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Lifecycle Extension for Allen Bradley ControlLogix Family

Published on : 14 April 2022
Lifecycle Extension for Allen Bradley ControlLogix Family

One of the main reasons for systems becoming obsolete is the early & frequent advancements in technology and the replacement of the components by manufacturers with latest offerings. Obsolescence affects system supportability, safety and operational effectiveness. Also, replacement or renewals of systems can prove to be a costly affair and often difficult to justify.

The ControlLogix family of Programmable Automation Controllers (PACs) boasts advanced process, motion, safety, and information capabilities. No wonder this series has become a reliable automation partner for operators across the globe. A simple design setup and network access with the Integrated Architecture system by Rockwell add benefits to the Allen Bradley ControlLogix Family.


Though launched two decades ago, ControlLogix controllers have proved to be a boon for various process applications. These controllers significantly improve the quantity of exchangeable information between the control and supervisory layers. Also, operators can execute more control strategies during the process. The controllers enhance access to real-time data for improved productivity but also boosts system performance.


ControlLogix: Overview

The ControlLogix controller forms part of the Logix 5000 family of controllers. A standard ControlLogix system consists of a standalone controller and I/O modules in one chassis. A few ControlLogix products are available with a conformal coating to add a layer of protection when exposed to harsh, corrosive environments.


ControlLogix controllers can monitor and control I/O across the ControlLogix backplane and over I/O links. ControlLogix controllers can communicate over EtherNet/IP, ControlNet, DeviceNet, DH+, Remote I/O, and RS-232-C networks and many third-party processes and device networks.


Multiple controllers in the same chassis communicate to each other over the backplane, operating independently. To provide communication for a ControlLogix 5570 controller, users often install the appropriate communication interface module into the chassis. ControlLogix 5580 controllers come with a built-in EtherNet/IP port.


Features of ControlLogix Systems

The most emphatic case favoring the ControlLogix system is that it uses a common control engine with a common development environment. This helps provide high performance in an easy-to-use environment. Additionally, operators get a tighter integration between the programming software, controller, and I/O modules. This effectively optimizes development time and commissioning cost during normal operations.


Operators can effectively perform standard and safety control in the same chassis to enjoy the benefits of an efficient integrated system. The system's high availability and extreme environmental capabilities also help meet diverse application needs. Over the years, the ControlLogix family of controllers has provided high-speed, high-performance, and multi-disciplined application control.


On offer is a fully capable controller architecture with a bump-free switchover and high availability. The system provides modular and scalable network communications with a broadcast range of communication and I/O options. Operators get time-synchronization capabilities for the first fault, process sequencing, and other applications. The system also features TUV-certified products for use in SIL 2 and SIL 3 applications.


ControlLogix: Obsolescence Risk

There are a host of products under the ControlLogix family of controllers. To understand the risks of obsolescence, one must categorize them under the following four lifecycle stages:

• Active: the most current Rockwell Automation products.

• Active Mature: new or existing product/s family that is fully supported

• End of Life: the products on the threshold of discontinuation, or in the migration stage, and last-time buys.

• Discontinued: products for which repair and exchange are available. The manufacturer has decided not to manufacture these products.


Though Rockwell Automation highly recommends ControlLogix systems as the natural switch-over for PLC-5 users, it is not hunky-dory for users. The reason for this is the uneven discontinuation of critical components and series within the family. Further, it attributes to version or series changes, which warrant modification/discontinuation of vital components like CPU, communication modules, and other functional modules.


The extinction has caused significant confusion among operators, as they are worried about the future compatibility of their ControlLogix systems with the latest components introduced. Also, there might be instances where programming a new addition proves to be challenging for existing users. Also, there remains the constant fear of hardware or software mismatch, wherein an existing firmware is not compatible with the latest introduction.


One of the main reasons for aging systems is the quick advances in technology and the replacement of the components by manufacturers with the latest offerings. Obsolescence affects system supportability, safety, and operational effectiveness. Also, replacement or renewals of systems proves costly affair and often difficult to justify.


Overcoming Obsolescence Challenges

Despite frequent termination of components and entire series, carrying the following steps ensures operators maintain and run their coveted ControlLogix controllers efficiently.  


1. System Validation - Periodically validating the system ensures that new and existing systems consistently fulfill their intended purpose. Further, it also helps provide precise and authentic results. Validating your ControlLogix systems enables regulatory compliance, ensures fulfillment of user requirements, and helps identify invalid and altered records.


2. Efficient Spare Management - The biggest fear among operators when components turn obsolete is the lack of availability of spares. Therefore, early rationing of spare parts helps ascertain operational longevity effectively and notify the procurement department in advance to ensure sufficient stocks.


3. Partnering opportunity - Alternatively, you can partner with an efficient automation solutions provider like IndAXonline, which specializes in servicing obsolete equipment and also takes care of your spare part requirements.


4. A Valid Warranty - An all-inclusive warranty structure takes care of your Active Mature components beyond their obsolescence and keeps the plant up and running. A warranty ensures peace of mind for operators, who do not have to be constantly threatened by functionality glitches while running obsolete equipment.

Therefore, during testing times, it is crucial to choose an automation maintenance partner with a reliable warranty and a track record of support for the equipment they have delivered. IndAXonline offers a comprehensive warranty from 6 months to 12 months on all your legacy automation systems and their installed components.


5. Training and Education - Training and educating the available engineering resources is an essential and long-term strategy that always benefits companies in case of migration or component-change scenarios. Honing your existing human resources makes them competent to improvise during challenging situations. Eventually, such trained personnel become empowered to impart knowledge about obsolete products.


Overcoming Obsolescence: The IndAXonline Advantage

Your trusted ControlLogix systems might have witnessed several components turning obsolete, but we at IndAXonline are always here to help. We partner with you for all your maintenance and servicing requirements for outdated systems and modules. We assist you with spares and services warranty for three to five years and provide expert guidance for seamless operations.


You can trust us to provide warranty and comprehensive repair support for all the hardware spare parts you have purchased. Existing users are guaranteed the best-in-class quality of spare parts. Our service experts promise you the shortest possible delivery and redressal times so that your operations do not get hampered.


IndAXonline ensures accurate demand forecasting for spare parts. End of Life installations will now be a breeze with IndAXonline by your side.


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