AB Controllogix problem

  • Thread starter Shamrock Engineering Company
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Thread Starter

Shamrock Engineering Company

Hello List,
Having just returned from a new installation I learned some very troubling lessons on the new AB controllogix platform. We shipped a device about a month ago that used the 5550 processor. After shipping I had since upgraded to a newer version of RSLogix 5000 programming software. When I arrived at the customers site to start the new unit my software would not talk to the processor, giving me the message that the firmware in the processor needed to be updated. No problem, just FLASH an update of the firmware, right? Well upon doing so the program no longer resides in the processor! It was fortunate that this was a new installation in that very few recipes (customer entered databases) were resident, had this been an existing installation in operation over a period of months, they would have lost several hundred patterns that they "teach" as needed.
What's a guy supposed to do, never upgrade his software again?! And thank you very much Rockwell for giving me the advanced warning!! Nothing like leaving a guy out in the field looking like an idiot! (which really doesn't take much in my case!) Just a warning to the rest of you!
Dave Dakopolos
Shamrock Engineering Co.
[email protected]

You have uncovered a problem (feature) inherent in the L5x platorm. If you happen to have motion modules in you chassic and didn't upgrade them at the same time, they would most likely lose functionality without any upfront indication. Subtle things like the Home sensor not working (hope you have external travel limits!!). No errors or outward indication of problems but you
have a very messed up system. By the way, if my memory serves me, I/O modules gateway through the processor during an upgrade and you must pull the battery in the processor (i.e. clear processor memory) to permit the upgrade program to access modules on the bus. The whole process can become very time consuming.

IMHO, the real problem occurs when a module fails at some future date and you must "update" everything to permit the replacement module to function. Field upgrades seem like a selling point but in this case I'm not convinced. AB is
insuring sales of software upgrades but the cost is very high. You can bet other PLC manufactures are watching this trend and if it looks like AB is
going to get away with it, they will follow suit

Bill Marsh
Integrated Controls
Hi Dave:

Try explaining to a customer why there is no direct communications route from a PLC-5 to a CLogix. Try explaining to a customer why downloading a program to a CLogix crashes his VAX. Try explaining to a customer why the DHRIO module is locking up if you use both channels. Try explaining to a customer how a program that takes 250k on a Pyramid takes over 2 meg on a CLogix. Try explaining to a customer why he can no longer directly enter the ASCII serial number into the PLC (CLogix).

Would you like some more examples of this "wonderful" platform AB is sticking people with?

Ron Gage - Saginaw, MI
([email protected])

Steven Landau

Dave- On this staturday I had a very similar situation. I went to a site which operatres 24/7 an they were having a mainenance shutdown last weekend. I was planning on upgrading from a Modbus Comm to the MMI/Programming PC to ethernet. I figured ethernet cost less than Modbus+ and is easier to wire. So I call up my modicon distributor and try to buy the Ethernet Card we usually use. Not in stock it has been superceeded with a new one. the old one was "obsoleted" not available any more. No problem, send it to me I'll use it.

Arrive on site saturday, Install cables, hub and new net card. No talking, and no way to configure card in concept 2.1. Call modicon tech support, no dice, the new ethernet card is only supported in Concept 2.2 can I get the software upgrade?? no because Concept 2.2 is on "Ship hold". After spending a saturday + travel time and $1000 for parts, No upgrade happened. I will have to wait another 3 months for main shutdown, and pay more $$ for concept 2.2.
Should I upgrade all my customer sites to 2.2 because unavailability of parts?

And a quote from Dave's earlier message"

" thank you very much Rockwell (Square-D) for giving me the advanced warning!! Nothing like leaving a guy out in the field looking like an idiot!"

Steve Landau
SPEC [email protected]
-- the engineers who build --

Michel A. Levesque, ing.

Hi list,

I've been reading this thread about the ControlLogix platform. I worked with this platform and the product is a solid performer but with a few (quite a few from the lastest posts)

I'm trying to say to myself that the platform is new, the way to program the platform is new, the networking aspects are relatively new and, to put the cherry on top, that AB must coordinate with RSI to keep the firmware and software in lock-step.

I think that Rockwell is just having growing pains with the new kid. I can remember lots of problems with "enhanced" PLC-5s and SLC-500s
when thay came out; again due to firmware versus software compatibility, and this was the same company!

We use ProcessLogix, which uses the same hardware (except the 5550) and the problems are minor. Give them about a year to sort out all the BS of the new product, in the meantime...you can always
use a PLC-5.

Michel A. Levesque eng., mcp
Directeur Bureau Montreal
AIA Inc.
[email protected]

Anthony Kerstens

Modicon has had firmware upgrades available for download for free. Just pop the file on your harddrive, tell proworx+ where it is, and boom,
upgraded rev level on your processor or other modules.

In fact, if memory serves correctly, you could also suck the firmware file out of a newer processor, and then take that and upgrade your older processors.

I hope Modicon doesn't change the "free" part, although they never really made this a selling point.

Anthony Kerstens P.Eng.

Anthony Kerstens

Although I would say I have felt that pain before, and I do sympathize, I would also say the onus must be shared.

1. You have to do some research.

2. The sales reps have to know the problems to give you the heads-up.

3. AB/Modicon/Siemens or whoever it is should be planning product availability a little better.

The bottom line: if you can't prove to yourself that the next greatest technology is suitable to the application, then stick with what you have. :) There have been occasions where I would have loved to used something new, but went with old standby's because the justification couldn't be made.

:) This is the case where you let others suffer through the alpha and beta versions, and you pick-up on a good product when they're done with it!!! At some point in product development
some unsuspecting sucker is paying for testing.

Anthony Kerstens P.Eng.
You were probably trying to setup a 140 NOE 771 00 or a 771 10 in Concept Ver. 2.1.

This can be done. Select a 140 NOE 211 00. I did this 10 times or so until concept 2.2 was released. Also, the "shiphold" of Concept 2.2 was bulls***, really and can be circumnavigated with a simple release form. I'll email it to you if you like.

This works for MMI to PLC comm, but not for "I/O Scanner mode" I/O scanner mode is only supported in Concep 2.2.