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Old May 20th, 2022, 03:31 PM   #1
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Upgrade path from Momentum CPU

I am not too familiar with the Schneider family of PLCs .. but I have a client that wants to upgrade from a Momentum to something newer. They had suggested the M340, which is fine, however isn't that getting a bit long in the tooth? There are several other sites (100+) that will need to be upgraded over time too.

I would just hate to make a recommendation based on outdated or near EOL platform without knowing a timeline that the last site would get upgraded. Could be 10 years from now. They are trying to standardize on something now. Would the M580 be a better bet? They are fairly simple sites with about 40 I/O so a ton of processing power is not required at all.

This begs the question about software - will this older Proworx convert nicely into Control Expert? Are there any things I should look out for?

I have an active ticket with Schneider support, but I am looking for suggestions here as well while I wait for a phone call back.


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Old May 20th, 2022, 04:59 PM   #2
goghie
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M340 is really solid platform, but it is quite old. On other hand I personally do not like M580 and new platforms. I would try with M241/M251 even it is not rack mounted as it Codesys based.
I have never tried Proworx converter in Unity/Control Expert, but it is better to write program from scratch and use benefits from new platforms.
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Old May 20th, 2022, 06:59 PM   #3
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Are all the sites identical or at least pretty similar? Is this some sort of distributed control system like a water or gas utility?

The converter in Control Expert does a reasonable job, but you get old code in Ladder, with tags named as per Modbus style addresses. I personally find the ladder editor in Control Expert very clumsy and will almost always use FBD or ST.

So you can convert to get it running, but I'd personally re-write and re-test in one of the other languages for future maintainance ease. That's what we did with a large wastewater plant that couldn't tolerate down time... converted and tested on the bench, did the swap, then slowly re-wrote the code online over the next few weeks doing individual unit testing as we went.

I won't weigh in on the M251 as I'm only ever used the M241 which is much less capable.

If there's a lot of similarities between the 100+ sites then the code effort becomes less than the hardware cost. Do you need to stick with Schneider?
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Old May 21st, 2022, 01:17 PM   #4
Corsair
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I can't reply about the age of the M340 cpus but we use a lot of them with very good results. It seems as if they are continuing to develop the I/O family. We've upgraded some Quantum CPUs to M340 and had no problem with the processor size.

The 580 is a lot more expensive , may require an 'ethernet' backplane, and certainly requires more expensive software.

I've done some Ethernet/IP work with the NOC module on the M340. It's not as clean as Allen Bradley but it worked well.

Schneiders PLC program conversion translation software is not very impressive - but then I doubt if anybodys is. The ARM processor in the M340 has data alignment requirements that can require some adjustments.

By default M340 Modbus addresses are one register off from Momentum Modbus addresses. Most interfaces should have a single place to adjust to account for it.

I really like Schneider's FBD, ST, and SFC. Their ladder is miserable. The only advantage that I know of for Codesys is that the learning experience may be applicable to other equipment.
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Old May 21st, 2022, 08:26 PM   #5
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The first thing you need to know is which executive you have in the Momentum PLCs. There are three different types that can be programmed with either 984/Proworx, Concept, or Unity. What is the part number of the Momentum CPU you are using?

The Momentum is designed so that field wiring can be terminated directly on the IO modules. You don't have to do that, but if the existing Momentums are used that way you will have some trouble converting to any modular rack PLC.

Concept converts to Unity easily, they both use basically the same IEC languages. Converting from 984/Proworx to Unity is possible. There is an import utility for that, but the result is an unreadable mess (to me anyway).
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Old May 23rd, 2022, 08:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saffa View Post
Are all the sites identical or at least pretty similar? Is this some sort of distributed control system like a water or gas utility?

The converter in Control Expert does a reasonable job, but you get old code in Ladder, with tags named as per Modbus style addresses. I personally find the ladder editor in Control Expert very clumsy and will almost always use FBD or ST.

So you can convert to get it running, but I'd personally re-write and re-test in one of the other languages for future maintainance ease. That's what we did with a large wastewater plant that couldn't tolerate down time... converted and tested on the bench, did the swap, then slowly re-wrote the code online over the next few weeks doing individual unit testing as we went.

I won't weigh in on the M251 as I'm only ever used the M241 which is much less capable.

If there's a lot of similarities between the 100+ sites then the code effort becomes less than the hardware cost. Do you need to stick with Schneider?
Yes, these are all remote water sites - wells, pump stations, boosters, lift stations, etc. Unfortunately, we have been told to stick with Schneider for this design.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Corsair View Post
I can't reply about the age of the M340 cpus but we use a lot of them with very good results. It seems as if they are continuing to develop the I/O family. We've upgraded some Quantum CPUs to M340 and had no problem with the processor size.

The 580 is a lot more expensive , may require an 'ethernet' backplane, and certainly requires more expensive software.

I've done some Ethernet/IP work with the NOC module on the M340. It's not as clean as Allen Bradley but it worked well.

Schneiders PLC program conversion translation software is not very impressive - but then I doubt if anybodys is. The ARM processor in the M340 has data alignment requirements that can require some adjustments.

By default M340 Modbus addresses are one register off from Momentum Modbus addresses. Most interfaces should have a single place to adjust to account for it.

I really like Schneider's FBD, ST, and SFC. Their ladder is miserable. The only advantage that I know of for Codesys is that the learning experience may be applicable to other equipment.
Good info here, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KirkC View Post
The first thing you need to know is which executive you have in the Momentum PLCs. There are three different types that can be programmed with either 984/Proworx, Concept, or Unity. What is the part number of the Momentum CPU you are using?

The Momentum is designed so that field wiring can be terminated directly on the IO modules. You don't have to do that, but if the existing Momentums are used that way you will have some trouble converting to any modular rack PLC.

Concept converts to Unity easily, they both use basically the same IEC languages. Converting from 984/Proworx to Unity is possible. There is an import utility for that, but the result is an unreadable mess (to me anyway).
The old processor is a 171 CCC 960 20. And yes, all of the existing I/O is terminated directly to the modules.
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Old May 23rd, 2022, 11:38 AM   #7
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The 171 CCC 960 20 uses a 984 executive only.
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Old May 23rd, 2022, 03:02 PM   #8
Saffa
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To me this sounds like it would in general be a better application for something like a SCADAPack 474. Designed for remote communication, can support Modbus as well as DNP3 so they could make it work with any legacy comms network but have migration options in future.

If it's a larger site then by all means go with an M340 or M580, especially if it's a treatment facility and full online edit ability is required. The benefit here: programming for the SCADPack 47x and 57x family uses a flavour of Control Expert, so you can re use all your standard function blocks with ease.

How do the sites currently communicate back to base? Assuming they do?

I would get in touch with Schneider and see if you can speak to someone in their telemetry team. This sounds like the kind of project where a whole lot of planning and design needs to happen up front to avoid rework and tears later down the track
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