Introduction to Siemens Programmable Logic Controllers
Siemens is a world class manufacturer of various industrial hardware and software. The company has a market foothold in Europe and is growing in popularity in North America. Our goal is to introduce our readers and viewers to various PLC and HMI platforms and give them an option to decide what’s the best solution for their manufacturing operations.
In this article, we’re kicking off a series of tutorials on how to build a project in TIA Portal. We’ll be covering how to build your first project, how to configure PLC and HMI tags, how to establish communications to actual hardware and a simulator, how to write simple programs and download them onto the PLC.
Siemens PLCs - S7-1200 and S7-1500 Starter Kits
The question we’ve received on a number of our content around the series is “how can I get started?”. Siemens provides a convenient way to purchase a Starter Kit that includes everything you need to get hands-on experience with the platform.
The two options available are an S7-1200 series PLCs and the S7-1500 series PLCs. It’s important to note that Siemens has other lines, but for the purposes of these tutorials and ease of following what we cover, we recommend that you stick to those two.
The S7-1200 series PLCs are designed with smaller machines in mind. They are an inexpensive way to deploy a local control scheme, program a simple automated process and to send data upstream. The S7-1500 series of PLCs is much more powerful. It has more memory, additional compatibility with advanced servo drives and a faster processor. If you’re looking to control an entire line, multiple assets, or a small production facility, the S7-1500 is the way to go.
To purchase a Siemens Starter Kit, you’ll have to go through a local distributor or an online vendor. To find a local distributor, use the following link:
An online vendor we’ve had good reviews about is Allied Electric. See their catalog here:
Siemens Starter Kit Recommendations
You should be aware of the following when purchasing a kit:
- If you’re looking for the absolute lowest price, you can purchase a basic S7-1200 kit which includes access to TIA Portal.
- If you’re interested in programming an HMI, you can find multiple kits that come with different displays.
- If you’re interested in safety applications, pay attention to the PLC you’re receiving in the kit. Safety PLCs will come at a premium, but this feature can be disabled for non-safety applications until it is needed.
- You can learn how to program PLCs and HMIs through the S7-1200 kit and PLCSIM. We don’t recommend investing in an S7-1500 if you’re just looking to learn in a non-commercial setting. We recommend those kits if your plant is looking to migrate, has such systems deployed or can sponsor the purchase of these kits.
Building a Project in Siemens TIA Portal V16
In this section, we’re going to dive into creating our first project using Totally Integrated Automation Portal.
Step 1 - Install TIA Portal
TIA Portal is the software required for Siemens PLC programming.
TIA Portal Basic can be used for programming S7-1200 PLCs while TIA Portal Professional can be used for programming S7-300, S7-400, S7-1200, and S7-1500 PLCs.
[Optional] Step 2 - Install PLCSIM
PLCSIM is the software we will need in a later tutorial to simulate a virtual PLC.
Step 3 - Launch TIA Portal v16 (or V17 latest)
Step 4 - Select “Create a New Project”
- Step 4.1 - Give the project a name
- Step 4.2 - Choose a path of where to save the project
- Step 4.3 - Press on “Create”
Step 5 - Press on “Devices & Networks” in the left tab or the main window
Note: There’s a way to add a device from “Project View”; we’ll look at this option when adding an HMI to the project.
Step 6 - Press on “Add new device”
In a blank project, you should see no devices under the “Show all devices tab”.
- Step 6.1 - Press on “Controllers”
- Step 6.2 - Select the Controller you wish to add to your project
Note: The example below is of an S7-1200 1212FC DC/DC/Rly Safety Controller.
- Step 6.3 - Select the appropriate firmware
Note: The latest firmware based on your version of TIA Portal will be selected by default.
