Hey All - I was at Fanuc last week for a training class, and one of the other attendees told me AB was going to start to phase out the MicroLogix 1400. Anyone else hear this rumor? I asked my AB rep, but he isn't getting back to me.
The only reason I ask is because I just picked up one of their demo units as a trainer, and because we were planning on using them for some upcoming projects (which probably won't change) but I think we'll want to start heading another direction if they're getting phased out.
As an aside: anyone ever use the "PLC eUniversity" courses to get people trained? I asked our AB rep for a 1400 because I was thinking about using that curriculum, but would really rather not make an introduction to PLC training based on soon to be obsolete technology.
I've got enough PLC-5 crap kicking around if I wanted to do that....
I have not heard that. The 1100 and 1400 platform are basically the only SLC type PLCs AB is still actively marketing.
Having said that, i think most people would be wise to step up to one of the compactlogix platforms. They cost a little more but have a lot more power.
Sometimes more computing power is not required in small applications.
It may be that Rockwell may eventually phase out the Micrologix range, and they either replace with something similar or exclude themselves from small application market.
Rockwell is not about to "exclude" themselves from the small application market. they have a pretty decent entry in that market called the micrologix 800. Free software and a fair amount of power. Some minor limitations but it has a lot going for it at the low end of the PLC market. Of course it is completely different in architecture from every other AB PLC line, so you have to learn it, but it is in most respects a run-of-the-mill PLC like 100 others so learning it should not be real hard for someone with solid experience on other PLCs. The operator interface that goes with it called the Panelview 600 is a bit of a gem. I wish it worked with compactlogix and control logix processors.
On their website, the ML1400 series is showing "active", which means that it's the most current offering in that series. When it's on the way out, it will change to "Active Mature", then "End of Life", then "Discontinued".
We asked our distributor not long ago about the 1400s and at the time they said that AB had no plans to discontinue the 1400 or the 1100.
"Active" means that they are still made and sold, and there is no new product that replaces it. "Active Mature" means they still make and sell them, but there is a replacement available, so all development and product enhancements cease.
The ML1400 is in a sort of limbo between those two. They don't have a real direct replacement, but they also have stopped developing or enhancing that product line. It's been around a long time and there are better technologies out there, but at the same time, being a mature product, their cost to make them is low so they can sell them relatively cheap. Sooner or later though, the manufacturers of the ICs and other components inside of them will move on, at which time A-B will announce a "last buy" and move them to right into "Discontinued" status, probably bypassing the "Active Mature" stage if there is no viable replacement.
The Micro800 line was originally thought of as the heir apparent, it's less expensive, smaller, more modular and more capable in a lot of ways (less in others). But it is not compatible with the old RSLogix500 software, and there are a LOT of MicroLogix PLCs out there in use running from that software, so I'd say its here to stay for at least 10 more years, maybe more. Remember, the ControLogix platform was introduced in 1997, the PLC5s were not discontinued until 2017. That's 20 years of continued availability even after the old version was replaced.