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Beginner's Guide to OMAC PackML
David Sestrich

Beginner's Guide to OMAC PackML

PackML, or Packaging Machine Language is a programming standard defined by the Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC) and by the International Society of Automation's Technical Report 88. It is meant to be a convenient project template that can be used in the discrete manufacturing of many products, from bottled drinks to wrapped candy. I thought it would be helpful to assemble this guide of PackML basics for anyone who is getting started with this standard. PackML has ...

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DMC Quote Board - June 2017
Jessica Mlinaric

DMC Quote Board - June 2017

Visitors to DMC may notice our ever-changing "Quote Board," documenting the best engineering jokes and employee one-liners of the moment.      

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DMC Takes a Stroll for PAWS 17th Annual 5K Walk/Run
Molly Graham

DMC Takes a Stroll for PAWS 17th Annual 5K Walk/Run

On Sunday, June 4th, a group of DMCers and friends got together for the 17th Annual PAWS Chicago 5K Walk/Run along Lake Michigan at Montrose Beach. We were joined by tons of other local pet lovers. The dog to human ratio was very close to 50/50, and the air was filled with the sounds of lots of happy yips, barks, and panting. What is PAWS? Nearly 9,000 cats and dogs are euthanized in Chicago each year because they don’t have a home, but PAWS Chicago finds homes for h...

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DMC to Host National Instruments Exams in 2017
Darren Jones

DMC to Host National Instruments Exams in 2017

DMC will be hosting two National Instruments certification exam dates at our Chicago office this year. The exams will be held on Thursday, June 22 and Thursday, October 19. The testing can cover any of the practical exams in the NI lineup, including the Certified LabVIEW Developer and Certified LabVIEW Architect exams. A representative from NI will be proctoring the exams. Learn more an enroll on the National Instruments website.  June 22 and October 19 1 - 5 p.m. 2222 N. Elston Ave...

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NIWeek 2017 Highlights
Steven Dusing

NIWeek 2017 Highlights

Last month, DMC joined hundreds of other National Instruments professionals at the annual NIWeek conference. DMC’s Darren Jones, Jon Carson, Jason Mayes, Jesse Batsche, Peter Rijks, Bill Sowerwine, Nick Aroneseno, Mark Locascio, and Steven Dusing attended the event in Austin, Texas. The conference is an opportunity for DMC engineers to expand their NI knowledge base, talk to other NI professionals, and give presentations on relevant topics. What is NIWeek? Per National Inst...

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SITEC 2017 Siemens Open Library Presentation
Jeff McCormick

SITEC 2017 Siemens Open Library Presentation

Recently, I had the privilege of speaking at the 2017 SITEC National Conference. I shared my experience as the lead developer on the Siemens Open Library and demonstrated how to utilize and contribute to the Open Library. Per Siemens, the SITEC Conference aims to keep engineers and specialists up-to-date on the latest products and technologies from Siemens by providing, "specific, effective and customized training along with a certification path to ensu...

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New Office 365 Reporting Options
Timothy Johnson

New Office 365 Reporting Options

Microsoft recently introduced the new Office 365 administrative interface, which provides Administrators with the ability to setup an Office 365 tenant, manage users and subscriptions, and get useful insights into how the Office 365 tenant is used. The new admin interface is designed to more closely resemble the look and feel of Azure. Enhanced reporting makes it a lot easier for our team to monitor the Office 365 environments of our clients to detect abnormalities and prepare month...

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DMC Houston Hosts Another Texas-Sized YOE 
Molly Graham

DMC Houston Hosts Another Texas-Sized YOE 

Remember last year when DMC employees went down to Texas to check out our Houston office for the first ever Houston YOE? Well, we did it again!  What is a YOE anyway? DMC’s YOEs, or Yearly Office Events, are a partially sponsored gathering of DMC employees and their friends that each of our six offices hosts near their location. In Denver, we go skiing, in Chicago, we go to the lake, Boston likes to head to the shore, and our newest offices (New York and St. Louis) ...

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Basic LabVIEW UI Control Customization
Steven Dusing

Basic LabVIEW UI Control Customization

A common gripe about using LabVIEW is that the user-interface (UI) is not very attractive. Well, that is only true if you do not know how to customize LabVIEW controls to make them look truly modern and visually appealing. Fortunately, there is a way to change the default LabVIEW controls! While National Instruments and many other LabVIEW developers have documented this process before, for completeness, I will go through the basics with lots of screenshots before posting some of ...

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DMC is Expanding to St. Louis
Patrick Corcoran

DMC is Expanding to St. Louis

DMC is proud to announce our next office expansion to St. Louis, Missouri. Further strengthening DMC’s Midwest presence, St. Louis offers the opportunity to reach many new market areas in the central part of the nation. We are excited to bring our diverse set of services offerings to meet new challenges and support more specialized market verticals.With a targeted official opening in Q4 of 2017, we have already begun supporting new clients and partners in the local metro area. ...