- Step 6.4 - Press on “Add”
Step 7 - Double-Click on “Add new device”
- Step 7.1 - Select “HMI”
- Step 7.2 - Select the panel you wish to add
- Step 7.3 - Select the Firmware Version
- Step 7.4 - Press on “OK”
[Optional] Step 8 - Configure the HMI using theWizard
Step 9 - Configure communications between the PLC and HMI
There are several ways you can establish a connection between a PLC and HMI through TIA Portal. The most straightforward way, that we will demonstrate in a future tutorial, is by adding tags onto the HMI screen. The software will recognize what the programmer is looking to achieve and creates an automatic connection. However, an interesting feature in TIA Portal over other software packages is the visual layout of various devices and connections between them. On this screen, the user can create new connections, remove existing ones and figure out which devices are connected onto the network.
- Step 9.1 - Open “Devices and networks”
- Step 9.2 - Open the “Connections” tab
- Step 9.3 - Drag and drop a connection between two EtherNet / ProfiNet ports
Step 10 - Configure the PLC
We need to configure the project in order to be able to go online with the PLC we have selected.
[Optional] Step 11 - Disable Safety
As mentioned above, we’re working with a safety based PLC. If your PLC does not support features or you’re not looking to disable these features, skip this step.
The safety disable is under the PLC, “Fail-Safe”.
Note: You may only disable safety features before you go online with the processor.
Step 12 - Set the IP address of the PLC
- Step 12.1 - Open the PLC Configuration
- Step 12.2 - Open the “Ethernet addresses” tab
- Step 12.3 - Set the IP address of the PLC
Note: out of the box, the IP address of the PLC will not be set. You will connect using the MAC address in the following step.
Step 13 - Press on “Go online”
Step 14 - Select the appropriate PG/PC Interface
Step 15 - Press on “Start Search”
Step 17 - Select the device in the list
[Optional] Step 18 - Use the “Flash LED” checkbox to validate the right device has been selected.
Note: It is recommended that you perform this check in a production environment before going online every single time.
Step 19 - Download to Device
Once you’ve connected to the PLC, it’s possible that the program on the PLC is not the same as the one within the project. A blank project typically has a single empty rung.
To perform a download, expand the “Program blocks”, select “Main [OB1]” and press on “Download to device”.
Note: Alternatively, you may choose to download the program from the PLC into the project.
Step 20 - Resolve any Program Differences
As you perform the download, the software will notify you of any issues it has encountered that you need to resolve to finalize the download. In most cases, the warnings can be resolved directly from the prompt and involve you making sure that you want to overwrite what is currently on the PLC if it is different than what’s in the project.
Once all the components are the same on the PLC and the project, you should see green checkboxes along the left tab within the project.
Conclusion on Siemens TIA Portal PLC Programming
In this tutorial, we’ve covered the steps necessary to create a new Siemens TIA Portal v16 project, configure a PLC and HMI into the project, and went online with a physical device. We’re currently working on a series of tutorials that will cover the following topics including building a small program, downloading logic to the PLC and simulating HMI tags.
