Early in my new online course on Siemens PLCs, I walk students through which of the tens of thousands of Manuals and Documents on the Siemens Industry Support Website that I as a new user found the most helpful.

In today’s article I want to share some of those with you, specifically those manuals which a user of any Siemens PLC will find helpful.

The first document which all Siemens PLC user will want a copy of if the ST-70 catalog. To grab it, just hop over to https://Support.Industry.Siemens.com and search on ST-70.

Once you have a copy downloaded, and you expand the content listing on the left hand side, you’ll find sections on the S7-1200, S7-1500, S7-300 and 400, as well as well a section on distributed controllers and I/O systems.

The next document I’d recommend to new Siemens PLC users is the S7 Programming Guidelines manual.

This manual includes a lot of programming tips and examples, like information on multi-instance blocks (page 49,) downloading without re-initialization (page 53,) notices about using memory and system bits (page 62,) and information on retentive tags, memory, and how much each CPU has (page 64.) 

There is even a section on indirect addressing (page 76,) and recommendations for using SCL for calculations, even inside of ladder routines (page 77.)

A third document I want to recommend is S7 Style Guide. This manual has a lot of  information and recommendations specifically on the nomenclature you use inside of your project.

It also includes a list of standard abbreviations, including common prefixes, and even includes a Stylesheet cheat sheet towards the end of the document that takes everything and puts it all together on one page.

Next is the Programming Languages Comparison list. This document has excellent tables comparing things like which modifications require which CPU model to go to stop mode, and its also has dozens of tables comparing how the programming languages differ between CPUs.

The last Siemens PLC document I want to recommend is the one for the SIMATIC  Automation Tool.

While there’s a lot of good information in this document, I want to jump right to page 117 because of the table on this page that shows you everything that this tool can do:

In the first column you can see the many things this tool can help you with even if you don;t have a license and are using in the “free” mode. These include setting IP Addresses, Updating Firmware, and much more.

In summary, if you’ve always want to learn how to setup and program Siemens PLCs but found the prospect a little overwhelming, the manuals I list in this blog should greatly help you focus in on a few documents that you should find immediately helpful.

Top Five S7 Manual Links (as of 03/15/22):
ST-70 catalog
S7 Programming Guidelines Manual
S7 Programming Languages Comparison List:
S7 Programming Styleguide
SIMATIC Automation Tool Manual

That said, if you’d like in depth training on S7 PLCs, including a detailed tour of the hardware, how to select all the components you’ll need for a complete system, as well as how to write, download, and test programs based on the most common real world applications, check out my Siemens S7 Course, currently on sale at TheAutomationSchool.com:

And for those who prefer to learn by reading, below I’ll link to the two best books I’ve found on the subject.

The first is a great new Getting Started Book which takes you from new user introduction to getting you to a point when you can write several programs. And the second and third are what I would consider the ultimate reference manuals for each S7 PLC:

Note that I’ve personally used all of the above books extensively to prepare for my course, and they are also officially endorsed by Siemens.

Watch the video edition:

Until next time, Peace ✌️ 

Shawn M Tierney
Technology Enthusiast & Content Creator

Have a question? Join my community of automation professionals and take part in the discussion! You'll also find my PLC, HMI, and SCADA courses at TheAutomationSchool.com.

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