How engineering managers can empower their teams to create more value and reduce costs with systems, standards, and automations

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This post originally appeared on KB Controls. You can view the original post here.

Systematization is the key to OEMs growing their businesses profitably. Using systematization, OEMs can scale their businesses using technology, instead of larger teams and overtime. By scaling with technology, OEMs increase their capacity and their profit margins.

In this article, we’ll explore what systematization means and how engineering managers can introduce systems, standards, and automations to their teams to reduce the effort involved in executing projects.

The Current Situation


A first look at how to use the S7–1500 Web API to interact with a CPU using JSON RPC2.0 and HTTP Requests

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As of firmware version 2.8, the S7–1500’s web server is expanded to include a new ‘Web API’. This Web API allows an authenticated user to interact with the CPU via a web application. Using the Web API, a user can;

  • Read and write CPU data
  • Execute functions such as backing up the CPU configuration or changing the operating mode

In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of the new Web API and look at a demo of the Web API working with an S7–1500 Controller

Benefits of the New Web API

The most powerful aspect of the new Web API is that it uses JSON RPC2.0. You may not know what this protocol is, but most web developers do. …


C# From Scratch Part 3.0

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Welcome to another part of the series C# From Scratch, a course dedicated to teaching you everything you need to know to be productive with the C# programming language.

In the previous part of the series, we learned how to make our application interactive — the output of the application varies depending on the input provided by the user. If you missed it, that part of the series is available here.

While updating the application, we introduced a small bug — the application now crashes if the user fails to provide the correct input. …


C# From Scratch Part 2.5

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Welcome to another part of the series C# From Scratch, a course dedicated to teaching you everything you need to know to be productive with the C# programming language.

In the previous part of the series, we learned how our program is structured. While exploring the structure of the program, we learned about some important concepts from the C# language including using directives and namespaces, classes, and methods. If you missed it, that part of the series is available here.

In this part of the series, we’ll make the application interactive by accepting input from a user and using that input to modify the output. …


C# From Scratch Part 2.4

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Welcome to another part of the series C# From Scratch, a course dedicated to teaching you everything you need to know to be productive with the C# programming language.

In the previous part of the series, we learned how to work with our C# project in our code editor, Visual Studio Code. If you missed it, that part of the series is available here.

In this part of the series, we’ll explore the structure of Program.cs to understand how the application works. Once we understand how the application works, we can modify it to be an interactive application.

Exploring the Application

Open Program.cs in Visual Studio Code. …


Make your engineering processes more efficient by exchanging, instead of recreating, data used by different engineering systems

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This post originally appeared on KB Controls. You can view the original post here.

In a typical automation project, electrical planning data is created three times in different systems at different stages of the project.

During the sales phase, a sales engineer will create the controls configuration in a planning tool like the TIA Selection Tool. This information is used to prepare a proposal for the customer and create a budget for the project.

During the planning phase, an electrical engineer recreates this controls configuration in an electrical engineering tool like EPlan Electric P8. …


C# From Scratch Part 2.3

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Work with .NET projects is much easier in a full-featured editor like Visual Studio Code.

Launch Visual Studio Code

Navigate back to the Gradebook folder in the Command Prompt using the command ‘cd ..’. This tells the Command Prompt that we want to go up one level in the file system.


A Step by Step Guide for OEMs

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This post originally appeared on KB Controls. You can see the original post here.

In the last few months, I’ve written a lot about the value of software standardization for machine builders and OEMs.

I’ve also written about PackML, a software programming methodology developed and maintained by OMAC and the ISA.

Using PackML, machine builders and OEMs can standardize their automation software architectures by following an industry standard. This helps to reduce their costs while adding more value to their machines.

In 2015, Arla Foods worked with its OEMs to make their machines PackML compliant. After implementing PackML, the OEMs were able to reduce their commissioning time by 50% and reduce the integration costs of each machine by a factor of 4. …


C# From Scratch Part 2.2

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Output of dotnet run

Welcome to another part of the series C# From Scratch, a course dedicated to teaching you everything you need to know to be productive with the C# programming language.

In the previous part of the series, we learned how to create a new .NET project using the .NET CLI and the dotnet new command. We used this command to create a .NET Console Application. If you missed it, that part of the series is available here.

In this part of the series, we’ll explore the structure of the .NET …


C# From Scratch Part 2.1

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Use dotnet new console to create a new .NET project in the src directory

Welcome to another part of the series C# From Scratch, a course dedicated to teaching you everything you need to know to be productive with the C# programming language.

In the previous part of the series, we learned how to interact with .NET on our machines using the .NET CLI, a tool that was installed as part of the installation of the .NET SDK. That part of the series is available here.

In this part of the series, we’ll create our first C# project using the .NET CLI.

Creating the Project

Use the command ‘dotnet new’ to create a new .NET project.

The command returns with some information about the different options that can be used to create a new .NET project. …

About

Ken Bourke

Automation Engineer, Technology Enthusiast, Freelance/Consulting. Official website: https://www.kb-controls.io/

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