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Entries for the 'Siemens PLC' Category

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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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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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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The Basics of Siemens S7 PLC I/O Addressing
Nick Shea

The Basics of Siemens S7 PLC I/O Addressing

Are you a new user of Siemens PLCs a and wondering what terms like "process image" and "peripheral address" mean? What does the "P" in "PIW" stand for? Are you an experienced user and are too embarrassed to ask? Or, maybe you are like me and just need refresher every once in a while? Fortunately, the Siemens support website has a great article that explains these different ways to access I/O for Siemens S7-300 and 400 PLCs. Here are some summary t...

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DMC at the 2011 Siemens Automation Summit
Frank Riordan

DMC at the 2011 Siemens Automation Summit

As a proud Siemens Solution Partner, DMC always looks forward to participating in the annual Siemens Automation Summit. Each year, the Summit offers attendees several days of engaging demonstrations, networking opportunities, and other breakout events focusing on the end-user. Tim Jager, Nick Shea, and I attended the 2011 Automation Summit from June 27-30 at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts in Orlando, FL.  Connecting the User Community This year, DMC helped ...

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DMC Helps Connect the Siemens User Community with an Interactive New Event
Jessica Mlinaric

DMC Helps Connect the Siemens User Community with an Interactive New Event

What was the Siemens Connect Event? The Siemens Connect Event was an hour-long networking event held at the 2011 Siemens Automation Summit. Likened to "speed networking," the Connect Event was initiated as a fun and interactive way for Siemens Solution Partners and users to connect on a personal rather than business level. Attendees participated in "power" meetings which were facilitated by complimentary iPads and an application (app) built specifically for this event. ...

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Siemens S7-1200 Analog IO
Nick Shea

Siemens S7-1200 Analog IO

If you find yourself working with Analog IO on the Siemens S7-1200 for the first time, you may wonder how and where to start.  Here are some basic tips for working with Analog IO on this PLC platform.  For the purposes of this blog, I will focus on implementing 4-20mA inputs and outputs, but the concepts should apply to other signal types as well. Configuring Analog Input/Output Models: Open the Device Configuration for the PLC.  Add your module, then configure each channel...

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Siemens PLCS, Networking, and More--DMC at the SITEC 2011 Conference
Jon Carson

Siemens PLCS, Networking, and More--DMC at the SITEC 2011 Conference

I recently had the opportunity to attend my first Siemens technical conference. The conference, called SITEC, took place May 16-20 in Atlanta, GA, and Kristie Shea and I represented DMC. SITEC is Siemens’ technical conference where solution partners like DMC, distributors, and internal Siemens staff learn about the latest Siemens software and hardware technology solutions. I had a great time seeing what's new and upcoming in the automation world, as well as meeting the people behind th...

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DMC to Present at the 2011 Siemens Automation Summit
Frank Riordan

DMC to Present at the 2011 Siemens Automation Summit

DMC is excited to attend and present at the Siemens Automation Summit 2011 held from June 27-30 at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts in Orlando, FL. The Summit is an annual conference that focuses on the end-users of Siemens automation products and provides a great venue for interacting and learning with our peer companies. DMC is a proud Siemens Solutions Partner with the most S7 Certified Engineers in the United States. Tim Jager, Nick Shea, and I will be attending the conference....

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Using Siemens S7-300 PLCs to Report System Errors
Jon Carson

Using Siemens S7-300 PLCs to Report System Errors

The Siemens S7-300 line of PLCs has about a million great features integrated into the programming environment. After I recently inherited a PLC project where some (many) of these were not implemented, I thought it might be a good idea to do a recap on some of the more useful functions Step7 has to offer us. By far one of the most useful, and sadly underutilized, capabilities available to us from the Step7 environment is the “Report System Errors” utility. This utility, when activ...

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DMC Presents at the 2010 Siemens Automation Summit
Tim Jager

DMC Presents at the 2010 Siemens Automation Summit

What was the best part of my trip to Charlotte, NC last week? - Watching the Blackhawks Stanley Cup game 6 on a massive screen in the NASCAR hall of fame after the Siemens award ceremony. Very surreal... and totally awesome! Yes, Siemens really knows how to put on a great event. Last week was the 2010 Siemens Automation Summit, held in beautiful Charlotte, NC. The Siemens Automation Summit is a conference that specifically focused on the end users of Siemens automaton products. It is a gre...

