Blog Town

Connect with KAASM for news, updates, company culture, and technology trends.

IIoT | Edge: WinCC OA now Supports Node-RED

By Shawn Sandoval | 01/14/2020
Featured in , ,

Inside of WinCC OA version 3.17, Node-RED is natively supported. This is important because this furthers the evolution of Siemens WinCC OA platform to support the ever-growing IIoT device market. To be concise, Node-RED will allow WinCC OA to communicate with an exponential number of sensors and devices directly.

In the WinCC OA graphical editor, you can access Node-RED via the drop-down Tools menu.

This will launch the Node-RED editor. From there you can start working with Node-RED.

WinCC OA Nodes

The WinCC OA installation of the Node-RED application contains proprietary WinCC OA nodes. They work similarly to the corresponding functions in WinCC OA. Here is an example:

Contact us if you would like more details about this feature or leave a comment below. Have fun building with this new tool!

About WinCC OA

SIMATIC WinCC OA (OA) is a powerful, flexible and diverse SCADA/HMI/MES/IIoT platform used to control and monitor industrial applications. The object-oriented platform is able to handle network complexity with ease, allowing for anywhere from 2 to 2,048 distributed control systems to be connected on a single network. Highly customizable, each individual system can be calibrated as a redundant or non-redundant, single, or multi-user system. The software supports a number of device connectivity options that include but not limited to Siemens, Rockwell, Schneider Electric, OPC/OPC UA Standards, MQTT, Web Services, Node-RED, and allows for customized distributions and branding, making it a great platform for software OEMs in addition to end-users.

About Node-RED

From the Node-RED website: Node-RED is a programming tool for wiring together hardware devices, APIs and online services. Primarily, it is a visual tool designed for the Internet of Things, but it can also be used for other applications to very quickly assemble flows of various services.

Node-RED is open-source and was originally created by the IBM Emerging Technology organization. It is included in IBM’s Bluemix (a Platform-as-a-Service or PaaS) IoT starter application package. Node-RED can also be deployed separately using the Node.js application. At present, Node-RED is a JS Foundation project. You can learn more by visiting their site directly @ https://nodered.org/

Read More

DevOps: 6 Steps to Integrate Git into WinCC OA

By Calvin Hamus | 01/08/2020
Featured in ,

Inside of WinCC OA version 3.17, Git will be natively supported, however, with a little bit of work, you can leverage it with version release 3.16.  In this post, I will go through the required steps to add Git to your project along with a panel (available for download – see link below) that will be needed to finish the integration.

Prerequisite

Make sure you have Git installed on your development PC. You can download Git @ https://git-scm.com/downloads. For help installing Git onto your development PC, check out knowledge base article: DevOps: Install Git on Windows 10

About WinCC OA

SIMATIC WinCC OA (OA) is a powerful, flexible and diverse SCADA/HMI/MES/IIoT platform used to control and monitor industrial applications. The object-oriented platform is able to handle network complexity with ease, allowing for anywhere from 2 to 2,048 distributed control systems to be connected on a single network. Highly customizable, each individual system can be calibrated as a redundant or non-redundant, single, or multi-user system. The software supports a number of communications protocols that include but not limited to Siemens, Rockwell, Schneider Electric, OPC/OPC UA Standards, MQTT, Web Services, and allows for customized distributions and branding, making it a great platform for software OEMs in addition to end-users.

About Git

Git is a DevOps Open Source Distributed Version Control System.

Step 1

Create a repository in a hosted area, I’m using GitHub for this example.

Step 2

After the repository has been created copy the link that looks like the one that is highlighted and store it somewhere for later.

Step 3

Open an existing WinCC OA project or create a new one.  Then in the config file add following lines:

[ui]
versionControl = “git”
defaultPanelFormat = “XML”
numPanelBakFiles = 0

Step 4

Restart the OA project so that the system sees the configuration changes.  OA will then run the -git init command in the background to get everything ready.  Once the system has restarted and you launch GEDI you will be prompted with two WinCC OA notifications:

Click “Yes” so that your project will be put under Git version control.

