Migrating a PLC system can be a difficult process but with the right team on your side it can off without a hitch. Nobody can afford an extensive amount of downtime, so it’s vital that it is done done.
After the initial discussions, it’s now time for our engineers to come onsite for a physical inspection of your PLC system. The engineers examine your system from a hardware standpoint, and document your PLC system, as well as any associated HMI touchscreens, SCADA, or other communications requirements. When reviewing the system, the engineers answer questions such as:
- What kind of PLC is it?
- How extensive is it? One rack, multiple racks, or remote racks?
- What are the inputs and outputs? Are there remote I/O devices?
- Are there intelligent or specialty modules? Built-in redundancy?
- Are there any peripherals? Is there an HMI?
- Is there a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system collecting data?
- Any other external devices communicating with your PLC, such as a calibration tool?
The engineers get to know everything about your system as a whole, including any devices tied in or communicating to your system. They analyze the current I/O to determine if any special hardware is being used such as third party modules or breakout connectors, and take measurements and pictures of the panel, documenting equipment and the physical panel space available for needed equipment or wiring changes. If a new panel needs to be built, this is determined during this phase.
After reviewing the system, our team will ask you for copies of the systems electrical drawings and a copy of your PLC program. If we’re going to replace the operator interface device, we’ll ask for the program for that too. All programs are then backed up.
The software for older controllers are often DOS programs. We have the tools to program in DOS to interface the new system with these older controllers.
In some cases, all of this information can be gathered via phone conference, along with a package sent from you to us that includes electrical drawings, your PLC program, and images of the existing system, plus the answers on the Pre-Migration Checklist.