The term that can strike fear into the hearts of any business is “system upgrade.” Visions of production downtime, learning curves for new software, and integration with existing systems all have the potential to cripple production. Let’s say you make the decision to skip these minefields and stick with a legacy system—exactly where can you find the help you need when the factory stops support?
When control systems move to legacy status, manufacturers stop active production and increase the price of their service and replacement parts, if available. Often manufacturers wipe their hands of any problem with an unsupported system.
“That’s where Trident can shine,” said Jason Hurst, CEO of Trident Automation. “Even if a legacy system is no longer being supported by the manufacturer, our experts have the experience and hands-on knowledge to keep these systems running”
At Trident, systems engineers set up labs that replicate our customers’ systems environments—even if the customer is running legacy systems (Siemens APACS, Allen Breadley SLC 500 Series ). Our teams are able to stay current on the platforms and troubleshoot in real or virtual environments regardless of what the factory does. Additionally, because we service so many customers running all the major platforms, there is depth of knowledge and experience across all of our team members.
A major advantage for customers running legacy systems is Trident’s online store that features component parts used in most platforms. “Under normal conditions with a new control system, it can take up to three months to rewrite code, test, validate and deploy,” Hurst said. “Because we have a very large inventory of legacy products, we can most likely replace an entire system if needed in a much shorter time frame if your current control system fails.” Trident offers components from all major systems manufacturers that work within these environments: Siemens APACS, Siemens PCS 7, Rockwell, Foxboro and Emerson Delta V.
So how do you know if a total system upgrade or replacing component parts is the best? Hurst says it’s specific to each operating environment, but there are a few indicators:
- If newer PCs can no longer support the older operating systems, you should consider a system upgrade.
- A newer operating system is better at protecting your business from cyber attack. According to Hurst, all legacy systems are at risk of attack, but if control systems are not connected to the Internet you may be safe.
- If your servers are nearing the end of their useful life, that might also be the time to upgrade the control system since the cost of the servers is a big part of an upgrade.
- Finally, newer control systems may help increase the efficiency of production and control processes in your specific environment.
For a complete review to determine if your company should consider a rip and replace or replacing component parts, please contact [email protected] or call 920-759-7477.