Upgrading FactoryLink ECS


Thread Starter


My client still uses FactoryLink ECS 6.6 on a very critical production line, and it still runs on the original (pre-Y2K) NT4 Compaq server (redundant --- that's partly why they never upgraded!). So now, upgrading is inevitable and the year 2012 bug that inflicts FL ECS is an even better reason to do so, but the question is, upgrade to what, FL 8.0? Is FactoryLink still available? More than 10 years ago, I worked with FL 7.X and I remember that moving from from 6.X to 7.X was painful, especially if the app made heavy use of PowerVB, which is the case here. The other option, not less painful, is moving to Wonderware InTouch, which has been my client's choice for all new projects. Writing this post practically answers it, but the FL - Intouch will be expensive.

The cheaper and quicker option would be to move ECS to an NT4 virtual machine (which I do use for dev purposes, with Oracle Virtual Box amd it runs perfectly), but I'm reluctant to put that in production and it will require testing wrt Telemecanique serial PLC connection. I'm not sure about NT4 on VMware. ECS's year 2012 bug will still be there, unsupported by Siemens. For those who ignore it, it is a pain in that the smallest modification requires changing the server's date to 2011 and a 20 minute long re-compile of all config tables. Not fun for commissioning!

Any suggestions? Any other product other than FL or InTouch will be rejected by my client, for sure.
Some support for FactoryLink is available for purchase through Siemens at https://support.tecnomatix.com/.

There is a fix available for the year 2012 bug for FL ECS 6.6, but I suspect support must be purchased to obtain it.

Running FL on VMware should likely be successful. I have done so for many years with ESXi, Workstation and Player.

Migrating a FL66 application to the last version of FL (8.0.2) should not be problematic. ECS graphics still exists within the product, so no need to rewrite existing PowerVB. There was never a requirement to migrate to Client Builder graphics if the ECS feature set was fine for the application.

Feel free to contact me privately for additional assistance.
You noticed the migration problem very well.
Virtualization - not the complete solution.
I made ​​a lot of FactoryLink/MonitorPro migrations and find the most suitable SCADA for themselves - VijeoCitect - I speak about SCADA technical reasons.

I'm design screens automatic conversion, also have a tool ​​for the screen conversion to SVG format

It is very powerful if you have a lot of screens and simplifies and accelerates the migration process as a result save your budget

InTouch doesn't have any automatic tools for FactoryLink direct migration, but you can try to use SVG format

you can find more information

don't hesitate to contact me [email protected]
Thanks for reminding me that FL ECS can run "untouched" within FL 7.X or 8.X. I will also look into the ECS year 2012 path. This might be the cheapest option.
If the price of obtaining the official FL66 Y2012 patch is too costly, one could probably force a proper, selective rebuild by deleting {FLAPP}\ct\*.ct files that are older than their source {FLAPP}\*.cdb files before executing FLRUN.

If the application uses CML or a few other tasks, there are a few more items to tweak as well.

Gustavo A. Valero P.

Hi Jean,

Every FactoryLink conversion is a new case and one should take some time to study what will happen during the conversion and what the customer will have with the new app. Sometimes the conversion can be fast and with no trauma but there are cases where some things will change, others must be replaced manually and time for testing/commissioning will be the most expensive item of budget.

I can assure (and I think that another person can say the same) that a FactoryLink conversion can last 30-60 min if you have all software and equipments ready but evaluate, test and certify the new app can last 1-2 weeks depending of its complexity/size (if there is nothing to do manually).

According to my experience, if you can tell us more info about your old FL app I could tell you what which issues could appear during the process.

Some answers could help more:

1) How many displays does app have?

2) Does it use PowerVB? If so, the code is complex?

3) Does it use array tags in I/O drivers and M&L procs?

4) Does it use CML? If so, is there special C code or is just M&L code converted to C?

5) Does it use a relational database to log data or alarms (dBase IV, MS SQL Server or ODBC)? Does it create its own DBs? As you know, FL is able to create DB and log/search data as few SCADA can do (well, I'm trying find another one so far with no success)

6) Does it use special tasks: PowerSQL, Statistical Process Control (SPC)?

7) The I/O driver is an FL native driver or third-party drivers?

8) Your customer will keep its redundant system based on hardware or will use what the SCADA has? FL 6.6 doesn't have a task for this.. it appeared in FL 7.0 if I remember well

Maybe there are other questions to discuss but with these we can start better.

Best regards.

Saludos desde Venezuela.

Gustavo A. Valero P.