Now that we have defined all the machine's specifications, we can start writing our PLC program. Start by launching TIA Portal. Then, on the first screen, click on “Create a new project”, give it a name (“Box sorting machine” in this instance), and click on “Create”. Figure 2.1: Creating a new project in TIA Portal.How do you connect Siemens PLC to TIA Portal? ›
Click on Add new device. From the controllers' tree expand SIMATIC S7-1200 > CPU > Unspecified CPU 1200, select the CPU under it and click on Add. You are now on TIA Portal's Project View. Click on detect to automatically detect the PLC from a list of available devices on the network.How do I connect HMI to PLC TIA Portal? ›
Double-click "Add new device" and select the HMI panel. Place a check mark for "Start device wizard" and click the OK button. In the "HMI Device Wizard" dialog that opens, click "Browse" and select the CPU with which you want to establish a PLC connection.How do I upload Siemens PLC program to TIA Portal? ›
After creating the project we click on the name of the project in the project 3 and go to the onlineWhat language is Siemens PLC? ›
We know some Programming Language for Siemens PLC programming Languages Like LAD,FBD,STL and SCL. Among them Every Language has its own Benefit. The SCL language is very powerful and well suited for complex math operations, data handling with arrays and string processing.Which software is used to write a program in Siemens PLC? ›
Siemens recommends SIMATIC Field PG programming devices as a powerful and rugged platform for STEP 7 Engineering Software, especially when an engineering station is also used for the commissioning, servicing, and maintenance of the automation system. However, any PC that meets the following requirements can be used.How do I download the HMI program in TIA Portal? ›
Choose “Online” from the menu at the top of the window and select “Accessible Devices”, from here TIA Portal can connect to the available devices before proceeding to the next step. In the project tree right-click on the HMI device name then select “Download to device”.How do I open Siemens HMI backup files? ›
In GENRAL tab, select the HMI type (ex. TP270 10” panel or TP177B panel) in the device type. Enter the MPI/DP address of the HMI panel which needs to be taken from the HMI control panel in transfer settings MPI/DP advanced settings. Go to the BACKUP tab, select the backup type as a complete backup.How do I connect HMI to Siemens PLC? ›
- Add new device selection window - CPU selection. ...
- Add new device selection window - HMI selection. ...
- Adding a Networked Device. ...
- Making a connection.
- Now we need to make a new connection. ...
- Highlight the 'PROFINET' interface.
- Create new connection.
- Assigning new connection an IP address.
The HMI unit, depending upon which model you select, will communicate with the PLC using serial communications or by way of an Ethernet connection. HMIs are programmed using free software and via a serial port (USB, or standard DB9 port) available from the vendor.
- Install the software and become familiar with it.
- Create basic input and output structures tied to a PLC-based process.
- Explore intermediate functions of an HMI terminal.
- Work on both your design skills.
Click the PLC tab on the program ribbon, click Download or Upload, and then select the desired option.How do I Upload programs to Siemens HMI ktp700? ›
Select the "Upload from device (software)" command in the "Online" menu. The "Upload preview" dialog box opens. Check the messages in the "Upload preview" dialog, and select the necessary actions in the "Action" column. As soon as uploading becomes possible, the "Upload from device" button is enabled.What is the latest Siemens PLC? ›
The SIMATIC S7-1500 system is the most powerful controller, making it the future-proof controller with the best possible system properties. The SIMATIC S7-1500T Technology CPUs are available for sophisticated and complex motion control functions.What is TIA portal in Siemens? ›
Description. The Totally Integrated Automation Portal (TIA Portal), provides an engineering framework for implementing automation solutions in all industries around the globe. From designing, commissioning, operating, and maintaining to upgrading automation systems, the TIA Portal saves engineers time, cost, and effort ...What are the 3 types of PLC? ›
PLC are divided into three types based on output namely Relay output, Transistor output, and Triac Output PLC. The relay output type is best suited for both AC and DC output devices.Which software is used for Siemens HMI? ›
WinCC (TIA Portal) is the software for all HMI applications, ranging from the simplest operation solutions with Basic Panels to SCADA applications on PC-based multiuser systems.Which type of software is used in PLC? ›
|Sl. No||PLC Software||Programming language supported|
|3||WPLSoft||Ladder logic, STL, and structured text|
|4||Microladder||Ladder logic and C|
|5||Open PLC editor||Ladder logic, functional block diagram, structured text, sequential function chart, and instruction list|
- Open TIA PORTAL. ...
- Now click on “visualization” and select any one of them.
- Here click on “Add new device” and then select “HMI”.
- Here, you will get a set of the selection, choose the one you want as per application or for learning purposes.
How to Download and Upload Your Program to a Siemens S7-1200 PLC
- Step 1: Connect the USB to your computer. ...
- Step 2: Open the HMI project with TIA Portal. ...
- Step 3: On “Project tree”, click “Card Reader/USB memory”. ...
- Step 4: Click and hold the left mouse. ...
- Step 5: Open the USB disk, and you will see a folder “Simatic.
