Using Siemens S7-300 PLCs to Report System Errors

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 activated, generates pre-built function blocks and adds them to your project. These FBs capture all diagnostic data and CPU messages, and spit it out in a human readable form perfectly compatible with the Siemens line of WinCC or WinCC Flex HMIs (though actually in fact, if you are particularly ambitious you can even use them on non-Siemens HMIs).

How much downtime has been wasted in your facility, while your maintenance team tracked down the cause of that annoying red “System Fault” light in the panel? Only to give up and pay for a programmer to come to your facility to plug in and see what the problem is? If this has happened to you, your programmer has not done his job. The RSE utility can give maintenance detailed diagnostics right on the HMI, sometimes more detailed than you might have thought possible. Instead of a blank “system fault” light and a line down for hours, imagine seeing the following on your HMI alarm log:

Name: IM151-3PN           Dosing Station 1 I/O Rack             SLOT 3                   Module: Port 2

Part Order number: 6ES7 151-3BA23-0AB0

Digital Input wire break

This is just one of thousands of possible custom error messages that get automatically added to your alarm list. You should be able to see right away why this should be in every S7-300 project. This is the kind of thing that changes downtime from “hours” to “minutes”.

So why do I find PLC projects that are not using the RSE utility? Is it because system integrators don’t know about it, or because they don’t understand how it works? This blog solves the first problem. Stay tuned for the next blog, where I talk about how it works, and specifically how to use it on WinCC and WinCC Flex HMIs.

Learn more about DMC's Siemens S7 PLC programming services.


Hi Josh, information right now is sktchey but both products are going to be released soon. We're hoping to have pricing soon. Both the V560 and the V1040 were displayed at the PackExpo convention in Chicago a couple weeks ago and the V560 is currently being sold in Europe. Plus it's listed as an option in the Hardware Configuration section of the most recent version of VisiLogic.We're hoping to get a post up this afternoon about the V1040 and we currently have a picture of it up on our homepage.Thanks for your questions. Stay tuned
Bob Rossi
# Bob Rossi
When are you going to post the rest of this?
I sure could use the part on how to use it in WinCC!

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