PLC Programming Course (P1): PLC Hardware Configuration

PLC Programming Course (P1): PLC Hardware Configuration

PLC Programming Course (P1):

PLC Hardware Configuration

In Part 1 of this Siemens PLC Programming Course you’ll create a new project and configure the Hardware Configuration in TIA Portal.


PLC programming starts by getting familiar and comfortable with the programming environment. So first things first! In this very first article of this course, we’ll create a new project and then configure the required hardware of the PLC in the Siemens brand new software, TIA Portal or Totally integrated Automation Portal V15.1.

In Part 2 we’ll continue with PLC programming of our process and in Part 3 we’ll end up with our PLC software simulation.

Of course, this free training course will be continued with other examples of real-world processes and we believe that you’ll learn many useful practical tips and tricks in them.

Creating a New Project in TIA Portal

Totally integrated Automation Portal or TIA Portal is the Siemens brand new software that you can program your S7-1200 and S7-1500 series PLCs using that.

A project in TIA Portal contains all the hardware, network, programming, and monitoring system information.

TIA Portal V15.1

By double-clicking on the TIA Portal icon we can open up the software; after a few seconds, we see this window. From the Start menu, we obviously should choose the “Create new project”.

I name the new project as “Water Pumping System” and specify a location to save that. Then, I click “Create”. Creating a new project was pretty easy, right?

How to Create a Project in TIA Portal

Now, other submenus of the “Start” menu are enabled and you see them on the left and right hand side of the window.

Hardware Configuration in PLC Programming

As the next step that is configuring the PLC hardware, we can select either

– the “Configure a device” sub-menu or

– the “Write PLC program” sub-menu

As they both do pretty much the same thing. They both let us select the hardware and configure them before we start writing the PLC program.

I prefer choosing the “Configure a device” submenu and then click on “Add new device” to add my PLC CPU.

PLC Hardware Configuration in TIA Portal

In the “Add new device” window, in addition to Controllers (or PLCs), you see also HMI and PC Systems that we will talk about them in future articles.

Add New Device to Your Project in TIA Portal

Now, let’s select our PLC CPU. I’m going to choose an S7-1500 series PLC CPU, so I expand its folder and I think a 1513-1PN CPU is enough for our process.

When you click on each CPU, you see a technical description of that and its specific article number.

Adding a PLC to TIA Portal Project

Important NOTE:

Remember that if you are going to program an actual PLC in a plant, the process to configure the hardware requires some information beforehand.

For example, you should exactly match the Order Number or Article Number of the hardware in TIA Portal with the exact order number of your existing actual hardware. Otherwise, you will face some unwanted errors and you may not connect to your PLC.

PLC Hardware and Software Compatibility

Among the CPUs under the 1513-1 PN folder, I choose the this one (6ES7 513-1AL02-0AB0) and click “Add” to continue.

Siemens 1513-1PN PLC CPU

In the opening window, we have three tabs;

– Device view

– Network view

– Topology view

What we deal with in this article is the “Device view” tab.

As you see, the software automatically has added the appropriate Rail for the PLC and mounted the PLC on that. Something that does not happen in the older versions of Step7 software like version 5.6 or older.

TIA Portal Hardware Configuration Window

On the right-hand side of this window, there is the Hardware catalog pane in which we can find any hardware modules we need and add them to our configuration.

SIMATIC MANAGER Hardware Catalog Pane

In the next part of this example, we’ll write the PLC Program of a Water Pumping Process.

So, according to the process we need only a Digital Input (DI) and a Digital Output (DO) card as we have three discrete inputs and just one discrete output.

Estimating the Required PLC Cards

In the Hardware Catalog pane, under the DI folder, as you see there are 16 and 32-input channel cards that we can choose among them.

32 Channels Digital Input Cards

I choose a 16-channel Digital Input module (6ES7 521-1BH10-0AA0)

When I click over each module, in this case, the Digital input card, it shows us on which slots I can add this module by illustrating some blue rectangles around them.

How to Add a Digital Input Card to the Rack in TIA Portal V15

And if I expand the slots, you see that I can add it anywhere after the CPU.

I drag and drop it into the slot number 2, right after the CPU.

To Which Slot Should I Add a DI Card

As another example, if I select a Power supply module (PS module), there is another option to place that, and it is right before the CPU, in slot zero, which is a more common practice.

Adding a Power Supply Module to Slot Zero

I also need a Digital Output card and I can find it under the DQ folder. I choose a 16-channel DO or DQ card (6ES7 522-1BH10-0AA0) and add it to slot number 3 by dragging and dropping it.

Adding a Digital Output Card to the PLC Rail

I save the project and then compile it. For compiling the hardware, we should first select the rail and then the compile icon will be activated.

Save and Compile the PLC Hardware Configuration in TIA Portal

I think now we are done with PLC hardware configuration and ready to program our PLC in the next part.

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Following are the links to the next parts of this PLC programming example:

Part 2: Ladder Logic PLC Programming of a Water Pumping System

Part 3: How to Simulate the PLC Program

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