Cannot Print alarms from MKVI control system

  • Thread starter Nguyen Thanh Son
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Thread Starter

Nguyen Thanh Son

in MKVI control system of GE, It's OK when i printed screens (by select File, and select Print). But when an alarm appeared, no thing to print!

If normally, when any alarms appeared, alarm phrase will print to printer automatic.

Can you help me!

Thank you very much.
Nguyen Thanh Son,

I thought I posted a detailed set of questions yesterday, but it seems to have gotten lost in the Great Bit Bucket of the ethos. This will be decidedly less detailed.

If Process Alarms are visible in the CIMPLICITY Alarm Window, then alarms are being broadcast by the Mark VI panel onto the UDH and received by TCI (the GE Control Solutions' MS-Windows service that handles alarms and events).

When did this problem start? Has someone re-booted the HMI recently?

Has someone re-booted the Alarm Log printer recently?

Have you tried turning the printer off, unplugging the printer from mains power, waiting at least two (2) or three (3) minutes, then plugging the printer back into the mains, turning the printer on, and enabling the printer by setting it to 'On Line'?

Have you checked the cable that connects the printer to the HMI? Is it a parallel/CENTRONICS cable (plugged into LPT1 port of the HMI) or a USB cable? Have you tried unplugging the cable at both ends, waiting for a couple of minutes, then plugging the cable back in at both ends?

Is the Alarm Log printer loaded with paper and "On Line", ready to receive data from the HMI?

Is the Alarm Log printer the same printer you use to print screen captures?

Has someone been making changes to the MS-Windows 'Device and Printers' or 'Printers and Faxes' Control Panel applet?

Do you have a printed copy of the last known working Alarm Log printer configuration that you can use to check the current printer configuration to see if it's properly configured? Sometimes, if the printer power is cycled and the configuration wasn't saved properly then the configuration can be lost, and the printer will need to be reconfigured and set to permanently save the configuration to prevent a similar occurrence.

What is the Alarm Log printer's name in MS-Windows 'Devices and Printers' or 'Printers and Faxes' Control Panel Applet? (It should be Alarm Logger, not any other name.) TCI directs all printed alarms and events to the printer named 'Alarm Logger'.

Is the Alarm Logger printer set to be the default MS-Windows printer? (It doesn't have to be, but it usually is. However, if there is another printer used for screen captures it may be set to the default MS-Windows printer without affecting the Alarm Log printer.)

Have you opened the Alarm Logger printer MS-Windows Dialog Box and checked to see if there are any "documents" waiting to be printed? If there are, have you tried Stopping the printer from the Dialog Box and then selecting and deleting all the waiting documents, waiting a couple of minutes (even after the queue is empty!), and then re-starting the printer from the Dialog Box?

Please write back to let us know how you fare in troubleshooting and resolving this issue!
Nguyen Thanh Son,

I forgot a simple "test": Have you used the 'Print a Test Page' feature of the Alarm Logger printer properties of MS-Windows to see if it can print a test page?

Nguyen Thanh Son

Dear CSA,

Thank you for your reply.

My MKVI only has one printer, use for Alarm log and screen capture. It's online already, and set to default printer. When i print screen (menu file, select print), it's OK. When i select Print test a page, it's OK also! But when i have a failed device (gas turbine), an alarm appears on display, but not print to paper!

I have two MVI system, on GT1 and GT3. MKVI GT3 has only one printer, every thing OK! print alarm, log and print screen.

But MKVI on GT1, only print screen OK, not print alarm and log. GT1 has one printer also. I think: maybe service of MKVI that is off?

Thank you very much!
Nguyen Thanh Son,

The Mark VI turbine control panel broadcasts alarms and events on the UDH. In the case of a GE Mark VI HMI, TCI (the GE proprietary MS-Windows service that runs on the HMI) is responsible for "picking-up" the broadcast alarms and events, displaying them to the Alarm Windows--and sending them to the Alarm Logger.

You didn't say what the name of the alarm printer was in the MS-Windows 'Printers and Faxes' Control Panel applet is--it must be Alarm Logger. It cannot be the printer (for example, Okidata xxxx-nnn); it has to be 'Alarm Logger.' (Printers can be renamed by right-clicking on the icon in the Control Panel applet and clicking on 'Rename'.)

Many people mistakenly believe that CIMPLICITY handles alarms (because CIMPLICITY displays contain Alarm Windows). But the Alarm Windows are a special CIMPLICITY AMV object that gets the alarms from TCI and displays them in the window.

Similarly, TCI sends alarms to the printer. If you can print screen captures and printer tests to the printer, then the MS-Windows printer driver is working.

You also didn't say if there were any unprinted "documents" in the alarm printer's queue.

Older versions of TCI had a command-line utility called "Logger" which has some control over the alarm logging functions of TCI. Start a "DOS" window and at the command prompt type:


and then press 'Enter.'

A small dialog box should appear if the version of TCI you have includes the Logger utility. You can then see what is selected to print, and sometimes there is a check box labeled something to the effect of "Flush." You should make sure that the alarm logger is set to print Alarms, Events, and Diagnostic Alarms, and you should also execute a "Flush" if available.

If your version of TCI doesn't have the Logger utility, you can always try re-starting the HMI. My preferred method of re-starting the HMI is to shut down CIMPLICITY completely (from the CIMPLICITY Workbench, or whatever your version of CIMPLICITY calls the project control interface), then re-start the HMI from the MS-Windows START menu.

Please write back with the requested information, and let us know how the resolution progresses.

Finally, if the alarm printer is NOT a dot matrix printer (but is an inkjet or laser printer) it will not print alarms until a full page of alarms (usually 80 lines of text) are sent to the printer. When TCI sends alarms to the Alarm Logger it does not send a page feed command, so the printer won't print any alarms until it has a full page of them.

The Mark VI turbine control panel doesn't send alarms to the printer. It broadcasts alarms (and events) to the UDH, and GE Mark VI HMIs running TCI then display the alarms to the Alarm Window and send the alarms to the printer.