dWiseman

FactoryTalk Questions (Upload/Download)

7 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Good Morning,

I have some questions around the FactoryTalk View software used to create and modify Panelview Plus programs.

I am currently working with Panelview Plus 1000. I have recently done a bit of programming on older panels through Panelbuilder32 so I have a some AB experience, but by no means am I an expert. This whole process seems a little overcomplicated (coming from an OMRON background)... having to upload, restore, then create back to runtime whilst having to match versions...

First question is file types. I have noticed there are two file types. .APA and .MER. I have tried doing a little research but cannot figure out what the actual difference between these two file types are. I do know that when I upload the program from the HMI it comes in a .MER. Will this file contain all of the information from the original program? I have read some things about people losing security and communication set-up... Before I go downloading a modified program I would like to make sure this is not the case.

Second question is with regards to editing procedure. My understanding is, as I mentioned above, I upload the .MER then I proceed to restore the application using FactoryTalk. I then edit everything I want. Is the correct procedure to then create a runtime application and then download that to the HMI. This question kind of ties into the first as I am really only worried about downloading and losing comms / security log ins.

Third question is with regards to version. My understanding is I must match the version with the current version installed on the HMI. Is there anything more to this? When I create runtime application all I have to do is make sure the version type matches that of the HMI?

Any help is very much appreciated :)

Cheers,

dWiseman

Edited by dWiseman

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Unless you know for sure you were the last one to work on an HMI, you are best to upload the mer file. I know it is cumbersome, but it is truly the only way to make sure you have the latest file. Be thankful you didn't come in the early stages where unless you had the apa file, you couldn't do anything!

 

Question 1) APA: This is an archieve file. Or the development file. If you have this file, you can open this file, and it extracts into Factory Talk. Basically a zipped file of the actual file.

                     Mer: This is the actual running file that gets downloaded into the HMI itself. 

Question 2) Downloading: When you download your mer file to the HMI, if you do not check the box that says "Overwrite communications" then you will not need to worry about the communications paths. 

Question 3) Versions: You can have a higher version on your PC. When you create an APA, that APA file now becomes whatever version you have loaded on your PC. HOWEVER, when you create the MER file, it MUST MATCH the firmware in the HMI. Or at least the major firmware revision. Example: I have version 8.1 loaded on my PC. My HMI have firmware 8.2. When I create my MER file, I save it as firmware 8.1 and all is good.

 

Hope that helps. If not just ask.

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Posted (edited)

Armadillo,

Thanks for the prompt reply!

So just to confirm to edit a current program on a panel:

1)upload .MER from the panel using transfer utility from FactoryTalk

2)restore application through application manager

3)make changes as needed

4)create runtime application from working file - must make sure version matches that of HMI

5)download using transfer utility

Following this process I will retain all security settings and comm settings? Is it necessary to deselect transfer communications when downloading? Or because the version is above 5 the .MER keeps all information(???... I am running v8 on laptop and v7 on panel)

If the case is the .MER does have everything I need to fully backup an application, what is the point of the .APA file? And when would I need to worry about losing Comm/security settings?

Cheers,

dWiseman

Edited by dWiseman
grammar

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Managed to get everything going. Followed exactly as posted above. Loaded in the .MER and security was NG. All I had to do was add the users back to runtime security. Kind of a pain... but an easy fix nonetheless.

 

Thanks again.

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57 minutes ago, dWiseman said:

Managed to get everything going. Followed exactly as posted above. Loaded in the .MER and security was NG. All I had to do was add the users back to runtime security. Kind of a pain... but an easy fix nonetheless.

 

Thanks again.

Sorry for the late response. Yes, the security is a hit and miss. I have not had good luck with the security. This is why we switched all the security to the PLC and not in the HMI.

 

Glad it is working for you!

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HI dWiseman

If you need to give the build files to someone else, or create a backup of the HMI for offline development, you would create the APA and save it

When you restore that to another PC  using the application manager, all the folders & footprint on the hard drive will be created, allowing it to be opened for development.

Prior to version 5 you could not restore from the mer file so the APA backup was crucial.

As far as communication settings, the first time you install the mer file you must set up the com settings using the RSlinx enterprise dialog in factory talk, and the settings are saved in the panelview software.  If you dont select "over write communications", the existing settings are retained and used during runtime.

Cheers

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Does anyone know how to configure advanced email settings for "Search" email notifications?
 

I would like to disable the email notification that contains the text file with info on when the search started/stopped, and just receive emails with the PDF report, if there are search results found.

Example text file:

Schedule Name: PLC Program Modifications
Schedule Start Time: 2017-08-13 06:00:00 (Local) - 2017-08-13 09:00:00 (UTC)
Schedule Stop Time: 2017-08-13 06:00:08 (Local) - 2017-08-13 09:00:08 (UTC)
Schedule Description:

 


Operation: Search
Status: Completed Successfully
Start: 2017-08-13 06:00:05 (Local) - 2017-08-13 09:00:05 (UTC)
Finish: 2017-08-13 06:00:08 (Local) - 2017-08-13 09:00:08 (UTC)

We are not interested in this data or the extra email. We are only interested in (1) whether any plc programs were modified and (2) that the search completed successfully (which we already receive).

Thanks,

Jack

 

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