With two more MicroLogix headed to sunset in 2020, now is the time to consider migrating your MicroLogix to Micro800. Since 2017 we’ve seen multiple MicroLogix products come to the end of the road. What do you need to know to replace a MicroLogix PLC?
So, where’s Rockwell headed with their Micro PLC offerings?
Rockwell Automation’s technology is growing. The MicroLogix family of controllers has been around since the mid-1990s and have barely seen internal component changes to meet the demand of changing technology.
As a result, there is a natural struggle with outdated and hard-to-find components and changing compliance certifications. In 2017, Restrictions of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) made some changes that brought the MicroLogix 1000 and 1500 out of the product lifecycle. Their migration path lead to replacing them with either a Micro800 PLC or CompactLogix PLC from Rockwell Automation.
In 2021, two more MicroLogix are heading out of the product lifecycle too. What are their replacements? And which MicroLogix controllers remain?
In 2011 Rockwell Automation introduced the Micro800 PLC family targeted for small, standalone applications and it was clear that the Micro800 family will eventually replace the MicroLogix. They have the latest technology and combined with Connected Components Workbench (CCW) Software offer an omni-programming experience that incorporates programming software for the PLC, HMI, and VFD devices.
One of the largest pain points for migrations is converting a PLC program and learning a new programming software package. I’m here to say, whether you’re migrating to Connected Components Workbench (CCW) or Studio 5000, the transition from RSLogix 500 isn’t really that big of a jump. Sure, new software will require time to get acquainted with but that’s to be excepted. Both CCW and Studio 5000 have conversion tools available for MicroLogix applications to make the transition easier.
CCW has a wizard driven conversion tool within the software that makes the program conversion a breeze.
For more information about using the MicroLogix Library Converter please refer to What you need to know – Converting from MicroLogix to Micro800 blog article.
Studio 5000 has a Project Migrator tool available for download that converts any RSLogix 5 or 500 (PLC5/SLC/Micrologix) project to Studio 5000 (Compact/ControlLogix). Similar to the MicroLogix Library Converter within CCW, the RSLogix 500 MicroLogix project file needs to be saved as a Library File (.SLC) before running the tool. You can find the Project Migrator under Tools >> RSLogix Project Migrator once installed. The Project Migrator will also convert around 90-95% of the program and create a log file of anything that may need further attention.
Often when projects are converted to their new platform there is an opportunity to change the PLC program. This means adding or changing the programming code. Both CCW and Studio 5000 have a variety of programming options that will help enhance your converted program.
“Can you enhance your program while converting?”
With Studio 5000 being the highest end replacement option, most MicroLogix applications will be converted to Connected Components Workbench (CCW). CCW has a variety of different enhancements you may not be aware of that will decrease development time and expand the flexibility of your applications. RSLogix 500 is a solid programming software and is a staple for many PLC applications over the past 20 years. So why recommend CCW as the alternative? Among the differences listed in the table below, we’ll take a closer look at some of the enhancements CCW offers.
RSLogix 500 is fixed with one programming language, Ladder Logic. As straight forward as ladder logic is, it falls short with complex algorithms and workflow. That’s where Function Block Diagram (FBD) and Structured Text (ST) can enhance your controllers’ capabilities. We won’t dive into each specified language in this article but having the option to select which programming language will work best for your applications programs is a game-changer.
CCW uses variable based addressing instead of file named addressing in RSLogix 500. With variable based addressing the programmer can assign a naming convention to an internal address/register which makes developing code and troubleshooting much easier.
Symbol comments and rung comments aren’t new but within RSLogix 500 they’re only stored with the program file itself and not the controller. This means they’re lost if you don’t have the original project file of the MicroLogix. The Micro800 will store all rung and variable comments in the controller itself. So, years after development, if someone needs to make a change the PLC program all the original comments are retrieved along with the program upon upload of the program. This can be invaluable to troubleshooting or understanding program code after development.
The ability to create your own instruction using a User Defined Function Block (UDFB) is extremely valuable when a custom set of instructions is used repeatedly within the same program. A valve shutoff sequence, pump startup, or calculation are all good examples when a custom instruction may be used. It reduces the overall compiled code allowing for a more complex program without having to worry about memory limitations. It also drastically reduces the amount of visible code leading to reduced development time and troubleshooting.
For more information about Connected Components Workbench capabilities please refer to Reduce Design Time with Rockwell’s Micro800 PLC blog article
The MicroLogix PLC family is finally being retired after a 20+ year run and being replaced with namely the Micro800. The transition between these two PLC platforms doesn’t have to be challenging.
Hardware and software conversions are made simple thanks to similar IO configuration in the hardware and Software program conversion tools. Making the transition is a breeze! Sure, most of the time spent micrating to Micro800 will be getting familiar with the software, but it’s so user friendly you’d wonder why you didn’t start earlier.
Have I mentioned that Connected Components Workbench (CCW) is a FREE software download for the standard edition? You can download and install CCW before even deciding which direction to take your MicroLogix conversion.