The main components of a PLC consist of a central processing unit (CPU), power supply, programming device, and input and output (I/O) modules.What is Step 7 in the programming process? ›
Step 7 is to debug failed test cases. We teach debugging as an application of the scientific method. Debugging will either identify a problem with the underlying algorithm (in which case students should return to Step 3), or with the translation to code (in which case students should return to Step 5).Is PLC programming easy? ›
My general feeling is that PLC programming is quite easy compared to "normal" programming (in languages like C#, Python, C++...).What is a Siemens HMI? ›
Efficient for engineering, intuitive for operation, brilliant for presentation – our SIMATIC HMI (Human Machine Interface) products are visualization solutions for increasingly complex processes and higher demands of industrial operating and monitoring systems.How do I open Siemens HMI PSB file? ›
Hi, You can't open it or convert it to editable format. You can only use it with Prosave software to restore backup on the same type of HMI.How do I upload to Siemens plc? ›
- Download your program first to PLC. ...
- To upload the program, I have to create a new project. ...
- Now as shown in the below figure select “project3” (in our example, you may change your project title) then go to the “online” option then select “upload device as the new station”.
You say you have no PLC programming experience, which does not mean you cannot plan and program the HMI; you must simply be aware that you must ensure the PLC is progrmmed and configured correctly, that all the values you need to show on the HMI screens are available (and correctly scaled) for your application in the ...What is HMI configuration? ›
HMI Configuration. Human Machine Interface. A Human Machine Interface (HMI) is analytical software that bridges the communication gap between the machine's details and the details that the operator sees. The interface shows the system controls and alerts the operator to system inefficiencies.What are the benefits of using both an HMI and PLC as opposed to just a PLC? ›
While PLCs control mechanisms, electronics, and other low-level devices, HMIs empower operators with visualization and touch controls. Together, HMIs and PLCs pave the way for efficient and flexible industrial workflows. Each serves a unique purpose, and both are needed for optimal performance.
There are three basic types of HMIs: the pushbutton replacer, the data handler, and the overseer. There are three basic types of HMIs: the pushbutton replacer, the data handler, and the overseer.What is VFD in PLC? ›
A variable frequency drive (VFD) is a type of motor controller that drives an electric motor by varying the frequency and voltage of its power supply. The VFD also has the capacity to control ramp-up and ramp-down of the motor during start or stop, respectively.What is a protocol in PLC? ›
A protocol is a set of rules for communication among networked devices. Some common protocols used in the industrial arena include: Modbus RTU. EtherNet/IP.What is PLC and HMI programming? ›
Most modern control systems employ a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) as a means to control motors, pumps, valves and various other equipment used in a process. Computer based HMI (Human Machine Interface) products provide the means by which process personnel interact with the PLC control system.What language is an HMI programmed in? ›
NET programming languages, including Visual Basic . Net, Visual C#, C++ and other programming languages as well for their HMI automation, control and monitoring systems.Is WinCC a SCADA? ›
SIMATIC WinCC is a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and human-machine interface (HMI) system from Siemens. SCADA systems are used to monitor and control physical processes involved in industry and infrastructure on a large scale and over long distances.How do I find my Siemens PLC IP address? ›
Navigate to the hardware config of your PLC and select the Ethernet port. You should see the configured IP Address here. Depending on the installation, you may or may not be using a router. Select "IP address is set directly at the device" in the IP protocol section.What is MPI in Siemens PLC? ›
The Multi-Point Interface – Siemens (MPI) is a proprietary interface of the programmable logic controller SIMATIC S7 of the company Siemens. It is used for connecting the stations programming (PC or personal computer), operator consoles, and other devices in the SIMATIC family.What is the difference between MPI and Profibus? ›
MPI is a subset of profibus and allows only up to 31 slaves with a fixed communication speed of 187,5 baut. Profibus DP is a protocol for profibus with remote IO and allows up to 126 slaves up to speed of 12Mbp/s.Can we copy program from PLC? ›
If you have a memory card, you can transfer the program to the memory card. Once on the memory card, you can copy that to your PG/PC for backup purposes.
