Programmable logic controllers are a crucial part of automating your industrial facilities. However, just because your current model functions well now, it doesn’t mean you won’t need to replace it later. As time passes, it’s common for overall performance to suffer, and you may not even initially notice such changes. That’s why it’s crucial to be aware of some telltale signs you need to upgrade your facility’s PLC. Here are a few things to be on the lookout for in your day-to-day operations.
You Have an Outdated Operating System
When was the last time you thought about your system’s operating system? For many PLCs, Windows 7 was the primary program used to connect them to a facility’s overall machine network. Unfortunately, like most programs, Windows 7 has since fallen out of date. In fact, Microsoft doesn’t even update this operating system anymore. So, if you have a PLC that runs exclusively on this program, it’s time to upgrade to something that still receives maintenance.
You Experience Semi-Regular PLC Malfunctions
It’s also important to consider a replacement if your current PLC experiences performance malfunctions. Because these devices are at the heart of our automation endeavors, they can cause full-scale equipment failure should they experience a programming issue. While errors are a normal part of operations, frequent shutdowns can indicate a more prevalent problem with the product itself. For this reason, it’s vital that you find a replacement right away if these occurrences start impacting overall productivity.
The PLC Is Over Ten Years Old
One of the most important signs your need to upgrade your facility’s PLC is its age. The world of industrial automation is ever-evolving, bringing new and more effective products into the market every year. As such, if you’re running a PLC older than 10 years, you could be missing out on some cutting-edge improvements to your overall operations. Even if your current model still functions properly, it’s never a bad idea to embrace some innovation. Just make sure you find a well-reviewed and compatible new model for your system and install it correctly.
Pro tip: Reference this guide to programming your new PLC and read your product’s instruction manual carefully to ensure a smooth installation and transition.
In keeping an eye open for the above indicators, you can replace your PLC equipment before serious problems develop with your machine system. So, if you’re interested in maintaining efficiency and minimizing down time, vigilance will be the key to success.