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Industrial Automation Services

PLC5 to ControlLogix

plc-programmingPlan your Allen Bradley PLC5 control system conversion before service and parts become obsolete. The PLC5 control platform was discontinued in 2015. Your resources to support the systems are diminished and will become more expensive over time.

Our experienced automation team provides a customized plc programming and migration plan based on your budget and requirements. Our clients understand how each conversion affects current HMIs before the project begins. We evaluate each system to phase out your PLC5 with a ControlLogix conversion solution that fits your unique needs.

Platform extinction increases the cost of talent and available equipment. As spare parts and components become scarce, the cost of maintaining an aging system grows and delays caused by downtime increase. Specialists that understand PLC5 troubleshooting are on the decline, making future transition to other systems more expensive.

EPIC Automation Engineers are experts at converting PLC 5 data tables into the ControlLogix arrays through EPIC’s thorough conversion routine.

PLC 5 to ControlLogix Conversion Considerations

The Allen Bradley PLC5 is a powerful and flexible controller that can be implemented with various methods. An automation translation expert understands the complexity and abundance of solutions available for conversion with many diverse processes and environments.

The right solution is more than a simple conversion to the new ControlLogix program format. Below are a few of the considerations in converting a PLC-5 system:

  • Purchase and installation of new ControlLogix hardware
  • Existing control communications should be mapped with consideration for DH+ (Data Highway Plus), Remote IO, ControlNet and Ethernet
  • Various HMIs are used by the operator as a window into the controls, varying the conversion plan
  • Many HMI systems are antiquated and are not supported by the manufacturer
  • Some specialized peripheral devices, that were used by machine builders over the years, are no longer supported and cannot be upgraded to the ControlLogix platform

Older PLC Programming Installations to ControlLogix Conversion Considerations

Older installations use some combination of the classic 1771 IO chassis. This is a workhorse IO device that has been around since the PLC2 days and still has future support for its popular installed base.

  • Simple hardware conversions would consist of placing a new ControlLogix chassis nearby, replacing the existing PLC5 with a new IO communication card (like a 1771-ASB to convert the chassis to remote IO) and splicing it into the control network
  • Newer installations may use other IO devices, including 1734 FlexIO, adjustable frequency drives, etc. but the conversion is mostly the same

Direct PLC 5 to ControlLogix Conversion

process-automation-migration-systemsConversion of the program can be completed as a straightforward program conversion. The data tables convert directly into arrays and most of the information is maintained through conversion. For example, the N7 data table will become an array named N7 that is a datatype integer. All communication blocks require rewritten code to converse with smart modules like analog IO cards or other PLCs on the control network as their datatypes do not directly convert.

PID control loops do not directly convert and must be rewritten for the new processor. However, if the system ran poorly before conversion this will not change. This can be addressed throughout the conversion process. Poor performing or poorly written logic can be rewritten to address any issues.

PLC5 systems interpret internal data arrays, called indirect addressing. An automation conversion expert must manually translate, as the conversion process doesn’t automatically convert to ControlLogix.

Programs operate the same with the existing IO, but will have a different look since the IO will no longer run in octal format (The number system past Allen Bradley IOs were based on). The ControlLogix program treats the IO as decimal (for example 12octal = 10decimal). This conversion is attained by displaying the old IO format as part of any program descriptors. In this method, existing wire numbers in the machine and drawings will continue to match the program.

Connecting Older HMIs or Peripheral Systems to New Process Automation Migration Systems

Older HMIs or existing peripheral systems (like downtime and production tracking) can still communicate to the ControlLogix PLC programming. This connection is possible by creating internal mapping of the original data communication as PLC5 type addresses inside the ControlLogix. Alternatively, these programs can be updated during the conversion to take advantage of modern advances. Communication can be revamped by a remapping process, sometimes featuring a new OPC communication driver.

EPIC Industrial Automation is your partner for fully reliable PLC automation conversion and process automation migration services. We deliver successful, self-regulating manufacturing skids and systems that function flawlessly.

Contact one of our PLC engineering experts now to create a plan for your PLC 5 to ControlLogix Conversion project.

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