In the domain of industrial automation, legacy systems have long been the bedrock of operations. Though reliable in their tenure, are not without their technical limitations. As a seasoned automation engineer, I’m familiar with the intricate challenges these systems pose. This blog embarks on a technical exploration, elucidating the hurdles presented by legacy systems and the transformative potential that CODESYS holds for modernisation.
1. Technical Challenges of Legacy Systems
1.1 Hardware Obsolescence and Compatibility
Legacy hardware, with its aging components and proprietary interfaces, grapples with obsolescence issues. Integrating modern sensors, actuators, and controllers often necessitates intricate adaptors and interface converters, introducing latency and reliability concerns.
1.2 Communications Protocols and Standards
Legacy systems predominantly rely on antiquated communication protocols. The transition to modern standards, such as OPC UA or MQTT, poses substantial protocol translation challenges. Protocol gateways and middleware layers are often required to facilitate seamless interoperability.
1.3 Real-time Performance and Determinism
As Industry 4.0 demands ever greater levels of precision and real-time responsiveness, legacy systems struggle to keep pace. Achieving consistent sub-millisecond response times for critical processes becomes a formidable task, requiring extensive optimisations and possibly hardware upgrades.
1.4 Security and Vulnerabilities
The evolving threat landscape mandates robust security measures. Legacy systems, originally designed with a different security paradigm in mind, often lack the necessary safeguards against modern cyber-attacks. Hardening these systems against vulnerabilities demands a comprehensive approach encompassing firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and frequent security patching.
1.5 Legacy Software Dependencies and Integration
Entrenched software dependencies and custom applications can prove to be a significant hurdle. Migrating existing logic and applications to a modern platform requires meticulous refactoring, thorough testing, and often involves reverse engineering of proprietary codebases.
2. The Technical Imperative for Upgrading to CODESYS
As an automation engineer, I emphatically stress the technical imperatives that underscore the transition from legacy to CODESYS. The following sections delve into the salient technical benefits that this paradigm shift confers upon industrial operations.
2.1 Advanced Control Algorithms and Libraries
CODESYS, equipped with an extensive library of control algorithms and functions, empowers engineers to implement intricate control strategies with unparalleled precision. From PID controllers to advanced motion control, CODESYS provides a comprehensive suite of tools.
2.2 Open Standards and Interoperability
Embracing open standards is pivotal in the modern automation landscape. CODESYS adheres staunchly to industry-standard communication protocols, facilitating seamless integration with a myriad of devices and systems. This openness fosters an ecosystem of interoperability that legacy systems often struggle to attain.
2.3 Scalability and Modularisation
Industrial environments are dynamic, necessitating scalability and flexibility. CODESYS offers a modular framework that allows for easy expansion and adaptation to evolving operational needs. This modular architecture promotes code reuse, simplifies troubleshooting, and accelerates commissioning of new equipment.
2.4 Real-time Performance and Deterministic Control
CODESYS, optimised for real-time control, achieves consistent sub-millisecond response times. This level of determinism is crucial for applications requiring precise synchronisation and coordination, be it in high-speed manufacturing or critical process control.
2.5 Cybersecurity by Design
With an eye toward modern cybersecurity challenges, CODESYS implements robust security features. Role-based access control, secure communication protocols, and encryption mechanisms fortify industrial processes against cyber threats, ensuring operational integrity and data confidentiality.
3. The CODESYS Advantage: A Technical Discourse
3.1 Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
CODESYS furnishes an integrated development environment that caters to the demands of the most discerning automation engineers. This sophisticated IDE offers a plethora of tools for programming, debugging, and testing, streamlining the development lifecycle.
3.2 Multi-platform Support and Cross-Compiling
One of CODESYS’s technical triumphs lies in its ability to run on a multitude of hardware platforms. Moreover, its cross-compiling capabilities allow for the development of applications on one platform, subsequently deploying them onto diverse target systems, reducing the burden of platform-specific development.
3.3 PLCopen and IEC 61131-3 Compliance
CODESYS aligns rigorously with industry-standard programming paradigms, adhering to the IEC 61131-3 standard. This compliance ensures code portability and promotes a standardised approach to programming, simplifying code maintenance and knowledge transfer.
3.4 Extensive Library Ecosystem
The CODESYS Store boasts an extensive repository of certified libraries encompassing a wide array of functions and algorithms. This treasure trove empowers automation engineers with pre-validated, reusable code snippets, accelerating development and fostering best practices.
3.5 Real-time Visualisation and HMI Integration
CODESYS’s HMI capabilities empower engineers to craft intuitive interfaces with real-time visualisations. Its seamless integration with various HMI panels and systems allows for dynamic data visualisation and control, facilitating operator interaction with the industrial process.
In concluding, I implore automation engineers to embark on this upgrading journey. Embrace CODESYS for your industrial automation infrastructure. This blog emphasises the technical intricacies of upgrading to CODESYS and showcases its potential to revolutionise industrial automation. If you have any further requests or adjustments, feel free to contact us.
Contact us HERE if you’re interested in implementing Softing in your industrial projects to unlock its benefits and drive innovation in your industry.
Ti2 is currently very focused on working with its global partners to secure stock and avoid long delay times in delivering products to their customers. Together with our trusted partners, we are here to provide solutions for your needs.
Please click here to email us your inquiry, we would like to hear from you.