Joe E.

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About Joe E.

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  • Location Blacksburg, VA
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  1. software information

    I know that standard (what we have) will not let you do anything with macros or VB.
  2. software information

    I found that too, but it doesn't show the difference between starter/standard/professional.
  3. software information

    RSLinx is included. Your local distributor should be able to give you a good description of the different levels of the software. The difference isn't license duration but what each package lets you do. I know that there's a place on their website that provides that comparison but I can never find it when I need it and bookmarks never seem to last for long.
  4. software information

    No worries. Missed the sarcasm font...  ;)
  5. software information

    Portal doesn't support anything Allen-Bradley. Unless something has changed, it also doesn't support all Siemens hardware (MicroMaster, Multi-panels, etc.).  Only the latest and "greatest".
  6. PLC 2 files?

    We have a bunch of PLC2s running, but we use a different software package from a 3rd party that won't import your files.  Hopefully someone will stumble into this who can help you out.
  7. You make good points about damaging spare parts. It's not my preference at all, but we don't have a good system in place for securely storing them elsewhere.  Every time we set up shelves with parts, the shop gets rearranged and unqualified people decide what to keep without qualified people even being aware that the sorting is underway.  Protests land on deaf ears as tens of thousands of dollars of parts vanish overnight.  If they're in the cabinets, at least they're out of sight/out of mind until needed.  The same is true for drawings that electricians will need.  It's hard enough to keep track of them in the cabinets; anywhere else is impossible. I wish our situation was different, but 6 years of trying to adjust the culture have been fruitless. I was actually kind of hoping that it was an NEC violation so I could at least push for doing something else, but I may not have that "ammo". 
  8. It's a common practice in our plant to store electrical spare parts in the bottom of control cabinet enclosures.  They're not in the way and don't interfere with troubleshooting the cabinet.  I've been told that this practice is a violation of NEC, but I can't find it anywhere in NEC or in NFPA 79.  Or on Mike Holt's site (I'm not a member there). Is this a code violation?  If so, what section?  
  9. Function Blocks and Data logging to CSV

    Basically, when you finish an FB, the declaration area at the top becomes the structure of a data block.  When you call the FB, you assign a DB to it.  If you're calling it from within another FB, you can create a variable in the declaration area of the calling FB that's the same type as the called FB, essentially embedding the DB inside another DB.  This is essential if you're going to be calling the FB more than a couple of times.  If you call it from FCs or if you don't want to muck with the declaration area of an FB in a working machine (which I TOTALLY understand), you'll need a separate DB for each call of the FB.   Example.  Let's say you create FB100 to do something.  In most of our machines, FBs are only used once so what they would do is create DB100 as an instance DB of FB100 and use them together.  It's definitely not necessary to match the FB and DB numbers, it's just a convention that the particular OEMs who built our machines use.  It gets more complicated with multiple calls to the same FB.  Let's say you want to call FB100 5 times from within FCs (or from other FBs without modifying their DBs).  You would create 5 DBs, each an instance DB of FB100.  You can number them anything you want, let's say DB75, DB109, DB115, DB209, and DB1056 (totally random numbers....).  Each time you called FB100, you would use a different instance DB. If you call FB100 from only within other FBs, you can create variables in the declaration areas of the calling FBs.  You would assign the variable's Data Type to match the symbolic name of the FB you want to call. Here's a screenshot showing an example in Simatic Manager.  Portal will look different, but the principle should be the same (we just ordered a license to upgrade Simatic Manager to Portal but it hasn't arrived yet so I can't see what the differences are yet): The window in the back is the blocks folder of Simatic Manager with FB11 selected.  Note that its Symbolic name is "PosStatus". The window on top is the block editor with FB10 opened and its interface (declaration area) opened to the STAT area.  The programmer has declared a number variables of Data Type "PosStatus".  In the ladder window (Network 12), you can see a function call to FB11 that's using one of the embedded data structures. If you right-click on the call instruction and open the called block, it takes you to FB11, even thought that's not at all clear from looking at the call instruction.  
  10. How to Select suitable FactoryTalk Licence

    I would also reach out to your local Rockwell Distributor for guidance.  They should be able to help you select the right package.
  11. What do you think of Lenze?

    Another thumbs-down from the US.  We have about 15 or so identical machines with EVS9325 drives that were built by our internal machine-builder group.  Their failure rate is WAY too high, in my opinion.  We've had 6 failures in the last year and a half or so.  To be fair, there may be an issue with the OEM's application of the drives.  We've been unable to get the Lenze software installed and working on any of our laptops, even though our machine builder group just says, "Install this program and it just works every time for us".  So, basically, we hand the repaired drives back to the builders to program for us so they can sit on the shelf waiting for the next failure.  Just last week, we had one fail before our spare was back to us so we had to buy a new one, which was VERY expensive. We've also had an inordinate number of failures of motor/gearbox assemblies where the holding brake fails (may also be an application error, but the builder insists that it's working properly). There is no way to repair just the brake; we have to send the whole motor/gearbox assembly back to them for repair, which is very expensive.  I don't have numbers on the brake failures since one of the mechanical guys handles those.
  12. Newbie Screwed up AB 5/04

    I remember working on a PanelMate lo these many years ago (at least 10) but don't even remember what software it used and certainly can't help you with the steps to follow.
  13. Newbie Screwed up AB 5/04

    If you have the right version of the HMI software, you should be able to open the project and see what PLC address each HMI "button" interacts with.  Once you have that, you can replace the HMI with anything that will communicate to the 5/04.  The Red Lion G3 series HMIs work well and communicate with the 5/xx controllers well over RS232/DF1.  There are other options as well.
  14. Red Lion G310 comms to AB Powerflex753

    I would like to see this as well.  I know the drives have the ability to respond to generic MSG instructions from an Ethernet/IP PLC (like MicroLogix 1400) but I don't know how to get a Red Lion HMI to do that.  It would have been useful on several occasions.
  15. Red Lion programming

    What hardware are you using?