows Server 2008 R2) that has the HMI editing software (I used Iconics GraphWorx), OPC server for gathering data from the PLC, and the HTML pages used by the thin cl...

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Northwestern Robot Design Competition
Eric West

Northwestern Robot Design Competition

For the fifth year, DMC was one of the sponsors for Northwestern University’s annual Design Competition.  The Design Competition (a.k.a “DC”) challenges students to design, build, and program an autonomous robot that competes against other robots in a simple task or game.  DC provides students with excellent hands-on experience in all the aspects that are required to make a successful robot, such as: designing electromechanical systems, working with various sensors an...

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