As they do in any business, corporate manufacturing leaders know, with as much certainty as they know that the sun will come up in the morning, that they have some amount of error, waste, and inefficiency in their operations.
The programmable logic controller, or PLC, has been around forever by high tech standards. The original PLCs came out in the late 1960s, and the venerable PLC 5 has been doing admirable service since its introduction in 1988. Time and technology have caught up with the PLC 5, however, and the product is no longer manufactured. Indeed, Rockwell/Allen-Bradley now recommends replacing your aging PLC 5 hardware with ControlLogix (CLX) control systems.
Let me know if this sounds familiar to you: somewhere in the plant there’s an enclosure that houses your controls hardware. It’s seen some changes over time – some components may have been replaced or may no longer be needed, but no one seems to know if there’s been any documentation of the changes: the old napkin on which someone drew a schematic disappeared long ago. And there may not be any documentation at all for the wiring connections to your field or internal devices.
‘Twas the night before Shutdown: I tell you, my dears,
All of Avanceon was stirring – (they are engineers)
Their stockings were snug in their shoes on their feet,
As there was a new project deadline to meet.
Not one thought of sugarplums — No, quite instead
Strange visions of programs danced in their heads.
The team was all nestled quite snug in their code
All wanted to finish and get on the road….
While Tracey was focused on the perfect MES
And Scott was pushing for one more pre-test,
With Matt stuck in meetings, and Brian with SCADA
We all saw our Holidays getting consumed by the data.