What to Modernize & Why

Rockwell Controllogix L73Controls

What

Install up to date, reliable, off-the-shelf PLC hardware in place of older PLCs, relay logic, or other proprietary control systems that are difficult or costly to maintain, support, and troubleshoot.

Why

New PLCs also offer enhanced capabilities due to faster processors and increased memory and can be programmed with enhanced diagnostic and maintenance functionality.

Drives / Motors

Rockwell Drive

What

Utilize modern, high performance, off-the-shelf drives and/or motors in place of obsolete, poorly performing, costly, or difficult to maintain drives and motors.

Why

Modern drives are all digital and provide a wealth of feedback and diagnostic information via network interfaces.


HMI

What

Install new HMI (Human-Machine Interface) hardware in place of old hardware, or where no real HMI exists.

Why

HMI provides maintenance, control, logging, and diagnostic functions to an operator or maintainer. They are available in many sizes and provide a graphically rich, user-friendly interface to the machine.

Sick Product Distance SensorPositioning Systems

What

Implement new absolute positioning systems, such as laser distance measurement, continuous barcode, and absolute encoders, in place of older systems such as code readers / targets, incremental encoders, or even older absolute positioning systems.

Why

  • Absolute positioning eliminates homing and calibration, and can allow for unique positioning, where every single storage location can be fine tuned in a position map if necessary. This can compensate for storage racks that have shifted, settled, or been damaged.
  • These systems communicate on networks, allowing enhanced feedback and diagnostics when coupled with a capable PLC.

Communications

Sick Product ISD400 IR communication

What

Install optical or RF Ethernet communication links in place of old communication links, which were often serial communication over festoons, bar/brush systems, optical transceivers, power line modems, or proprietary RF.

Why

Bringing Ethernet to the machine, when installed with a new PLC, allows for enhanced off-board diagnostics. It also allows maintenance people to get online with the PLC, drives, and positioning systems while the machine is running, enabling real-time monitoring when troubleshooting. This also makes real-time remote support possible via VPN or dial-in connections.

End-of-Aisle PLC

What

When on-machine PLCs are upgraded, and the communication is changed to Ethernet, an end-of-aisle (EOA) PLC may be required to translate between the new communication protocols and the old protocols.

Why

  • This allows for enhanced off-board diagnostics, off-board HMI terminals, and remote support capabilities while maintaining the old communication protocol to a host system, meaning that no software changes are required in the upstream WMS, WCS, or host computer system.
  • If desired, a customer can upgrade the host system to the new communication protocols as well, and benefit from the enhanced feedback and diagnostic capabilities.

Mechanical Systems

What

Replace worn out mechanical components, like wheels, rail, bearings, guidance systems, drive trains, hoisting systems, safety brakes, even major components like lifting carriages.

Why

Bring older systems into compliance with new safety standards or to correct visible mechanical flaws and equipment degradation due to advanced equipment age.