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Georgia-Pacific eases migration path with ControlEdge UOCs

May 25, 2022

“You can use existing I/O and field wiring, which significantly reduces time and effort.” Georgia-Pacific’s Jarmo Salminen sang the praises of Honeywell Process Solutions’ ControlEdge UOC for migrating legacy PLCs and DCS controllers at this week’s Honeywell Users Group conference.

After almost 100 years in existence, any company is sure to find itself looking at obsolescence problems with any number of systems. Georgia-Pacific, founded in 1927 in Augusta, Georgia, has more than 30,000 employees at 160 manufacturing locations, where significant fleetwide controller obsolescence was becoming problematic.

Georgia-Pacific began migrating legacy Honeywell Process Solutions Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) C200 controllers and I/O to ControlEdge Unit Operations Controllers (UOCs). “It’s a good fit because you don’t have to lift any field wires,” said Jarmo Salminen, director, process control & technology, Georgia-Pacific, who spoke at 2022 Honeywell Users Group  (HUG) Americas. “You can pull the cables beforehand and just swap the card.”

New controls and modernization of legacy systems at existing sites and sitewide migration of third-party obsolete DCS/PLC systems also needed to be addressed at Georgia-Pacific.

“We have several of these projects in progress,” said Salminen. “One is completed at the technology center in Wisconsin. They had existing Series A I/O. They replaced the existing controllers and put in Ethernet connections.”

Migrating C200 controllers has several advantages, said Salminen. “You can use existing I/O and field wiring, which significantly reduces time and effort,” he explained. “It’s easy to migrate the configuration between C200 and UOC controllers. We’re replacing a lot of PLCs with swing-arm technology. By using existing technology, there’s a significant reduction in time and effort for loop checkout.”

Other benefits include retaining existing I/O and terminations; lower cost of UOC I/O and controllers than for PKS C300 replacements; a unified environment; and consistent engineering and maintenance tools.

Not just a Honeywell replacement

Migration kits are available for sitewide migration of obsolete third-party DCS and PLC systems. “It’s easy and cost-effective using migration kits to retain field terminations, and the single platform is easier to maintain and troubleshoot interlocks,” explained Salminen. “Plus, you can perform maintenance and troubleshooting from remote locations.”

Migration kits are available for a variety of PLCs from Honeywell, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, Siemens and GE.

One of the big advantages of migrating to the ControlEdge UOC is that it’s component-level certified and so it doesn't require a new cabinet. “You can put it in any existing cabinet,” explained Chris Peters, UOC product manager, Honeywell Process Solutions. “The UOC is native to Experion.” There are universal I/O and traditional I/O options, plus power supplies and seven rack-configuration options from four-, eight- and 12 -slot I/O racks, offering around 200 total I/O.

UOC has redundant power supply options, uplink ports for fault-tolerant-Ethernet (FTE) communications and downlink ports to I/O networks. It also supports OPC UA, EtherNet/IP, Profinet and Modbus TCP protocols.

“UOC makes sense for replacing DCS-connected PLCs, DCS replacements reusing cabinets, applications where space is premium, batch processes, small I/O counts as low as 50 and up to 2,048 per controller and large discrete I/O counts,” said Peters. “It doesn’t make sense in some cases. We don’t support redundant I/O on this product family. We don’t support existing port-mapped I/O (PMIO). For any IO-Link, you need to look at the Series C family.” UOC also doesn’t make sense for IEC 61131 or any high-speed applications, he noted.

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