Control system parts finder

According to ARC Advisory Group, worldwide there are $65 billion of installed distributed control systems (DCS), programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and other related entities, and much of it has “whiskers. ClassicAutomation is an innovative service that puts together control system buyers and sellers. Unlike eBay, most items are listed at a fixed price, but the site does provide for sellers to list an item for bidding.

By Control Engineering Staff October 16, 2003


I wish I had thought of this, an eBay-like site for control systems called ClassicAutomation.com .

According to ARC Advisory Group, worldwide there are $65 billion of installed distributed control systems (DCS), programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and other related entities, and much of it has “whiskers.”

ClassicAutomation is an innovative service that puts together control system buyers and sellers. Unlike eBay, most items are listed at a fixed price, but the site does provide for sellers to list an item for bidding.

According to ClassicAutomation’s founder, Fritz Ruebeck, the whole idea behind ClassicAutomation is to utilize technology to help users locate much-needed parts that can extend a control system’s life.

You can browse the site without becoming a member, but membership is free and you don’t need to provide credit card information until you’re ready to buy.

Looking for a specific part? Start by entering multiple forms of the part number in the sites search function. For example, try 1771-KA2, 1771 KA2, 1771KA2 and 1771*.

Site listings are also organized by company, and then by system or product family (e.g., Honeywell TDC 3000, Fisher Provox, etc.).

Because of the many mergers in the automation industry you may have to hunt around to find your system. I found the Bailey Infi 90 listed under ABB, and Moore APACS listed under Siemens.

Also, some parts may be common to multiple control systems, but are listed under only one system and it may not be the one you have. For example, ABB MOD 300 and ABB Master share several common Advant OCS parts.

Despite all these classification issues, don’t give up too easily. Spend some time searching and browsing and if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, use “Contact Us” to reach customer service.

If you have or need some old control system parts, take a look at ClassicAutomation.com.

—Dave Harrold, senior editor, Control Engineering, dharrold@reedbusiness.com