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Siemens vs Allen-Bradley: Function Blocks
Nick Shea

Siemens vs Allen-Bradley: Function Blocks

Siemens and Rockwell Automation are two giants competing in industrial automation technology today. Rockwell (aka Allen-Bradley) seems to be more popular in the US market, but Siemens has a larger international customer base. A cursory Google search will reveal that there is no lack of debate among automation professionals over which one is preferred. On the higher end of their PLC lines, the programming environments to use are: Siemens - Step 7 Simatic Manager for S7-300 and 400 level ...

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Successful Implementation of Siemens' SiMotion Shaftless Drive Standard
Kristie Simon Shea

Successful Implementation of Siemens' SiMotion Shaftless Drive Standard

In many industries, shaftless drive technology has replaced the old mechanical drive systems. Instead of using mechanical gearing to force one axis on a machine to follow another one, servos are used. The servo technology reduces many of the flaws of a large mechanical gearing system as well as provides a lot of flexibility. This technology is in heavy use in industries such as the automotive, packaging, and printing. Using the shaftless drive technology requires the use of a motion controlle...

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Object Oriented Programming in Siemens and Allen Bradley PLCs
Jon Carson

Object Oriented Programming in Siemens and Allen Bradley PLCs

Since their conception PLC programs have been founded on simple programs. RLL (Relay Ladder Logic) and IL (Instruction List) commands have dominated PLC programs since PLCs first came to market in the 1970s. However in the past few years automation requirements have grown more complex and demanding. This has in turn led to PLC manufacturers beginning to include some higher level programming concepts in their software packages. What exactly have they added? And what does it mean for your manufact...

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PLC Analog IO Troubleshooting Tips
Nick Shea

PLC Analog IO Troubleshooting Tips

When commissioning or troubleshooting PLC inputs and outputs (IO), the analog signals are often the most difficult. First, analog IO almost always has to be scaled to convert the raw signal to useful process values. Also, there are many wiring and external device (sensor/actuator) configurations. Here are some simple guidelines for troubleshooting and working with Analog IO. Although these guidelines are intended to help you think about the process of troubleshooting, this process will surely...

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"Indirect Addressing" in Step 7 Basic v10.5 SP2
Nick Shea

"Indirect Addressing" in Step 7 Basic v10.5 SP2

For those of us who appreciate and harness the power of indirect addressing in Siemens S7 300 and 400 level PLCs, we were sad to hear that this functionality was not supported in the same way for the new Step 7 Basic software for S7-1200 PLCs. As of Service Pack 2 for Step 7 Basic 10.5, however, Siemens has added array indexing functions that get you closer to indirect addressing. They are called "FieldRead" and "FieldWrite". Essentially, they are functions that allow you ...

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Siemens S7-1200 PLC communicates through Sinaut MD720-3 cellular modem
Nick Shea

Siemens S7-1200 PLC communicates through Sinaut MD720-3 cellular modem

Many consumers, including myself, have tapped into the ever-growing functionality of mobile internet. Many people leverage this infrastructure for their mobile phone. Others are beginning to use WiMAX connections for their PCs. Not to be out-done, PLCs are also capable of communicating through wireless data plans. DMC just finished the proof-of-concept phase in a project using the new Siemens Simatic S7-1200 PLC and Siemens Sinaut MD720 GPRS GSM cellular modem. We were able to successfully se...

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Redundant Control Systems: Siemens S7 400H Series PLC and WinCC
Cesar Pena

Redundant Control Systems: Siemens S7 400H Series PLC and WinCC

There are certain control systems, such as in nuclear power plants and airplanes, that cannot be disabled or shut down, even momentarily, because of the threat to people’s lives. In these applications, a redundant control system must be in place to take over instantaneously if the primary system fails. I recently deployed one such redundant control system for train tunnel ventilation at a major international airport. The system's main objective is to control, reduce, and help exting...

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Communication between Siemens HMIs and non-Siemens controllers
Jon Carson

Communication between Siemens HMIs and non-Siemens controllers

Ever wanted to use those very nice looking Siemens touchpad HMIs with a third party controller Siemens doesn't officially support? On a recent project I was presented with the following scenario: a customer already had several Siemens touch-screen HMIs in stock, and wanted to use one to help operators control an Elau motion controller. Of course to do this I had to get the HMI and controller to talk to one another. The HMI understood about 20 different protocols — everything from Allen...

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Nick Shea

Safety PLC Impact On Software vs. Hardware Debate

After working on several projects with Siemens S7-300 Safety PLCs, I was given the opportunity to contribute to an article for ControlDesign.com that presents cases for and against replacing hardware components with software solutions in machine control. From my experience, I have seen some direct advantages of replacing hardware such as a safety relay with a safety program in a safety-rated PLC. Some benefits of going this direction are: Wiring Advantage Single pair of contacts a...

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