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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I need a week or so of intentensive hands on training(no powerpoint) on AB and/or Siemens. My company is paying. CA or WA preferably.

I'm a maintenance guy so I need to be able to log in, find where a packing machine is getting held up, and troubleshoot the sensor or make a small change in the program(just an example).

The Siemens is all FB programming running TIA which is all foreign to me. We have various AB which is running RSlogix (?). All the AB stuff is programmed in LL which is way more in my wheelhouse, and we have a bunch more AB equipment on the way.

My googling is not turning up anything that looks worthwhile? Any recommendations? Advice?
 

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The AB part should be no problem, contact Rockwell training but be prepared for sticker shock. Go on PLCtalk.net and ask the same question. I know some of the guys on there have companies that do PLC training at half the cost. They can also lead you in the direction for Siemens. The Siemens stuff is not easy to learn it has a steep curve, so if you can stay away from changing it, focus on the AB. +
Good luck and glad to see your company kicking up and doing the right thing. I just had Rockwell come in-house for PAX training for my guys.

Good luck
Cowboy
 

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If you have a rockwell tech support package you can do one online training for free.

The class is better unless your company will lend you a processor/laptop because in the beginning a lot of programming is to do with confidence and to gain that you need hands on practice.
 

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North Seattle Community College used to have an Industrial Maintenance program, sponsored by Boeing, that had great PLC classes. Not sure if it's still there or if it is, how COVID has affected it, but worth checking into.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
North Seattle Community College used to have an Industrial Maintenance program, sponsored by Boeing, that had great PLC classes. Not sure if it's still there or if it is, how COVID has affected it, but worth checking into.
Looking for something more high energy with a faster pace. I actually have done a decent amount of schooling there and a few other CC's. Honestly I was not impressed, probably worth it for someone with no experience at all and needs credentials.


I'm trying to avoid the whole build a trainer and start teaching myself route... I like my free time. Plus that will take me 5 times longer lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The AB part should be no problem, contact Rockwell training but be prepared for sticker shock. Go on PLCtalk.net and ask the same question. I know some of the guys on there have companies that do PLC training at half the cost. They can also lead you in the direction for Siemens. The Siemens stuff is not easy to learn it has a steep curve, so if you can stay away from changing it, focus on the AB. +
Good luck and glad to see your company kicking up and doing the right thing. I just had Rockwell come in-house for PAX training for my guys.

Good luck
Cowboy
Ok just posted the same question over there.

I could not agree more about Siemens, if it were up to me I would ban their products from my site.
 

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I'm trying to avoid the whole build a trainer and start teaching myself route... I like my free time. Plus that will take me 5 times longer lol.
I think you are wrong with this. You can buy the trainer and learn at your pace with things that are related to what you need. There is enough help out there between here and that other site. A crash course will get you ideas but there is not enough time in the classes to really understand it all. What you don't use you lose. Make time at work to do the learning. I try to do every Thursday afternoon if nothing is broke down for my guys to do training. It has to take priority over fill in work.
 
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If speed and timing is an issue:
1- Contact your local AB rep. Have him/her in to confirm you have correct software, cables etc to get online to whatever machines you have. Providing him/her with a list of your processors (ie rslogix500 or 5000 platforms) would speed up the process.
2 - Have a local systems integrator hired to provide equipment specific training.

By the way, if you really believe that a one week course is going to teach you everything about both software platforms, you are either extremely naive about PLCs or overqualified for your job. Time and downtime will tell...good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If speed and timing is an issue:
1- Contact your local AB rep. Have him/her in to confirm you have correct software, cables etc to get online to whatever machines you have. Providing him/her with a list of your processors (ie rslogix500 or 5000 platforms) would speed up the process.
2 - Have a local systems integrator hired to provide equipment specific training.

