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Legacy Control System Migration

Legacy Control System Migration is, or at some point will be, a very important topic for every manufacturing facility. According to recent statistics, $65 billion worth of installed legacy process control systems have reached the end of their reasonable life cycle. Many companies do not have the financial resources to perform a complete replacement of equipment or the technical resources to develop a strategy for migration and replacement to more current technologies.

Cost-Effective Migration Strategy

Cross Company has proven experience in migrating legacy hardware and software systems. Our proven process begins with a risk analysis and site review and discussion with our customer to discuss the end goals and critical aspects of each application. We have the knowledge and expertise to extract the critical information from the existing configurations, graphics, and documentation and even your experienced operations and engineering personnel, a critical area of knowledge often overlooked.

Based on this assessment, we guide our customers through specific recommendations on a migration path best suited for your requirements to minimize cost, risk, and associated downtime.

From a simple HMI upgrade to a GMP validated system and even development of a five to ten-year migration plan for an entire facility, Cross Company can provide complete planning, engineering and commissioning to guide you through this process to successfully achieve your migration and business objectives.

Why Migrate Systems?

If your computing software or hardware is out of date but still in use, you have a legacy system. Many industrial manufacturers in the process industry will put off a system migration, associating them with downtime and reduced revenue.

However, the drawbacks of using a legacy control system may occur sooner than long-term projections. As more and more production time passes, the drawbacks of a legacy control system only compound. In an industry where keeping uptime high and processes moving is crucial, these compounded decreases in efficiency may be driving your production speed and quality down a little more each day.

There’s also the concern of obsolescence. If never migrated, there will come a time when your manufacturing control system moves from out-of-date to obsolete. As obsolescence concerns increase (in the form of technical, function, or supply obsolescence) and availability of parts dwindle, the cost of repair will rise. Eventually, it may become impossible to repair the legacy system within budget. Then a full migration may become mandatory.

Our Turn-Key Services Include

Design specification development

Functional specification development

Migration analysis and recommendations

Cost analysis for migrations

Batch conversions in accordance with S88

Network upgrades – serial and legacy communication upgrades

Platform evaluations and comparisons

System configuration and application conversion

Project documentation

UL508A Panel design and build

Acceptance testing

Startup and commissioning services

Benefits of A Legacy Control System Migration

Taking advantage of presented opportunities to migrate to more efficient, modern control systems is rapidly becoming a key factor in the success of many within the process industry. Acting proactively and migrating legacy systems is becoming a far more profitable strategy than reactively repairing frequently-braking systems.

The benefits of migrating from an outdated legacy system include increased throughput, lower costs, and improved product quality.

process manufacturing plant in production

Increased Throughput

A legacy control system will be less efficient than a modernized, upgraded system. While a legacy system may be meeting production goals for the time being, every year that passes poses increased risk of drops in quality, efficiency, and revenue. Don’t get left behind by competitors due to an obsolete control system.

outside of a process plant

Lower Costs

While migrating an industrial control system may be a significant one-time cost, the long-term benefits may largely outweigh the initial investment. Enhancing control system performance and consolidating operating consoles through an effective migration has wide-reaching effects. One of these being lower costs.

Legacy Control System Migration 1

Improved Quality

A modernized control system will have a greater capability to produce higher quality products. While quality goals may be met with a legacy system, upon migration quality goals may not just be met. They may be exceeded. And this increase in performance and quality can be the competitive advantage your process needs.

Supported Platforms

Cross Company has successfully performed upgrades to current supported platforms from the following legacy systems.

  • ABB Mod 30 Mod 300
  • Allen Bradley SLC 500, PLC2, PLC5
  • GE FANUC, 9030, 9070, PAC Systems RS3i
  • Honeywell UDC 2500, 3200, 3500
  • Siemens Moore APACS, S5, S7, TI 505
  • Sixnet EtherTRAK, VersaTRAK RTU’s
  • Square D PLC’s
  • Fisher Provox S10 and S20 series IO
  • Bailey Net 90 and INFI 90
  • Foxboro SPECTRUM or SPEC 200
  • Rosemount RS3
  • Virtually any other brand of PLC/DCS
  • Wonderware
  • Iconics
  • Citect
  • Factory Link
  • Cimplicity
  • Indusoft
  • Fix 32 and IFIX
  • RSView 32 and legacy Panelviews
  • Proprietary and Visual Basic HMI’s

The Risks and Rewards of Migrating

In general, the risks of maintaining a legacy control system are far greater than the rewards of migrating.

One of the main risks of maintaining a legacy control system is the inability to meet emerging demands in the process industry. If your control system and processes are stuck in decades-old production methods, it becomes increasingly difficult to meet the demands of an evolving industry.

That’s just taking into account the control system hardware. Legacy control software also poses a direct threat to process plants in the form of critical security vulnerabilities. Obsolete software may no longer have access to the technical support it needs to remain secure. This puts it at greater risk for compromises in software security.

The rewards of migrating control systems initially come in the form of increased flexibility. Being able to meet the changing demands of your industry while maximizing plant efficiency is a recipe for success.

A main consideration when deciding if it’s worth migrating to a modern control system is deciding if you want to maintain current efficiency and production levels (for now), or invest in the future of your processes. Investing in a brighter future is always the smarter move.

Why Cross Legacy Control System Migration?

At Cross Process Solutions, we’ve helped countless companies across dozens of industries with some of the best process control solutions available. We maintain partnerships with many of the leading suppliers in the process industry to provide the absolute best parts and services for our customers.

If you’re dealing with an outdated or obsolete legacy control system, we can help. Cross is your legacy system migration partner, and we’ll work with you to determine the best migration strategy for your particular plant or industry.

Learn more about our Process Control Integration Solution Offering

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Did you know... the precision measurement group at Cross was founded in 1939 by our current CEO's grandfather, Jim King. That's a whole lot of calibration!
Did you know... A fingerprint weighs about 50 micrograms. We know, we weighed it! The residue left from a finger can actually make a difference in weight results which is why we wear gloves when we calibrate weights. For reference, a sheet to paper is about 4.5 grams, that’s 4.5 million micrograms.
Did you know… Cross Company is an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). Our ESOP started in 1979 and as of 2006, we are a 100% employee owned! Learn more about our ESOP and how that benefits both team members and our customers.
Did you know… Cross Company has grown significantly since our start in 1954. Over the years we've acquired 26 companies! Today, our five groups have expertise in everything from industrial automation to precision measurement, and industry knowledge going all the way back to 1939.