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Rockwell Automation’s flexible strategies help with migrating to new control platforms

Rockwell Automation is helping customers save valuable production time
when migrating to a new control platform from a legacy system.

Technological advances have a significant impact on people and
organisations. While it can be difficult to find the time, resources and support
to keep pace with the latest technologies, embracing change by adopting newer
technology will help the company find more creative ways to differentiate their
offering and get ahead in the marketplace.

Rockwell Automation’s SLC controller family, first introduced in 1989, is
one of the most successful PLC platforms ever sold by the company. With evolving
market requirements and available technology, Rockwell Automation recognised
the need and opportunity to develop a new platform with greater performance and
integrated functionality.

According to Gavin Black, Product Manager: CompactLogix, SLC, Kinetix
Motion at Rockwell Automation, the company has developed safe and flexible
migration strategies for customers to reduce the risk of maintaining a legacy
system, and helping them save valuable production time when migrating to a new
control platform.

Black explains that CompactLogix provides increased flexibility with a
new open architecture, presenting manufacturers and OEMs with a small
controller that offers the perfect balance of cost competitiveness and
performance. He adds that it delivers one programming environment for discrete,
motion, process, drive, batch and safety control.

Regardless of whether the customer carries out migration all at once or
in a phased manner, Rockwell Automation has developed migration solutions to help
ensure a smooth transition from SLC-based control to Logix-based control and
Integrated Architecture while minimising risk and reducing labour time.

Rockwell Automation’s Integrated Architecture Builder tool has been
developed to improve migration and planning, together with code conversion
tools to reduce the time to rewrite the controller program. Key benefits
include lower conversion time and labour costs; reduced risk from preserving
existing wiring connections; savings on engineering costs; and minimal
production downtime.

Customers have been able to take advantage of significant financial
benefits in addition to the operational benefits associated with migration to
newer technology. When asked what the payback period was for their investment
in migrating from SLC to CompactLogix, two-thirds responded that the return on
their investment was achieved within eight months or less.

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