In the PLC world, Upload means transfer from the controller (PLC) to the PC. Download means transfer the program from the PC to the controller (PLC).How do I go online with Siemens PLC? ›
How to Go Online and Monitor Your Program with a Siemens S7-1500 ...How do I connect HMI to PLC TIA Portal? ›
Double-click "Add new device" and select the HMI panel. Place a check mark for "Start device wizard" and click the OK button. In the "HMI Device Wizard" dialog that opens, click "Browse" and select the CPU with which you want to establish a PLC connection.Can you upload from Siemens HMI? ›
alas, the HMI can't be uploaded. You can do a binary backup, to transfer to a new panel, but you can't view or edit the file, it's essentially just a device image.How do I download from HMI? ›
Go to Project > Download (PC -> HMI). The project will be saved and compiled as needed before the download window appears. It your model has a client USB port, there will be an option to download via USB or Ethernet. If there is no client USB port Ethernet will be the only download option.How do you make a program in Siemens PLC? ›
Siemens PLC Training: How to Write PLC Ladder Program - YouTubeHow do I learn Siemens plc? ›
- The Complete Practical Guide to Siemens Tia Portal Programming. ...
- S7 PLC to PLC Communication using GET/PUT Instructions in Siemens TIA Portal. ...
- An Introduction to Statement List (STL) Programming in Siemens TIA Portal. ...
- An Introduction to Basic Ladder Logic Instructions in Siemens Tia Portal.
Siemens TIA Portal Tutorial (Where are your PLC programs stored on ...Which software is used for Siemens HMI? ›
WinCC (TIA Portal) is the software for all HMI applications, ranging from the simplest operation solutions with Basic Panels to SCADA applications on PC-based multiuser systems.What does WinCC stand for? ›
"WinCC OA" is the abbreviation for "SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture", a software package designed for the use in automation technology. The main application area is the operation and control of technical plants using VDU workstations with full graphical capability.
PLC are divided into three types based on output namely Relay output, Transistor output, and Triac Output PLC. The relay output type is best suited for both AC and DC output devices.What is HMI programming? ›
Human-machine interface software (HMI software) provides an intuitive graphic user interface with input/output controls to help monitor and operate sophisticated industrial equipment. HMI software can be installed on HMI hardware or regular PCs, mobile devices, and wearables.What are the 4 main components of a PLC? ›
The main components of a PLC consist of a central processing unit (CPU), power supply, programming device, and input and output (I/O) modules.What is TIA portal in Siemens? ›
Description. The Totally Integrated Automation Portal (TIA Portal), provides an engineering framework for implementing automation solutions in all industries around the globe. From designing, commissioning, operating, and maintaining to upgrading automation systems, the TIA Portal saves engineers time, cost, and effort ...What is PLC full form? ›
A PROGRAMMABLE LOGIC CONTROLLER (PLC) is an industrial computer control system that continuously monitors the state of input devices and makes decisions based upon a custom program to control the state of output devices.Is it hard to learn PLC programming? ›
An entry level PLC programming job is hard to come by. The reality is that it's difficult to master the hardware and software platforms without having some experience in the manufacturing setting.What is Siemens PLC used for? ›
The primary function of a PLC's input circuitry is to convert the signals provided by these various switches and sensors into logic signals that can be used by the CPU. The CPU evaluates the statuses of the inputs, outputs, and other variables as it executes a stored program.Is Siemens TIA Portal free? ›
You can download the free trial version for Siemens TIA Portal, SIMATIC STEP 7, WinCC and PLCSIM Programming Softwares and test it for 21 days.How does TIA Portal work? ›
TIA Portal allows you to efficiently create your project using software generators and in this way reduce the number of redundant workflows. With Teamcenter, you also merge the project versions from planning, engineering, and design.