Production Critical Control System Integration S5 to S7 Upgrade Project

Siemens flagship S5 PLC and IO system was the backbone of many control systems from 1979. However, all good things must come to an end and its cancellation (2005), discontinuation (2014) and removal of all support (2020) has long since come and gone.

Given the huge success of the S5 in its heyday it comes as no surprise that there are still installations continuing to function on this tried and proven platform to this day.

We were recently engaged by a global blue chip company to perform an upgrade on one such installation to convert from the old S5 to the latest ET200MP remote IO, whilst simultaneously upgrading their sites main processor, a rack containing an obsolete S7-400 CPU and associated communications cards (CPs). This was equivalent to a brain transplant with the consequences almost as severe as this would have taken down the production capability for the entire site.

Through close communication with Siemens, we engineered an upgrade utilising their proprietary S5 connection adaptors. These, along with our own bespoke wiring, allow the existing S5 connector terminals to plug straight in to the new chassis with minimal need for rewiring on site.

Through extensive bench testing we de-risked the site work to ensure a seamless integration process during a tight shutdown window. Functionality testing was performed to confirm:

  • Profibus connections to similar remote partners (including Simocode, Micromaster, G120C),
  • Profinet connection to the new ET200MP remote IO racks,
  • TCP connections to other CPU's within the facility,
  • 100% IO checks against the clients existing wiring schematics to confirm the existing panel wiring will be compatible with the new IO assemblies.

Working closely with the Client we scheduled the site works for a planned period of production outage. The site installation of the new ET200MP racks, and the replacement of the redundant S7-400 Processor and Communications cards was successfully executed well within the timescales available to us.

Thanks to the pre-site bench testing efforts communications to all remote partners recovered without issue and the field IO to the newly installed ET200MP was tested without any wiring errors found. The system was promptly returned to service with a minimum of fuss and without the need for any undue production interruption. The job worked right first time as a result of our thorough pre-planning and testing.

If you have any projects of a similar nature, or any PLC, HMI or SCADA requirements don't hesitate to get in touch with our controls and automation team today!

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