Case Studies

Adapting to the Coronavirus Pandemic: Remote Installation of Upgrades to an Automated Mixing Plant

Posted in Inventory and Warehouse Control, Manufacturing Automation and Intelligence, Packaging Machinery Programming, PLC Programming, Siemens PLC


Over the course of four weekly remote installation sessions, DMC deployed upgrades to an existing automated bulk material dosing system by using Zoom to communicate with and control the client’s PC to download the updated software to the PLC. Between remote sessions, the client tested the previous week’s added features while DMC continued offline development in preparation for the next installation.



Siemens SIMATIC S7-1500 PLCThe customer needed experienced Siemens PLC programmers to implement additional features to a pilot program that DMC had previously developed for the client. The customer chose DMC because of our success with the pilot system development, our deep knowledge of Siemens PLC programming, and our previous experience with their plant software infrastructure.

The customer first contacted DMC regarding the possibility of adding quality of life and “nice to have” features on their recently installed pilot system. The customer had a long wish list of items and a very limited budget, so DMC’s first task was to assess which features could be completed within the budgeted time and provide an accurate estimate to the client.

The client responded with their full list of features in order of priority and asked DMC to complete as much of the list as possible before the budget ran out. 

COVID-19 Impact

During the early stages of development, the Coronavirus pandemic hit the US, and DMC began working remotely, which added a significant obstacle to the planned onsite installation. After discussing options with the client, we decided to try installing software updates remotely on a weekly schedule.

We quickly found that the remote installation was very simple to execute thanks to tools like Microsoft OneDrive, which allowed us to share the updated project files with the client, and Zoom Meetings, which we used to remotely take control of the plant’s computer and download to the PLC.

Additionally, we found that the weekly schedule minimized system downtime by allowing the client to incrementally test the updates as DMC continued development and made tweaks to existing features to install during the next remote session. 

During the current COVID-19 situation, DMC is still open for business and exceeding expectations while working remotely. 

Learn more about DMC's Remote Industrial Automation solutions and our Siemens expertise. Contact us for any inquiries. 

Customer Benefits

  • System integration for international use
  • Cost-effective solution
  • Despite the hurdles that the Coronavirus pandemic presented to the client’s desired timeline, DMC was able to install all upgrades remotely