If you’re a fan of rock and metal, you probably remember the bands of the 1980s: Metallica, Twisted Sister, Def Leppard, and Van Halen, to name a few. Their music will live on forever, but the control systems your plant installed when hair metal was still brand new? Not so much!
Your vintage controllers may still be chugging along, but there’s no guarantee they won’t go the way of the cassette deck in your ‘84 Chevy. Don’t let your productivity get chewed up by failing equipment! Read on to learn about the benefits of modernization.
1. Avoid extended downtime
That Allen-Bradley SLC 100 may have been cutting-edge back in the day, but good luck finding a replacement when it gives up the ghost. If your favorite control system is no longer available, you’re at risk of some serious downtime when it fails. The best way to avoid lost productivity is to be proactive and upgrade to something that will give you another 20 or 30 years of reliable performance.
2. Get the operator interface of your dreams
If you’re someone who works with manufacturing equipment, you’ve probably experienced it: your system isn’t working, so you head over to the HMI to find out what’s wrong, only to see a vague, undecipherable alarm message. What the heck does “ERROR 531” even mean? Of course, you’ll first need to find the alarm screen. Which five buttons do I need to press again?
A modern HMI gives you a chance to fix these frustrations with a slick interface that makes maintenance and debug faster and easier.
3. Gain valuable process data
Automated systems generate a ton of useful information, but unless you’re capturing it, there’s no way to get the valuable insight you need to run at peak efficiency. All that data can help you see where your production bottlenecks are, which stations will eventually require maintenance, and which metrics predict defects or scrap.
Don’t let your precious data disappear into the ether; a new controller can capture it all and help you make use of it to improve quality and fix potential problems before they hurt productivity.
4. Save money on replacement machines
Capital equipment isn’t cheap, and most parts of your system are still in working order. So when you call the OEM builder to ask for support, why can’t they update what you’ve got instead of trying to sell you a brand new machine at full price? If the controller is the only thing at risk, the rest can be left alone.
Instead of replacing it all, an upgraded control system can keep your legacy equipment running strong for a fraction of the cost.
5. Support when you need it
Your system goes down and you make a support call, but they can’t get someone out there for another two weeks and it’ll cost a few thousand bucks just to get them in the door. A new controller means a fresh start with a local integrator who stands by their work and gives you the support you need to stay productive.
Don’t pay for expensive service calls on legacy equipment when an updated system comes with a reliable partner who will be there to keep your operation moving.
Let's talk about your upgrade options
We specialize in modernizing your old equipment to help you realize all the benefits described here. Our experienced engineers will evaluate your system and help you plan the right path forward to keep your plant productive long into the future.