Then, enter your repository username for commits.

After you’ve completed this when you right-click a panel or a script it will have the below options.  Before you click any of the options we have to register the project to the repo we created earlier.

Step 5

Download the attached panel file, gitRepo.xml, then open and Quick Test with it.

Step 6

When you are in quick test mode, paste the URL you saved earlier in the text field and hit the Assign button.

We have now just connected our WinCC OA 3.16 project to a GitHub repository that we can now utilize all the power that the Git platform provides us.

Read More

News & Updates: Calvin Hamus Joins KAASM

By KAASM | 01/08/2020
Featured in

Located in Phoenix, AZ – Calvin recently joined KAASM to manage an industrial technology portfolio that includes software development, technical product support, E-Learning, and DX consulting. With over 10 years of working in software and automation industries, Calvin’s IT and OT experience will help KAASM better serve our clients IIoT/Edge and software initiatives.

I admire the innovative mindset at KAASM. This type of forward-thinking allows me to best utilize my experience and have an impact.”

Learn more about Calvin

About KAASM

KAASM is an industrial technology company that provides digital transformation consulting, product support, E-learning, and software/hardware products. For more information about our innovative technologies and consulting services, please contact us.

Read More

WinCC OA: Patch Release 14

By KAASM | 09/27/2019
Featured in ,

Siemens ETM has released V3.16 P14.

Read More

WinCC OA: How to Add Rulers to the Trend Object

By KAASM | 09/05/2019
Featured in

Part of working with an open platform is being able to change or enhance out of the box functionality to meet your needs. This short tutorial will introduce and show you how to add a ruler to WinCC OA.

The WinCC OA trend tool comes with a number of out of the box functions. We will add the following attribute “maxRulerCount” to the WinCC OA trend tool. This attribute specifies how many rulers per trend area can be used. Rulers can be helpful to mark a value(s) and compare the differences over time. To add a ruler to the trend object, copy and paste the following initialize script as seen in the screenshots below.

This attribute comes with the following parameters:

  • area
  • count

“area” is the name of the trend area and “count” is the maximum number of rulers.

Main()
{
    TREND1.maxRulerCount  (0,7);
}

In the following example, the maximum number of available rulers for trend area 0 will be set to 7.

Read More

Technology Partners: Low Code Development with Mendix

By KAASM | 08/27/2019
Featured in ,

We recently got to meet with our local Mendix rep and had a chance to learn about their visual-development IDE for creating applications in a low-code environment. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should. Their product allows companies with limited technical resources to develop professional applications without needing to know every programming language out there. It also allows companies with lots of technical resources to quickly create apps when time is limited. I love the idea that we could produce great content and leave our full-stack developers to focus on more technical tasks.

Being a bit of a Maker myself, I wanted to give it a try. I went on their website, created a free account, and started going through their tutorials for creating an app. The first tutorial guides you through creating an event management application in their IDE, which is perfect for us because KAASM likes to throw a good party. I was able to figure out the user interface, build the app customized to a fictional KAASM event (KAASM Con 2020), and preview it on desktop and mobile devices.

Overall, I love the idea that with a relatively small amount of training, you can create a fully functioning application that would provide a real benefit to your company. I do see the need for a professional developer for more complex applications, but Mendix fills a gap that our industry needs.

To learn more about Mendix you can visit them @ https://www.mendix.com/

Read More
WinCC OA AEScreen

WinCC OA: How to Change “Came” and “Went” Alert Text

By Shawn Sandoval | 08/15/2019
Featured in

The texts for the alarm direction are defined in the WinCC OA message catalog sc.cat, the keywords are “entered” for the CAME-text and “left” for the WENT-text. If you would like to translate or change the texts which are shown in the AEScreen for the alert direction you have to perform the following steps:

Step 1

Copy the file sc.cat to the language-dependent msg-directory in your WinCC OA project. This file is available with the texts in German, English, and Russian languages. You can find the file here: C:\Siemens\Automation\WinCC_OA\<WinCCOA version>\msg\en_US.utf8


WinCC OA Project Folder

Step 2

Open the file with a text editor.

