Super Sack Room Upgrade

Kelsey HillCase Studies

Quantum Design performs a PLC5 upgrade on an outdated process line.

What is the significance of the project?

The PLC5 controls and HMI were discontinued by Rockwell Automation in 2017, making it risky to continue running lines using those controls.  Replacement parts are no longer readily available for the PLC5; customers must resort to Ebay and similar sites to search for replacement parts.  If something were to go down, it could take days, weeks or months to resolve, losing precious production time and countless dollars.  Some parts may never be available which would lead to a time-crunching upgrade that many companies can’t afford.

Relevant Industries

  • Any manufacturing industry

Engineering Specialties Utilized

  • Upgrades/Conversions
  • Software and Hardware Installation

Technologies Utilized

  • Rockwell RSLogix 5000
  • AutoCAD

Details of Project

PLC5 controls obsolescence has become an issue for many manufacturing plants.  A manufacturing facility in Northern IL approached Quantum Design with an issue on one of their process lines.  The customer was metering powders from super sacks to barrels, and was looking for a way to reduce their risk as they were running PLC5 controls that were proving to be more and more unreliable as time went on.  The customer needed peace of mind for an area that at the time was very critical to their business.

Quantum Design proposed a conversion of the PLC5/20 control system to the latest Contrologix control system to reduce the risk of a line going down with no guarantee it could be restored.  This would also allow operators to quickly find replacement parts and support if the line were to go down.

The project began with the creation of new electrical schematics utilizing the Contrologix hardware.  The old PLC5 processor, I/O modules, power supply and rack were removed from the machine.  We left the existing PLC5 wiring arms intact as they fit directly into the conversion kit.

The new Contrologix rack, processor, power supply, I/O modules and PLC 5 to Contrologix conversion cables were installed.  This allowed the conversion to happen without having to rewire all the inputs and outputs.  The PLC5 logic was converted to a Contrologix format using the Rockwell conversion software.

Once the platform was up and running, additional bench testing and offline simulation was done to verify proper software operation.  Any errors that occurred as a result of the conversion were addressed.

The customer has benefited from reduced risk of unknown downtime and security in support of the PLC5.  Obsolete parts are no longer an issue and operators can spend their time in other areas rather than continuous support of an outdated system.  In addition, maintenance costs of the system are reduced significantly and a critical process in the facility is much more reliable.