Oh, say about *cough, cough* 20 some years ago, my first project with my employer was this:
A Reliance PLC to run 4 manufacturing tanks and 3 storage tanks. Back then It looked a lot cleaner, but as the years progressed 7 more tanks were added and Ethernet was not yet on the plant floor then. We added all of that and now as I am buying parts off of Ebay to keep it running, I channel Mr. Scott now: "She's bypassed like a Christmas tree Cap'n don't give me too many bumps".
The best in operator workstations as well, circa 1990:
These Nematron's have served well, but text based and running a modified version of.....wait for it.... BASIC!
So telling people that you are going to shut them down for oh three weeks or so seems to make them have kittens or some such. We are doing everything we can to minimize the down time:
New operator workstation already installed.
New PLC being tested and programming started:
The other problem is that some critical functions must be maintained during the down time. I do not have this option:
The essential stuff can be handled with one of these though:
Even with all the steps we can take now I know that this thing better be working during the changeover:
It's not going to be pretty. I honestly thought that this project would be someones else's problem. I did not think I would still be here. But I am so let the games begin!
+1 to the previous commenter on AB stuff that said: "You can buy better but you can't pay more"! Stuff works though. Most of the time. We have come a long way for better or worse. Used to be the latest software was on a Floppy. If you don't have an Internet connection now, you are toast. Sigh.....