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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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Optional Hardware Configuration Control in TIA Portal
Jason Mayes

Optional Hardware Configuration Control in TIA Portal

Ever wish you could create a project with optional hardware modules? Or add hardware in the field with any programming? Configuration Control within TIA Portal allows you to configure hardware modules and even I/O network objects to be optional so that a user can, at run-time, choose what hardware should be used.

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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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Multiplexing Arrays of UDTs in TIA Portal V14
Jason Mayes

Multiplexing Arrays of UDTs in TIA Portal V14

It's back! When V13 SP1 was first released, one of the features I was most excited about was the ability to multiplex arrays of custom UDTs on a PLC using a simple index tag on an HMI. This feature allowed me to use a single faceplate or screen to display or modify data from multiple objects by simply changing a single tag. I was so excited, I even wrote a blog post about it then! Unfortunately, it was a feature to be short lived and, due to some unexpected consequences, mysteri...

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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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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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Turning Data into Dollars using MES and MOM
Kevin Ferrigno

Turning Data into Dollars using MES and MOM

Manufacturers are rapidly increasing their capability to collect and analyze data. This data can be used to deploy KPI metrics, like OEE, providing real time and historical feedback on the productivity of manufacturing operations. This data can also be used as the basis for continuous improvement projects designed to increase efficiency and reduce waste. But how do manufacturers know what impact these projects are having on their bottom line? Are they worth the cost to deploy? DMC and AltaVia...

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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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WinCC Comfort/Advanced V13 SP1: Pop-Up Screens and Slide-In Screens
Jeff McCormick

WinCC Comfort/Advanced V13 SP1: Pop-Up Screens and Slide-In Screens

Earlier this year (January 2015), Siemens released their latest service pack for the TIA Portal V13. This included updates to Step7 V13 SP1 and WinCC Comfort/Advanced V13 SP1, along with several others. Along with the WinCC V13 SP1 pack came the addition of the Pop-Up Screen and Slide-In Screen features. It is important to note that this is only available for HMIs running WinCC Comfort/Advanced V13 SP1 and WinCC Runtime Advanced V13 SP1. Currently, these features are only available for Comfort a...

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How to Find and Replace items in WinCC 7.2
Frank May

How to Find and Replace items in WinCC 7.2

There is no global CTRL+F and Replace in  WinCC v7.2 that catches everything at once, but there are a few tools that can help you accomplish the same thing.  Let’s say we have a picture for Robot Defense. This picture has tags, text, script, and dropdown options for Robots. We want to make an identical screen, but for Alien Defense. Below is what we start with: Highlight everything on the screen and right click to bring up "Linking Options" Select "...

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DMC Recognized as a SIMATIC WinCC Specialist
Kristie Simon Shea

DMC Recognized as a SIMATIC WinCC Specialist

As a Siemens Solution Partner, DMC is proud to have recently been recognized as a Siemens WinCC Specialist. WinCC Specialists are qualified experts who can implement complex SCADA projects using Siemens’ best practices. This prestigious acknowledgment means that “the quality and project management processes, as well as the technical WinCC-Know-How” at DMC has been approved by Siemens through a central audit process.  With this designation, DMC has a direct line of communic...

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SIMATIC IT Line Monitoring Tool for Overall Equipment Effectiveness
Kevin Ferrigno

SIMATIC IT Line Monitoring Tool for Overall Equipment Effectiveness

DMC has recently been working closely with Siemens in expanding opportunities to utilize their Manufacturing Execution Systems and Manufacturing Operations Management platform, SIMATIC IT. One area we've pursued is development of a Line Monitoring tool to help manufacturers implement a cost effective way to measure Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and perform downtime analysis.   This result is a low cost solution built on a Siemens S7-1200 PLC and SIMATIC IT Line Montioring Syst...

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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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WinCC Professional Popups
Jimmy Condon

WinCC Professional Popups

SyntaxHighlighter.all(); For a recent project using WinCC Professional V12, I needed to have a pop up window that could change based on the screen window that the operator clicks (motor, VFD, valve, etc.). The popup also needed to have its location change based on where the screen window was that the operator clicked. To implement the popup, I added a screen window to the starting screen. I did not assign any of its properties: I gave it a visibility animation based on an internal tag...

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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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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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Ken Brey

VNC on Siemens WinCC Flex HMI with WinCE

A version of VNC Server is available which works on Siemens MP277 and other Siemens displays that are WinCE 5.0 or higher. The open source project can be found here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/efonvnc/ The MP277 uses the ARM processor, so extract the contents of efonvnc_v4.3_wce5x_armv4i.zip into a folder in Program Files on the panel. Run the file VNCConfig.exe once to configure the connection. It is also available from the VNC icon in the system tray. Run WinVNC.exe to launch the se...

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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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