US-based supplier of turbomachinery control solutions Petrotech has developed a low-cost upgrade path for existing users of the Allen-Bradley PLC-5 controller, several hundred of which the company has installed over the last two decades to control gas turbines and provide gas compressor protection. Now, as the PLC-5 faces obsolescence, Petrotech is providing a quick and inexpensive solution to its fleet of users.

The real value in the Petrotech upgrade, says the company, is that the user still keeps the PLC-5 system. The Petrotech upgrade replaces the old processor/co-processor bundle with a current technology processor and then moves the legacy system code to the new processor. The rest of the PLC-5 system is unchanged.

In addition to improved communications with the new processor, the system can now be upgraded incrementally over time on the user’s schedule. The entire legacy functionality is moved to the new processor application.

The result is an up-to-date (and future ready) control system, continued use of the legacy PLC-5 system, and the same control system quality on which the user has relied on – all for about 30% less than the cost of a replacement system, according to Petrotech.