Do You Know Your Lifecycle Status?
Working in distribution, I often find myself asked by customers for a replacement CPU (or any other piece of automation equipment) that is already obsolete or at the end of its life. More times than not, the equipment’s lifecycle status is a surprise to the customer. There are several tools available to help protect you and your company from this issue by allowing you to understand where your facility’s equipment is in its lifecycle. With this knowledge, you can plan upgrades well ahead of time.
Product Lifecycle Status Tool
One of the first places to start is the Rockwell Automation® Product Lifecycle Status tool found on their website. Here you can enter any Rockwell Automation part number and see its lifecycle status. You can also do this with product families, which can be especially useful for older PLCs and the associated I/O cards. Below is an example of a search for the SLC family. First, we look at all the SLC processors by searching "1747-L" because that is the start of the part number for every SLC processor.
Perform a Lifecycle Status Search
We can further narrow our lifecycle status search with the filters above each column. For example, we may want to know if the I/O card for your SLC system is “end of life” or “discontinued.” For this, we would start a new search, starting with "1747" as our search term. Then we would filter the list to just discontinued parts as seen below:
Track Lifecycle with Proposal Works
Another lifecycle status tool that you can use to track the lifecycle of equipment is Proposal Works. Proposal Works is one of the pieces of the Product Selection Toolbox and has a lot of capabilities we will only briefly touch on today. This product configuration software allows you to create bills of materials for pieces of equipment and new projects alike. You can find more information on Proposal Works and a link to download it HERE. With a bill of materials created in Proposal Works, there is an indication of each product’s lifecycle as well as a recommended replacement if the product is discontinued or end of life. You can see an example of this in the ControlLogix® family below.
We Can Help You Plan Your Upgrades
If you’d like more information on either of these tools, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Knowing the status of your current parts and equipment will help you plan for the future and avoid unplanned downtime. We can help you plan with an automation lifecycle analysis. Contact us today!