Legacy Migration - Not All About Reducing Risk

With almost 40 years of experience helping companies build and automate everything from bread lines to bridges, we KNOW that trying to determine whether to repair or replace a legacy system can be a frustrating decision. Systems Interface is here to help make it as painless as possible. 


Manufacturers are concerned about the risk aspects of legacy control systems. Not just the higher costs of a less reliable supply of replacement components but also the increasing scarcity of knowledgeable resources capable of maintaining the legacy assets. A more recent major risk is that legacy systems can pose a cybersecurity vulnerability.

The upside of mitigating the obsolescence risk is a resulting modern ethernet-connected control system platform that enables investment in process optimization and digital transformation. The modern platform enables the use of ethernet and IO-Link smart sensor technology for smart machine/process performance and reliability improvements. Modern control system platforms can also participate in a secure centrally-managed infrastructure.

The Approach

  • Identify obsolescence and perform life cycle analysis of systems/components
  • Develop forward-looking automation strategy and objectives
  • Define future architecture requirements/specifications
  • Plan leverage of legacy migration methods and tools
  • Develop a turnkey project proposal
  • Develop timeline for plant specific operational schedule
  • Incorporate menu of services
    • New panel build or existing panel retrofit
    • Mechanical and electrical installation
    • Migration and system/software commissioning
    • SCCR upgrades as needed
    • Arc Flash update as needed

Why Trust Your Legacy Migration to Systems Interface?

With a quarter or more of our business being legacy migrations, we have extensive knowledge and experience with most vendor migration methods and tools. We have migrated Allen-Bradley, Siemens, TI, Modicon, and other major systems. 

Our team has experience migrating systems from small 100 I/O standalone systems to large distributed 2500+ I/O systems to ControlLogix®. Through our project experience deploying systems and migration solutions, we can help you develop a migration strategy that considers both production risk and budget. We are confident that through our extensive project experience, we can provide you with a cost-effective and risk-reduced path. If you’re not ready to fully dive in, we can also develop a phased approach plan to meet your needs and help get you prepared.

Tools and Resources

An Example

Systems Interface has been working with many of our clients to upgrade their machinery and control systems. The two pictures below are from a recent conversion from a PLC-5 to a CompactLogix® PLC.

Before: AB PLC 5 System

The picture on the left is a legacy Allen-Bradley PLC 5 Control System shown prior to the conversion. The picture on the right is the same panel after Systems Interface upgraded it to a Rockwell Automation CompactLogix® PLC System.

On PLC Migration projects of this nature, Systems Interface will work with you to upgrade the original schematics, convert the ladder logic to the new platform and fully test the control system once installed.

The amount of downtime required can vary, and we can schedule the migration to have minimal impact on your plant. We can arrange for after-hours, weekend, or scheduled maintenance downtime as well.

Systems Interface engineers are familiar with Allen-Bradley, Siemens, Texas Instruments, GE, Toshiba, and other manufacturers.

After: AB CompactLogix® System