Chapter 1: Introduction


SoMachine Basic was written specifically for programming the M221 Logic Controller and is based on the full version of the SoMachine software.

This chapter gives an overview of the SoMachine Basic software and the M221 Logic Controller.
i. What is SoMachine Basic?
ii. Machine Solutions Hardware
iii. The M221 Logic Controller
iv. SoMachine Basic Software Installation
v. The SoMachine Basic Software
vi. The Configuration Environment
vii. Customising the Software

i.What is SoMachine Basic?

SoMachine Basic is software created to program the Machine Solutions M221 Logic controller.
The SoMachine programming software is used for programming Machine Solutions Logic Controllers and has evolved over several years. The M221 Logic Controller is a new, low-cost unit aimed at simple machine applications; it can very easily be used in place of a Twido PLC. SoMachine is an expensive programming solution for this so SoMachine Basic was produced as a cut-down version of SoMachine. It does not have the functionality of the full SoMachine software but this free-issue software can be used for the M221 controller.

Note: SoMachine Basic can only be used to program the M221 Logic Controller. Any other Logic Controller will require the full SoMachine Software.

ii.Machine Solutions Hardware

M2xx Logic Controllers
The M2xx logic controllers form the basis of Machine Solutions control systems. There are 3 logic controllers; the M221, M241 and M251. Selection will depend on the required complexity of the application and cost. Generally, as the complexity increases so does the cost.


SoMachine Basic is only able to program the M221 logic controller. The full version of the SoMachine programming software must be used to program the M241 and M251.

iii.The M221 Logic Controller

The M221 Logic Controller is a small, low-cost controller for simple machine applications. AM221 Logic Controllers are powered by either 24VDC or 100- 240VAV and have a modular design allowing the addition of further analog, digital and specialised I/O.

They are fitted with one or two RJ10 connector serial ports and a USB port for application transfer.

A SD card slot is located under the central cover to allow data transfers and firmware update via SD card.

Information and diagnostic LEDs are also fitted on the front panel.

Common Components
There are several common options or components that are present on all M221 Logic Controllers.

 Serial Port for data transfer
 USB connector for programming
 2 independent 0-10V Analog Inputs
 SD Card slot for data transfer
 LED Information display
 On-board I/O
 High speed counter inputs
 I/O Expansion

The internal workings of all M221 Logic Controller are also basically the same with just a few different components for the options. This means that the performance will be the same across the entire M221 product range.

Optional Components

There are a number of options for the M221 Logic Controller.

 A range of input and output combinations
 0.1A transistor outputs or 2A relay outputs
 Ethernet connection for programming and data transfer
 Removable terminal block or HE10 connector
 Screw or spring connectors for the removable terminal blocks
 Pulse generator to provide pulsed or Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) control Some are exclusive, for example the 16 input/16 output units can only be supplied with transistor outputs.

I/O Expansion
The M221 comes with some I/O built-in but this may not be enough to meet the needs of the application.

If more I/O is required, expansion modules can be added to the M221 Logic Controller to provide more I/O. These expansion modules can be either the existing TM2 modules or a new range of TM3 modules. Modules can be either digital or analog and provide additional inputs, outputs or a combination of both.

Compatibility with the TM2 range of I/O means that it is very easy to replace a Twido with a M221 Logic Controller.

iv.SoMachine Basic Software Installation

  • System Requirements
     Windows 8/7/XP
     32bit or 64bit
     Microsoft .NET version 4.0
     1GB RAM
     200MB Hard disk space
     Dual core processor


  • Installation

SoMachine Basic installation comes as an executable file. Simply run the executable to install the software. The installer for SoMachine Basic will uninstall any previous version of SoMachine Basic before the installation.

If SoMachine Basic is updated to a newer version, the firmware in the M221 controller must also be updated.

For further details, see the installation guide located on the CD and firmware update in Chapter 2 - Firmware Update.

v.The SoMachine Basic Software

Managing Applications
When SoMachine Basic starts, the start page is displayed with the option to open an existing project or create a new one. Recent projects are also listed to allow easy access to these.

Click any listed project to open it or click the Open an existing project button to navigate to a folder and open a project. Click the Create a new Project button to create a new project.

Projects can be saved by clicking the Save button on the toolbar or saved as a new file by dropping down the menu and selecting Save as project from the menu.


