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This is a listing of tutorials and manuals found on the Siemens automation website that will get you started on the SIMATIC Step 7 software for S7-300 and S7-400 systems. From a new users perspective I’ve only heard disparaging comments about finding the right information on the Siemens’ website. I have to agree. Its information overload at it’s best. There’s a lot of different stuff there thrown together and found in different spots with very long URL addresses to add to the confusion.
Have no fear. We’re here to help. So we’ll look at the essentials for your journey.
- The software if you haven’t got it yet
- Getting a sense for the product line
- Where to start with the manuals
- Online training material
- Downloadable Flash tutorials
Of course the best type of training is the hands on type but if that’s not an option then you’ll need to start digging in.
Who’s got the Software?
If you are just learning and can’t easily get the software then there are two options.
- Order the demo CD which will give you a free 30-day trial period.
- Download a free working copy of Step 7 Lite. There are differences between the regular version of Step 7 and Step 7 Lite but for learning purposes you can go along way with the free Lite version.
First Things First
The first thing I like to do with a new product is get an overview of everything. Getting used to part numbers and product groupings can go a long way with your comfort level. The best thing for this is the sales catalog (ST 70 – 2005). You can also order a hard copy.
Where to Start? Manuals, manuals, everywhere!
Once you install the Step 7 software there will be a directory under the SIMATIC folder called Documentation that includes the most important manuals. Hard copies can be ordered with number 6ES7810-4CA08-8BW1. Here’s how I would digest them.
- Working with STEP 7 - This is a basic introduction to Step 7 which walks through an example of controlling engines. While it’s not the complete picture it does ease you very well into the learning curve of the Step 7 software.
- Programming with STEP 7 Manual - Here’s the fuller manual for the programming interface which is also the same as the online help accessed by pressed the F1 key.
- Configuring Hardware and Communication Connections STEP 7 Manual - Everything to do with the Hardware Configurator.
- Statement List, Ladder Logic, and Function Block Diagram Reference Manuals - These manuals contain both the user’s guide and the reference description of the programming language or representation type. You only require one language type for programming an S7-300/S7-400, but you can mix the languages within a project, if required. If you’re more comfortable with Ladder Logic or Function Block Diagram then start there but sooner or later you’ll have to become familiar with Statement List.
- System Software for S7-300 and S7-400 System and Standard Functions Reference Manual - The S7 CPUs have integrated system functions and organization blocks included with their operating system, which you can use when programming. This manual provides you with an overview of the system functions, organization blocks, and loadable standard functions available in S7, and detailed interface descriptions for their use in your programs.
There’s gold in that website if you just do a little digging! If you’re having a tough go with the manuals then you should definitely download the training material. There’s a lot more screen shots and even a picture of a balding pudgy guy to point things out to you. What more could you want?
If you’re not the manual type (and even if you are) check out the Siemens Step 7 Flash tutorials. These are very professionally done with a nice sounding narrator to take you through all the basics of the Step 7 software and hardware.
Of all the starting places to dig for more info I find the support section the best especially if you have a part number or key word you can search on. Clicking on the Product Support link will bring up a tree on the left hand side that can be expanded down to the product of your affection. Good luck and happy hunting.