PLC migration improves uptime for spice supplier

A spice ingredient supplier wanted to upgrade their programmable logic controller (PLC) system and migrate to a more Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-friendly platform.

By Automation Group November 2, 2022
Courtesy: Automation Group

PLC Insights

  • A spice ingredient supplier wanted to upgrade their PLC-5 system to a more Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-friendly platform.
  • The system integrator reverse engineered the customer’s legacy system to address potential risks to find out how to program the new systems.
  • The project was successfully executed to schedule to meet the spice supplier’s focus to continue their journey to digital transformation.

When is the best time to upgrade a decades-trusted programmable logic controller (PLC) system? This was the challenge for a global supplier of spice ingredients. Their PLC-5 system was commissioned over 25 years ago and, while it performed well for many years, the outdated platform began experiencing constraints. The obsolete equipment was limiting network connections. This led the company to seek a system integrator that could provide timely PLC migration support using the latest technology available. Automation Group was recruited to modernize their obsolete PLC system to a more Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-friendly platform.

Programming new PLC system

The first step was reverse engineering the customer’s legacy system and documenting its current design to address potential risks and how to best program the new system. Existing diagrams were analyzed and worked extensively with the customer’s personnel to further detail device and wiring configurations. This step was crucial to improve system performance and have an accurate picture of their control environment before moving to the design phase.

A simplified migration plan leveraging the latest Rockwell Automation technologies. The global spice supplier’s legacy Allen Bradley PLC-5 system was upgraded to the ControlLogix platform. An L82E processor was utilized and the old RIO and DH+ networks were changed to Ethernet/IP network communications. Outdated Allen Bradley 1336 variable frequency drives were also upgraded to Powerflex 525 variable frequency drives, offering a wide range of motor control. Additionally, the customer’s FactoryTalk View SE screens were updated and consolidated which made the system easier to understand and operate by plant personnel.

Project results of PLC migration

The project was successfully executed to schedule. The global spice supplier’s focus was continue their journey to digital transformation and the PLC-5 to ControlLogix migration accomplished this goal, supporting improved performance, greater uptime, and a more user-friendly interface. Automation Group staffed the project with four subject matter experts to provide comprehensive multidisciplinary engineering support in PLC programming, FTView SE application programming and networking, as well as drafting and design. The project team successfully upgraded the customer’s PLC system.

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Original content can be found at Automation Group.

Author Bio: Automation Group