Industrial machinery and control systems are built to last. However, controllers, interface panels, drives, and more eventually become obsolete and if they go down a replacement will be hard to—if not impossible to find. This can lead to days or weeks of unplanned downtime and lost production.
To eliminate downtime and the problems that come with it, controls should be replaced or updated periodically before failure occurs. In addition, updating an existing system can lead to other significant improvements in quality and productivity, including:
There are many upgrades that can be implemented when it comes to controls and automation. Some of the upgrades include:
The lifespan of a control system is about the same as that of a desktop computer. But because upgrading can be costly, many facilities wait, and in effect, their plant productivity and efficiencies suffer. So, when is upgrading worth it? To stay competitive and run the most efficient and profitable operation, you should upgrade your existing control system if:
Like mentioned above, new control system can be costly, but there are ways to minimize this expense. One way is by doing a partial upgrade. In a partial upgrade you would replace individual components as opposed the entire system—if the old components are compatible and can ‘talk’ to the new ones. That said, if the control system is obsolete, entirely replacing it is inevitable.
Potential partial upgrades could include replacing the HMI computer and software and keeping the existing control hardware in place or replacing the PLC controller and program while leaving the I/O, field instruments and wiring in place. These are just a couple examples.
For questions on how updating or replacing your existing control systems can improve your processes and profits, request a free consultation with one of our UL certified controls and automation experts today.