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Are you held hostage by an outdated protocol? Recently we were involved in a project where a protocol converter had failed. It was in place to connect an ASI-Bus network to Modbus Plus on an outdated Modicon PLC. The P&F protocol converter was also outdated and there was no replacement to convert from ASI to Modbus Plus. The plant was not yet ready to update the Modicon PLC, but when they did, this protocol converter would complicate that process, so this would have to be done eventually anyway. The fact that it failed just made an opportunity to take a step. But how to accomplish it? It seemed they were being held hostage by Modbus Plus. This is an important part of the plant and it needed to be back up and running quickly.
After a little research, we found we were able to add Ethernet to the Modicon PLC. Then we were able to find a currently supported ASI-Bus to Modbus/TCP converter to replace the P&F converter.
The entire thing just took a little research, an available new converter, a little configuration, and the plant was back in motion.
If you feel like you are being held hostage by some outdated technology, you are not alone. It’s likely you will be able to find a way to modernize in steps to avoid a huge project that may not be reasonable all at once.