Archive for category SIMATIC PDM
When you’re making programming changes to a field device, you don’t always have time to wait. Here’s a hidden feature that helps you speed up the process between Siemens SIMATIC PDM and HART field instruments.
Normally, when you’re using PDM software, it takes a minute or so to upload or download changes to and from your HART devices. Seems like an eternity when all you need to do is change a range.
So, I’m going to let you in on a feature you might not have seen before.
Sometimes I get lazy and don’t follow my own rules. (Rule #1: Test EVERYTHING!) That one oversight cost me three hours when I could have solved a problem in three minutes. Maybe you can learn from my mistake.
The goof happened at a customer site last week. He had a Siemens MultiRanger 100 ultrasonic level transceiver, and was trying to connect to it via Modbus using Siemens SIMATIC PDM software on his Windows XP laptop PC.
Early on, the Lesman salesman who worked with this customer had connected to the MultiRanger from his laptop using PDM, but only one upload worked successfully. The rest failed. The salesman had lent the customer his “known good” serial cable that he’d used for the successful upload.
Siemens tech support had offered the customer several “Try This/Try That” suggestions, but came to the conclusion that a software program on the customers’ laptop had locked up the laptop’s internal serial port so PDM couldn’t access it. The customer’s IT guy ran a port scan program, but could find on application or service running on COM1. Plus, they’d used the serial port successfully for other connections.
I couldn’t do anything more for the customer over the phone, so I grabbed my serial comms toolkit and headed to the site myself.
PDM is Siemens’ Windows-based HART configuration tool. My copy of PDM is a single point license that I use with a HART modem to configure field instruments using the “Lifelist” quick start app.
When I recently changed from Windows XP to Windows 7, the LifeList app would launch but the upload/download buttons were greyed out and it wouldn’t even attempt HART communication to field instruments. Grrrrr, what to do? Read the rest of this entry »