By the way, if you really believe that a one week course is going to teach you everything about both software platforms, you are either extremely naive about PLCs or overqualified for your job. Time and downtime will tell...good luck
You know the first part of your response sounded smart. Did I say I thought a little bit of training was going to teach me everything about PLC's? Stupid comments like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think you are wrong with this. You can buy the trainer and learn at your pace with things that are related to what you need. There is enough help out there between here and that other site. A crash course will get you ideas but there is not enough time in the classes to really understand it all. What you don't use you lose. Make time at work to do the learning. I try to do every Thursday afternoon if nothing is broke down for my guys to do training. It has to take priority over fill in work.
Well I'm starting to feel that doing it myself is going to be the only way so you might be right. I'm not uber smart so usually I have to learn by doing.

I found out that if I buy a micrologix 1100 I can pair that with RSlogix 500 micro starter lite which is free and RSlinx I guess.
 

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Well I'm starting to feel that doing it myself is going to be the only way so you might be right. I'm not uber smart so usually I have to learn by doing.

I found out that if I buy a micrologix 1100 I can pair that with RSlogix 500 micro starter lite which is free and RSlinx I guess.
Yes. That is your best bet.
Learn at your own pace, and get help as needed.

When I taught PLC classes I would tell the students to do logic puzzle games in spare time, that was before internet and they had to use BOOKS.
Still stands do logic puzzles they make you think in the “ what if this “
 

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Yes. That is your best bet.
Learn at your own pace, and get help as needed.

When I taught PLC classes I would tell the students to do logic puzzle games in spare time, that was before internet and they had to use BOOKS.
Still stands do logic puzzles they make you think in the “ what if this “
Its also a great way of getting experience of having your arse kicked when logix wont play nice with links and windows goes all firewall stupid.

Something they never teach in class is software, hardware conflicts as they use all the same laptops and plc's so they have already worked out the kinks.
 

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I'm self taught with Siemens, and prefer them to most other now. I know in Boise the local Siemens branch use to provide training years ago but I'm not sure now. I would call the local Siemens branch.
 

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Its also a great way of getting experience of having your arse kicked when logix wont play nice with links and windows goes all firewall stupid.

Something they never teach in class is software, hardware conflicts as they use all the same laptops and plc's so they have already worked out the kinks.
We alway joke that it communications that get you.
Now I throw radios in the mix.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Its also a great way of getting experience of having your arse kicked when logix wont play nice with links and windows goes all firewall stupid.

Something they never teach in class is software, hardware conflicts as they use all the same laptops and plc's so they have already worked out the kinks.
When I did my stint doing testing I would say over 50% of the time we would have connectivity issues with the equipment.

Even with rental equipment that came with a laptop that supposedly had all of the necessary drivers and software preloaded we had issues. I remember we had one CT analyzer that would sometimes work fine and sometimes you would have to do a ritual of unplugging various cables, cycling power to the unit, and restarting your computer before it would work.
 

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When I did my stint doing testing I would say over 50% of the time we would have connectivity issues with the equipment.

Even with rental equipment that came with a laptop that supposedly had all of the necessary drivers and software preloaded we had issues. I remember we had one CT analyzer that would sometimes work fine and sometimes you would have to do a ritual of unplugging various cables, cycling power to the unit, and restarting your computer before it would work.

I solved it.

Start with a VM system. I use Virtualbox. Start with a good clean fully patched and crapware scrubbed Windows XP and 7 system. W10 if you have to. 32 bit versions on XP and 7. Win 7-64 has stability issues on VMs for some reason.

Install RSLinx. Install Logix 5, 500, 5000, Studio, and say View SE on separate VMs. Set up RS-Linx with the correct serial and Ethernet drivers then backup the settings. Do NOT put them on the SAME VM.

Don’t bother with shutting down Windows within the VMs. Just close the VM with it still running.

Install licenses on the host VM or on a shared drive using the old disk based system or locked to a USB.

Then you shouldn’t have any more hardware/software problems. You can simply copy or back up the VM. RS-Logix or whatever software you need will just work. I had to backup/copy the HMI data for an old HMI that only runs on Windows 2000. I had no problems installing it and doing everything I needed even though it was running on an 8 thread 4 core I7 laptop running Linux. Windows 2000 had no idea what was going on.

