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Control & Safety Systems

PLC Modernization Solutions for Automation Managers - How to Choose the Right One for Your Plant?

August 4, 2020
Author: Gabe Fantino

Back in July 1985, the number one song in the pop music world was "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears. In the automation world, the popular Allen-Bradley PLC-2 was being replaced with an updated new processor and large-format, high-density IO cards that would go on to rule the small-system market for quite some time. This was the PLC-5 platform and the 1771 family of cards.

And like many battle-hardened industry veterans, we have aged considerably since the 80’s and so has the PLC-5! It’s CPU is officially “End of Life” meaning there will be no further support from the factory. As an Automation Manager responsible for reliable process control and continuous data streams, this means it’s time to consider your options, here’s why:

  • No factory support on PLC-5 CPUs
  • 1771 I/O cards are “Active/Mature”; migration recommended
  • 30-year old 1771 cards failing
  • Repair and/or spare parts may not be available
  • Rely on eBay or used equipment resellers? Not a solid business plan.
  • 2 databases to maintain (DCS & PLC)
  • 2 skill sets required (DCS & PLC)
  • 2 spare inventories to maintain (DCS & PLC)
  • Need to replace QUICKLY and inexpensively
  • Limit/eliminate re-termination of aging field wiring
  • Limit/eliminate need for additional footprint for new I/O
Luckily Emerson offers a range of migration tools and solutions for many legacy control systems including Siemens, Honeywell, ABB, Schneider, and yes, the Allen-Bradley PLC-5.

Modernization Toolkit Highlights:
  • Tool assisted services minimize risks associated with manual configuration conversion, and accelerate new system implementation
  • PLC5 Logic Conversion and automated documentation
  • Establish plant configuration standards for ease of maintenance and replicating applications at different sites
  • Migrate from PLC-5 to DeltaV without lifting a wire with the Signal Conditioning Card swingarm solution.
Signal Conditioning Card “Swingarm” Solution

Signal Conditioning Card “Swingarm” Solution

Emerson’s DeltaV​™​ team has developed a quick switchover solution that keeps the the legacy 1771 I/O chassis and terminations, so you don’t have to lift a single wire from the IO. This solution has the same footprint as the original chassis with six DeltaV​™​mounting kits available, which greatly reduces rework and allows you to keep the current cabinets. Watch the solution in action in this short, animated video.
DeltaV​™​ signal conditioning cards for PLC-5 are available for the most popular non-isolated I/O types including:
  • 120VAC digital input (DI)
  • 120VAC digital output (DO)
  • 24VDC digital input (DI)
  • 24VDC digital output (DO)
  • 4-20mA analog input (AI)
  • Supports 32-channel DeltaV DI/DO cards where one DeltaV card replaces two PLC-5 cards
  • 16-channel DeltaV​™​ AI card for a one-to-one replacement. The DeltaV​™​ signal conditioning cards connect via a standard ribbon cable to the DeltaV​™​ mass-connection I/O terminal block

Easy Cold Cutover with FlexConnect™ Wiring Solutions

Ideal for cold cutover on a compressed schedule, there are FlexConnect™ mass termination boards and wiring harnesses available for Provox, Baily INFI90, Rockwell PLC-5 and SLC series, Honeywell TDC, Foxboro IA, Modicon, Siemens-Moore APACS and QUADLOG:
  • Quick cutover
  • Saves time and money
  • HART ® Pass through
  • Don’t have to lift the field wires
  • Most cabinet documentation doesn’t have to change

Stage Your Migration with an HMI-only or DeltaV​™​Connect Software Bridge Solution

Start your modernization journey with the most visible part of the control system, the consoles and graphics. Alleviate most Operations pain-points by taking advantage of today’s performance enhancing technologies and human centered design of a modern HMI, while taking a staged approach to modernize the controllers and IO as time and budgets allow.
While not a permanent solution, DeltaV​™​ Connect for ABB Bailey, Honeywell, or Siemens-Moore APACS+ Systems, updates the user interface and allows for further expansion with DeltaV​™​ controllers and digital bus I/O over time.
Using Ethernet connectivity, almost any system can be ported to the advanced DeltaV​™​ HMI.

Lastly, Leverage PK Controller for Modernizations

The DeltaV​™​ PK PLC-replacement Controller can be dropped into any situation where a PLC used to do the job, in Standalone mode or as part of your host control system with its built-in Ethernet capability.
  • Powerful and fast, up to 25ms scan times
  • Standalone or part of a host system
  • Simplex or Redundant with NO additional config
  • HMI ports, Ethernet protocols, and OPC server built-in
  • Priced to fit any size application, from 50 to 1500 IO
Connect with Us Today

Connect with Us Today

Our Modernization & Migration Solutions team will help you identify the most appropriate and cost-effective modernization plan for your site, utilizing the tools & technology to match your schedule, budget and plant standards.
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Gabe Fantino
Migration Solutions Architect
Gabe Fantino