Updating legacy control systems and software

June 24, 2014
In this case history, an automated equipment company learns that the ‘It's running fine, don't mess with it' attitude just won't work.

AeroSpec in Chandler, Arizona, designs and builds a variety of custom automated equipment for the medical, semiconductor, automotive and defense industries. David Perkon, vice president, says he's seen many problems with legacy control systems.

"It's not uncommon to have firmware and software driver issues with legacy hardware and software," he says. "Working with a dated operating system or updating the operating system can cause issues with I/O drivers, application software and PC-based operator interfaces. A programmable controller's firmware might not be compatible with rack-mounted motion control cards and other smart modules."

Roadblocks to upgrading are many, he says. "There are the ‘It costs too much money,' or ‘I can't afford the downtime' customers. With many customers, not updating legacy hardware and software is more of a culture than a time-and-money issue. It's the ‘It's running fine, don't mess with it' attitude. All that sounds reasonable until the reality of failures brings production to a halt. Many customers just don't want to spend the money or are afraid to upgrade until they absolutely have to."

Read the whole story on Control Design




Sponsored Recommendations

Reduce engineering time by 50%

March 28, 2024
Learn how smart value chain applications are made possible by moving from manually-intensive CAD-based drafting packages to modern CAE software.

Filter Monitoring with Rittal's Blue e Air Conditioner

March 28, 2024
Steve Sullivan, Training Supervisor for Rittal North America, provides an overview of the filter monitoring capabilities of the Blue e line of industrial air conditioners.

Limitations of MERV Ratings for Dust Collector Filters

Feb. 23, 2024
It can be complicated and confusing to select the safest and most efficient dust collector filters for your facility. For the HVAC industry, MERV ratings are king. But MERV ratings...

The Importance of Air-To-Cloth Ratio when Selecting Dust Collector Filters

Feb. 23, 2024
Selecting the right filter cartridges for your application can be complicated. There are a lot of things to evaluate and consider...like air-to-cloth ratio. When your filters ...