Mullets, Delorians, and the GE Series One. Reaganomics was born and so was the PLC 5. Gameboy, the internet and SLC 500 were introduced.  If your equipment is as old as these events, it may be time to upgrade.

You’ve all heard it. The need to upgrade your plant and to increase efficiency and overall profitability, is necessary for a variety of reasons. How old is old when you think about your system? According to ARC Advisory Group, DCS valued at $65 billion on a global basis are nearing the end of their useful life. ARC defines “end of life” by two factors: First, the systems can no longer be maintained. Second, the systems cannot meet modern manufacturing requirements such as optimizing asset utilization or business system integration. All products go through a lifecycle and at the end of that lifecycle your product is categorized as active, matured, discontinued or (worst case) obsolete. Has your equipment reached its’ end?

Questions often arise about replacing obsolete equipment: 

• How do I identify my obsolete components that I need to upgrade?
• How will I know what products to use?
• How do I preserve my application code?
• How do I change my controller without disrupting my current operations?
• What happens to all of my operator interface screens?
• What happens to my I/O?

So now what?
Step One: Don’t panic!  Most suppliers have trade up or migration programs and all you really need to do is stay abreast of the product lifecycle lists.  If you have reached the point of obsolescence, follow these steps:

• Find a trusted partner to work with through the entire process.
• Assess, develop a plan and implement – making sure all design considerations are accounted for.
• Understand your needs and the value of having systems that utilize up-to-date technologies (like increased security)

We can help! Process and Data Automation (PDA) can meet with you for a free analysis to create a plan to help upgrade any necessary hardware or software. We will come in, review your equipment and needs and develop a plan that fits your budget.  Ready to start the process? Give us a call and let us help cure your Obsolavoidance!

Process and Data Automation is a full service, CSIA Certified industrial control systems integration firm  in Erie, PA. Our Controls Engineering (ENG) group specializes in physical automation system design, programming, and commissioning. We also feature a dedicated Data Services Group (DSG) that connects automated equipment and systems to the business system environment including protected recipe systems, data collection and reporting, and data historian implementation.