Strategies for upgrading PLC hardware

As technology advances, hardware needs to be updated for optimal efficiency.

Evan Novakowski, Avanceon
Strategies for upgrading PLC hardware

The last thing you want is to be caught in an emergency and have reliable replacement parts unavailable.  Here are some reasons to go ahead with an upgrade. Courtesy: AvanceonThe programmable logic controller (PLC) first came out in the late 1960s. It's important to know when to update old hardware and controllers with new technology updates and to ensure replacement parts are available in the event of an emergency. Buying replacement parts on the internet isn't a reliable best practice.

Key reasons why an upgrade might be necessary include:

Controller hardware upgrades

Evan Novakowski is a project engineer at Avanceon. Courtesy: AvanceonSome PLCs have a simple conversion kit as it's very low risk and requires little downtime. It's not necessary to do any rewiring, and existing swing arms will fit directly onto the conversion modules. The conversion kit can also be prepped and pre-assembled before going into the field. You typically will not have to do the input/output (I/O) checks or error checking that needs to be done with a complete rewiring.

Although if you can afford the downtime, a complete rewiring may seriously need to be considered. While it's a more painstaking approach than using a conversion kit, rewiring allows for a clean and complete break from old PLC hardware. The benefit of this approach is it affords greater flexibility for the future that is not possible with a conversion kit.

Evan Novakowski is a project engineer at Avanceon, a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Emily Guenther, associate content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media, eguenther(at)




KEYWORD: programmable logic controller (PLC)

Consider this:

Would it benefit your facility to invest in upgrading older PLC hardware? 

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