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Entries for the 'HMI and SCADA' Category

Flattening WinCC's Skeuomorphism: The Toggle Switch
Eric Baggen

Flattening WinCC's Skeuomorphism: The Toggle Switch

  I recently developed an HMI using WinCC 7.4 for an automation project. Building it from the ground up afforded me the opportunity to deviate from WinCC’s default skeuomorphic controls and instead experiment with more modern, flatter UI elements found on consumer-facing products like smartphones and web interfaces (think Facebook, Google, and Apple). I relied on WinCC’s faceplate types to create generic controls that could be dragged and dropped as needed without add...

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Siemens Open Library Customization with HMI Styling
Otto Gottlieb

Siemens Open Library Customization with HMI Styling

Siemens TIA Portal Libraries have helped me develop PLC and HMI code faster and manage it better. Recently, I have been working with the HMI Styling section of the Portal Library, and I have found it very helpful. This blog shows some practical examples of using HMI Styling in projects. Specifically, it focuses on how styling can work with the Siemens Open Library. Siemens has released all the documentation you need to get started. Part 1: The Basics When you create a Comfort Panel...

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FactoryTalk View: Parameter Linking Bug Fix
Emily Shanker

FactoryTalk View: Parameter Linking Bug Fix

Global Objects are a great way to cut down on development time, modularize, and add repeatability to your FactoryTalk HMI project. We previously explored this topic in our blog, Rockwell FactoryTalk Studio Basics: Global Objects and Tag Substitution.  This tutorial will first walk new and experienced users alike through how to create a Global Object and utilize many of the advanced features Rockwell Automation's FactoryTalk offers. It will also demonstrate how to resolve potenti...

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Leveraging Siemens MultiUser Engineering for TIA Portal
Gina Brooks-Zak

Leveraging Siemens MultiUser Engineering for TIA Portal

With Siemens TIA Portal V14, a great new tool for PLC and HMI development called MultiUser Engineering was released. MultiUser Engineering allows multiple developers to access a server project through local sessions and quickly and seamlessly merge updates to PLC or HMI code such as function blocks, user-defined types (UDTs), WinCC Comfort or Advanced screens, and more. DMC has been using the MultiUser tools with great success, and I'd like to share a few insights with y...

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Siemens RFID Card Reader Setup, User Administration, and Auto-Login
Nikhil Holay

Siemens RFID Card Reader Setup, User Administration, and Auto-Login

This blog is an instruction guide to installing the necessary Comfort Panel HMI software for interfacing with a Siemens RFID card reader. Additionally, the guide will demonstrate the necessary setup elements in the PLC project, as well as instructions for getting started with user administration and auto-login. Definitions UID - Unique Identifier, tied to an individual card SOAP - Simple Object Access Protocol, Protocol specification for exchanging structured information in...

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3 Tools for Debugging Scripts in Ignition
Elizabeth Hill

3 Tools for Debugging Scripts in Ignition

If you use Inductive Automation's Ignition server software designed for total system integration, you might encounter instances when your script doesn’t run correctly the first time. Here are a few tools to help you find the bug. Tool One - Gateway Script If you're running a gateway script, the first place you should navigate to is the Status Page of the gateway. Then, locate the Gateway Scripts page. There, you will be able to see a...

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Using Custom Properties on Templates in Ignition
Elizabeth Hill

Using Custom Properties on Templates in Ignition

Ignition is a modern HMI/SCADA based software platform from Inductive Automation that closes the gap between production and IT with unlimited, web-based monitoring and central control of an entire facility via a single central server. There are tons of features to use Ignition's independent modules for including Real-Time Status Control, Alarming, Reporting, Data Acquisition, Scripting, Scheduling, MES, and Mobile support. Sometimes, there are tweaks you might want to make th...

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4 Tips for Ignition Designer
Elizabeth Hill

4 Tips for Ignition Designer

Ignition is an expandable and scalable Java-based SCADA platform from Inductive Automation. As a developer, the two main components that you interact with are the Designer and the Gateway. The Designer is where you edit the lower level components, like screens, tags, and scripts. The Gateway is where all of the higher level configuration lives – OPC connections, database connections, user management, etc. Here are some basic tips and tricks that I have found useful when devel...

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How to Convert from ProTool to WinCC Flex
Nikhil Holay

How to Convert from ProTool to WinCC Flex

ProTool is an HMI software package from Siemens. Most people (myself included) are most familiar with WinCC Flexible and Portal as the two primary Siemens HMI software packages. ProTool is the predecessor to WinCC Flex, and was phased out in 2004. So, what do you do if you have an HMI stuck in ProTool? Luckily, the conversion to WinCC Flex is very straightforward. Why Convert? There are several good reasons to convert your project from ProTool to WinCC Flex.  1. Many current Siemen...