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Cooking Up New Ideas (and BBQ) at DMC's FedEx Day
Molly Graham

Cooking Up New Ideas (and BBQ) at DMC's FedEx Day

DMC recently held another one of our favorite company-wide traditions... FedEx Day! On FedEx Day, everyone in the company takes a break from their day-to-day tasks and works on a project that they think will improve DMC. It's a great opportunity to collaborate with people we don't normally work with, develop new skills, and have fun. It's called a FedEx Day because the planned project must be delivered by the end of the day. With five offices and more employees than ever, the...

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Geek Challenge Results: The Perfect Bracket
Cameron Fyfe

Geek Challenge Results: The Perfect Bracket

Congratulations to Grant Anderson of DMC, Michael Deck of Avant, and John Jacobsma! All correctly answered last month’s Geek Challenge with C: 93.424%! Michael Deck is this challenge’s winner for his extensive solution that not only solves the proposed problem but handles more involved aspects not considered by the OP.  Michael’s solution is below. 1 Introduction The problem is stated here. 2 Solution 2.1 Main solution First, we set forth the probability ...

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DMC Quote Board - May 2017
Jessica Mlinaric

DMC Quote Board - May 2017

Visitors to DMC may notice our ever-changing "Quote Board," documenting the best engineering jokes and employee one-liners of the moment.

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DMC Achieves Microsoft’s Gold Cloud Productivity Competency
Rick Rietz

DMC Achieves Microsoft’s Gold Cloud Productivity Competency

DMC recently upgraded our Silver Cloud Productivity competency to Microsoft Gold for Cloud Productivity! This certification recognizes DMC for its expertise and experience helping clients deploy Microsoft cloud and hybrid solutions. Hybrid solutions rely on a combination of cloud and existing investments in on-premises resources.  This Microsoft Gold level certification makes DMC eligible for exclusive training opportunities that further the implementat...

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Selecting a Pricing Tier in Azure: Don't Forget About Bandwidth
Peter Rijks

Selecting a Pricing Tier in Azure: Don't Forget About Bandwidth

Microsoft Azure is an enterprise-grade cloud service platform: a complete set of secure application services for computing, storage, data, networking, and app development. When considering your specific needs, the Azure Pricing Calculator is a great tool to estimate in advance how much you might expect to spend on an Azure solution. Not immediately obvious is that the calculator doesn’t automatically include pricing for bandwidth.  In many cases, bandwidth pricing won’t have ...

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Boston FedEx Day Produces Smart Bike Lights
Frank May

Boston FedEx Day Produces Smart Bike Lights

It's not fair.  Your car shows brake lights when it brakes. Some cool cars turn their lights on when you approach your car at night. Some really cool cars change the intensity of brake lights when they brake hard.  My bike has a red light that turns on when you press a button.  NOT FAIR.  For my FedEx Day project (a day where our company lets us make anything for 'next day delivery'), I brought my bike into the future with the help of a coworker and a ...

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DMC to Assist with PackML Workshops on May 22
Molly Graham

DMC to Assist with PackML Workshops on May 22

OMAC is hosting its annual PackML workshop on May 22 at the Chicago Marriot O’Hare. The Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC) helps manufacturers and suppliers work together to identify new and innovative ways to increase the effectiveness of their production operations.  Siemens will be offering a hands-on PackML Programming and Installation workshop, led by experts in PackML implementation on the Siemens platform. DMC’s David Sestrich will be there al...

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Displaying Slack Channels in SharePoint
Jordan Harris

Displaying Slack Channels in SharePoint

DMC recently updated our SharePoint intranet site to SharePoint 2016, and with that upgrade, we decided to do a refresh of the UI.  We concentrated on adding interesting and useful items to the homepage. One of those pieces of content was a display of our office-specific Slack channels.  This blog explores what I had to learn and do in order to implement a Slack display inside a SharePoint web part page. Getting Ready in Slack My first step was to learn how to communica...

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Programmatically Replace LabVIEW VIs Using VI Scripting
Eric West

Programmatically Replace LabVIEW VIs Using VI Scripting

VI scripting provides powerful tools for automating common development tasks. Scripting is the backbone of LabVIEW QuickDrop, allowing developers to create macros that can be invoked using keyboard shortcuts. This blog describes how to use LabVIEW VI scripting to automate the duplication of a VI and its references into a new VI. Motivation Over years of LabVIEW development, DMC has created a powerful and flexible state machine architecture that is well-suited for industrial applica...

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7 Tips for Programming Beckhoff TwinSAFE Safety Logic
Nikhil Holay

7 Tips for Programming Beckhoff TwinSAFE Safety Logic

TwinSAFE is a module of Beckhoff’s TwinCAT programming software that allows a programmer to set up safety logic for Beckhoff Safety PLC’s. I've picked up a few tips and tricks in my time working with TwinSAFE, and I hope you will find them useful. 1. SafeAND – Use A Standard Bool As you develop your safety program, you’ll notice that most of your inputs will be required to safety bool input. However, when using a SafeAND block, your first input (and only your fi...

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