Last thing. I have gender changers (male/male and male/female), null modems, DB-9/25 adapters, and a known good USB UART that does full RS-232 and another doing RS-485. But the most important tool is a small port tester with red/green LEDs that indicate either off, positive, or negative voltage on an RS-232 port. The biggest use aside from checking questionable cables is I can instantly check if a port is DCE or DTE. Just look at terminals 2 and 3 on both sides. One will be lit, one will be off. If they match (say both 2) use a null modem. Once they are different use gender changers as needed to connect them together. That’s it!

Last, don’t expect the auto configure to work unless you know it does with your USB dongle. Again this may take some experimenting. But you should just be able to hit stop on the driver, auto configure, and Whois to verify it works. Then switch to the Logix software. It takes just a couple minutes to access nearly any AB hardware/software with this method without hassles with serial ports.

I buy my serial stuff from Bb-elec.com. I’ve used them for years.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I solved it.

Start with a VM system. I use Virtualbox. Start with a good clean fully patched and crapware scrubbed Windows XP and 7 system. W10 if you have to. 32 bit versions on XP and 7. Win 7-64 has stability issues on VMs for some reason.

Install RSLinx. Install Logix 5, 500, 5000, Studio, and say View SE on separate VMs. Set up RS-Linx with the correct serial and Ethernet drivers then backup the settings. Do NOT put them on the SAME VM.

Don’t bother with shutting down Windows within the VMs. Just close the VM with it still running.

Install licenses on the host VM or on a shared drive using the old disk based system or locked to a USB.

Then you shouldn’t have any more hardware/software problems. You can simply copy or back up the VM. RS-Logix or whatever software you need will just work. I had to backup/copy the HMI data for an old HMI that only runs on Windows 2000. I had no problems installing it and doing everything I needed even though it was running on an 8 thread 4 core I7 laptop running Linux. Windows 2000 had no idea what was going on.

Last thing. I have gender changers (male/male and male/female), null modems, DB-9/25 adapters, and a known good USB UART that does full RS-232 and another doing RS-485. But the most important tool is a small port tester with red/green LEDs that indicate either off, positive, or negative voltage on an RS-232 port. The biggest use aside from checking questionable cables is I can instantly check if a port is DCE or DTE. Just look at terminals 2 and 3 on both sides. One will be lit, one will be off. If they match (say both 2) use a null modem. Once they are different use gender changers as needed to connect them together. That’s it!

Last, don’t expect the auto configure to work unless you know it does with your USB dongle. Again this may take some experimenting. But you should just be able to hit stop on the driver, auto configure, and Whois to verify it works. Then switch to the Logix software. It takes just a couple minutes to access nearly any AB hardware/software with this method without hassles with serial ports.

I buy my serial stuff from Bb-elec.com. I’ve used them for years.
Ok cool thx I just copy pasted this for later reference. I've had major problems from a bad usb-to-RS232 until I figured out that was the problem.
 

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I'm a maintenance guy so I need to be able to log in, find where a packing machine is getting held up, and troubleshoot the sensor or make a small change in the program(just an example).

My googling is not turning up anything that looks worthwhile? Any recommendations? Advice?
If the machine worked before, then you may not need to make any changes to the PLC program. Rather, you would need to find the fault and fix it. You can look at the program and see where the fault is created.

Electricians don't need to assume the role of the engineer or designer and start programming the PLC. Sometimes the problem is as simple as a grounded wire or bad sensor.
 

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If the machine worked before, then you may not need to make any changes to the PLC program. Rather, you would need to find the fault and fix it. You can look at the program and see where the fault is created.

Electricians don't need to assume the role of the engineer or designer and start programming the PLC. Sometimes the problem is as simple as a grounded wire or bad sensor.
Don't jump the gun, he said make a change as an example. What if he just needs to add something in the future or change a timer. He did not say " change program to fix something" Does he call an engineer??

Cowboy
 
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