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Automatic HMI Connection Fail-over in TIA Portal with the S7-400H
Jason Mayes

Automatic HMI Connection Fail-over in TIA Portal with the S7-400H

For anyone who has spent much time working with the SIMATIC S7-400H, it becomes quickly apparent that the devil is often in the details. You find that there are many small settings and 'tricks' that you uncover while setting up redundancy, redundant Modbus communication, redundant communication interfaces for I/O, configuring hardware, etc., that you need to get things running. Sometimes those small details are hard to catch. In the words of my wise colleague Lillian Walker, "The re...

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DMC Renews Certifications in the Wonderware SI Partner Program
Nick Shea

DMC Renews Certifications in the Wonderware SI Partner Program

DMC is now a Wonderware Certified Systems Integrator in InTouch and System Platform! Certified Systems Integrators are able to integrate enterprise manufacturing systems in intricate, multi-level projects. What is the Wonderware SI Partner Program? Per Schneider Electric, “The Wonderware SI Partner Program is a multi-tier support system that recognizes participants by their level of experience and certification with Schneider Electric brands, market focus, and industry-related expert...

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DMC Earns InduSoft Certified Systems Integrator Status
Nicklas Thystrup

DMC Earns InduSoft Certified Systems Integrator Status

DMC is proud to announce our status as an InduSoft Certified Systems Integrator. After years of experience using Wonderware's Indusoft on projects, we have become the only Certified Systems Integrator in Chicago. InduSoft’s Certified Integrator Program is an incentive driven program open to all System Integrators who recommend and develop automation solutions utilizing InduSoft Web Studio software. The program allows DMC access to technical training and...

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Indusoft Tips and Tricks
Nikhil Holay

Indusoft Tips and Tricks

Indusoft is an HMI/SCADA platform that can be used with a variety of different PLCs. At DMC, we’ve used Indusoft with several PLC platforms, including Beckhoff, Omron, and Mitsubishi. Below, I’ve outlined a few tips and tricks that I’ve used to accelerate Indusoft development.   Indusoft Tip 1: Refer to the PLC Make sure that your driver sheet I/O addresses refer to something in the PLC. If you are using symbolic tags, the tag must exist in the PLC or Indusoft wil...

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Using Smart Symbols in Iconics GraphWorx64
Patrick Smith

Using Smart Symbols in Iconics GraphWorx64

The GraphWorX64 software from Iconics is a powerful tool for building HMIs. As an upgrade from GraphWorX32, it offers several new features that allow the designer more flexibility and ease of use. The purpose of this blog post is to focus on the new Smart Symbol feature, and how it can greatly simplify HMI development. What is a Smart Symbol? A Smart Symbol is essentially a group of objects that have their properties and data exposed at the group level. Creating a Smart Symbol is extremely...

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Connecting to Legacy Telemecanique XBT Terminals
Ryan Taylor

Connecting to Legacy Telemecanique XBT Terminals

As legacy hardware begins to fail, support can be difficult for a variety of reasons - not the least of which is the deprecation of programming software and debugging tools. I recently helped a customer restore the program to an old Telemecanique (now owned by Schneider Electric) XBT-C terminal, and wanted to pass along some lessons I learned. This guide will be for the XBT-C series terminals, but should be similar to other legacy devices as well. Getting Started First and foremost, you wi...

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Dissecting the Siemens Open Library: Configuring Multiple Items On a Faceplate Using a UDT
John Sullivan

Dissecting the Siemens Open Library: Configuring Multiple Items On a Faceplate Using a UDT

The Siemens Open Library is a great resource that includes many commonly used Function Blocks and Faceplates. However, every project is different and customer requirements sometimes necessitate changes or the creation of new things. In the Dissecting the Siemens Open Library Series (this is the first post), I plan to break down some of the methods used by the Open Library to make configuration quick and easy. One thing that the Open Library does really well is it...

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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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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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Rockwell FactoryTalk Studio Basics: Global Objects and Tag Substitution
Gina Brooks-Zak

Rockwell FactoryTalk Studio Basics: Global Objects and Tag Substitution

Global Objects in Rockwell Automation / Allen-Bradley's FactoryTalk HMI development environment are useful to bring modularization and efficient repeatability of common elements in your project. This basic feature has been around for a long time, but knowing how to use Global Objects effectively can greatly reduce your development time, chance of errors, and number of displays to license at runtime.  In this tutorial, I will show you how to set up a simple control valve as a Global O...

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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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