Exercise - Managing Applications

1. Start the SoMachine Basic software.
i. Either
Double-click the SoMachine Basic icon on the desktop. or
Go to Start » All Programs » Schneider Electric » SoMachine Basic » SoMachine Basic

2. Create a new project.
i. From the startup page click the Create a new project button.

ii. The new project will be opened with a controller already configured.

3. Save the project
i. Drop down the menu next to the Save button on the toolbar.


There are options to Save and Save as. Choose Save from the menu. The save can also be done using the standard key combination S.

ii. Give the project an appropriate name. One that describes the application will be helpful when trying to find an application file later.

4. Load a project.
i. Click the SoMachine Basic icon in the top left hand corner to display the start page.


ii. The file just saved will be displayed. Click the file to open it.


If a message box appears stating that the latest changes will be lost and asking if you want to proceed click the Yes button to open the project.


vi.The Configuration Environment

Application Configuration

The main application configuration area consists of four tabs. These are:

 Properties
 Configuration
 Programming
 Commissioning


These sections provide a logical structure and make the various configuration tools easy to find. Working from left to right creates a structured approach to creating the application.

The Properties section allows information to be recorded about the application including the programmer and where it is being used.

 The Front Page Section allows the creator of the application to enter contact information. This is useful to the customer as if the application needs modifying as it provides a first point of contact.

 The Company section allows information about the company to be entered. This information can be useful to an integrator to identify who the application was created for.

 The project information section gives information about the project itself. This is useful for both integrators and end users who have multiple projects for a site as it will identify the application and where it is used.

A photo can also be included which can be useful to show the area where the application is being used.

This section also contains areas where the project can be protected from viewing or changing. This can be useful for OEMs and Integrators who wish to protect their intellectual property.

The configuration page is used to configure the hardware used in the project. This will include selecting the correct controller and additional I/O modules, and configuring the parameters for the hardware.


The SoMachine Basic software has drag-and-drop hardware configuration. Controllers and modules are listed in a catalog allowing the modules to be selected and dropped into the configuration area. Modules may be reordered by simply dragging them to the new position.

When the required modules have been added, they can be selected and a list of configurable sections is shown in the hardware tree allowing parameters to be configured.

The programming tab is where the control program is actually written. This can currently be done using either Instruction List or Ladder. SoMachine Basic provides a way to program in either of these languages and switch easily between the two. It also provides a way of separating sections of program into a logical structure to make the program easy to follow.


This section can also be used for debugging the application when SoMachine Basic is connected to the M221 Logic Controller.

When an application has been created, SoMachine basic can be connected to a M221 Logic Controller and the application sent to the controller. This connection can be made by serial, USB or Ethernet. Before the application is downloaded, the program is checked for programming errors to ensure that it is not run in the controller with an error present.


Various tools are then available to check the operation of the program and that the application is working correctly. These include in-line monitoring of values in the program, animation tables and the ability to change the values of objects in the program.

Status Bar
The status bar shows information about the connection between SoMachine Basic and the M221 Logic Controller.


It shows whether there is a program error, connection status, controller status, scan time and the last error. It also shows whether the controller is running or stopped.

The information shown here can be useful for debugging applications.

vii.Customising the Software
Accessing the Settings

To access the settings, click the settings button on the SoMachine Toolbar.


There are three sections in the settings. These are:

 General
 Ladder Editor
 Configuration

General Settings
The General Settings allow the language of SoMachine Basic to be changed. Current options are English, French and Italian.


After the language has been changed, SoMachine Basic must be restarted.

Ladder Editor Settings
The Ladder Editor Settings configure the behaviour of the ladder editor.

The ladder editor grid style can be changed to dots, dashed lines or solid lines

The number of columns in the ladder editor can be chosen by setting a value from 11 to 30.

The tool selection setting determines what happens in the ladder editor when an object has been placed on a rung. Keep selected tool will allow multiple objects of the same type to be placed without having to reselect the object from the toolbar. This is useful for placing multiple contacts. Reset to pointer will place one object then reset to the pointer so another action can be carried out.


The shortcut and toolbar style can be changed to either the standard SoMachine Basic style or an Asian/European/American style. These alternative styles are similar to other programming software shortcuts and toolbars making programming in SoMachine Basic easier for engineers who are used to other programming tools.

The Configuration setting allows the default controller to be chosen. This controller will then be used whenever a new application is created.


This is useful for OEMs who are creating similar applications and will use the same controller most of the time.

Mrunali Bawankar

Mrunali Bawankar