WinCC OA text editor

Step 3

Change the text for the keywords “entered” and “left”. Verify the change by opening up your AEScreen GEDI\system management\Alarm and Event Screen.

WinCC OA sc.cat file
WinCC OA Verify Text Change

Read More
Kulshan Brewing

News & Updates: Kulshan Brewing Taps Siemens Automation

By Shawn Sandoval | 08/12/2019
Featured in

At KAASM we have quite a few brewing customers and one of our favorites has been Kulshan Brewing. When they were challenged with rapidly expanding their brewhouse, they called KAASM to help bridge their technology gap. We made a reference video about Kulshan Brewing to show how they successfully used Siemens Industry automation to rapidly expand. You can check it out here:

About Kulshan Brewing

The name Kulshan comes from the Native American word for Mt. Baker, which is the local volcano in the Cascade mountain range. Founded in 2012 by Bellingham native David Vitt, Kulshan Brewing is one of the fastest-growing breweries in Whatcom County, highly regarded for making delicious and well-balanced ales and lagers. Just one year after opening, Kulshan doubled the size of their brewhouse to 15 barrels in order to keep up with demand. In 2015 Kulshan opened a second brewery, affectionately named “K2”, in Bellingham with a 30-barrel brewhouse.

To learn more about Kulshan Brewing and how they leveraged Siemens automation, check out the full reference report here.

If you are interested in learning more about how KAASM can help bridge your technology gaps, please contact us.

Read More

News & Updates: KAASM is Awarded the Bronze Eagle

By KAASM | 08/09/2019
Featured in

Siemens’ highest recognition for top-performing companies is the Business Excellence Eagle Award. KAASM has been recognized for its 2018 performance in the areas of sales achievement, support capabilities, and commitment to business excellence. Less than 5% of eligible partners receive this prestigious award.

Siemens Business Excellence Award 2018

This is a great honor and we look forward to continuing our innovative business relationship with Siemens.

-James Mowrey, KAASM

About KAASM

Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, KAASM is a new breed of Siemens partner that provides sales, support, training, and consulting services to various industries looking to digitize their operations. KAASM enables its customers to gain real-time visibility of their industrial data to improve processes, reduce costs, increase reliability and availability, and support sound business decisions.

KAASM Founders – James Mowrey and Shawn Sandoval
Read More
Top View logo

Technology Partners: TopView Alarm Notification Software

By KAASM | 07/24/2019
Featured in

At KAASM we work tirelessly to find solutions that solve problems, improve daily operations, and are highly reliable. Most recently, we’ve explored, tested, and validated the alarm notification software package, TopView by Exele.

Typically applied in oil and gas and water/wastewater industries, TopView is reliable, feature-rich, and offers instant-failover redundancy at both the HMI and Alarm Engine level for customers who require high-availability. After spending quite a bit of time with TopView, I came up with a list of key features that I wanted to share with you:

  • HMI platform-independent
  • Support for online changes
  • Individual alarm delays for notification, schedules, and priorities
  • Acknowledge alarms through your email
  • Simple to use on-call and schedule management tools
  • Tags, alarms, contacts, schedules, and escalations import/export via CSV
  • Advanced alarm analytics, scheduled and/or on-demand reporting
  • Includes smart device mobile app

Check out what NRG has to say about TopView

“I realized I needed a way to automatically get notified when something stopped working or was in alarm, so I could begin responding or even correct the problem before it impacted plant operations (or was noticed by plant management). I was told about Exele and the TopView software and with just a couple of quick questions to tech support I had it up and running. All it has done is performed flawlessly through the years, and every upgrade brings valuable features that enhance our sophistication with alarms and notifications. The system has infinite potential, and the only limitation is my vision and effort to configure it – and it is so easy I have no excuse! Couldn’t be more pleased with the product and company, I wish everything worked so well, my life would be so much easier.” – Doug Netting, NRG

With a ton of references and happy customers, TopView has done a great job serving the industry’s alarm notification requirements. If you would like a demo or to learn more about TopView, contact us!

Read More
Scroll to Top