How can we help?
We've put together a list of the most frequently asked questions about our low risk, low downtime GEM80 upgrades. If there's anything we can help ypu with, don't hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team.
Why should I upgrade my GEM80 PLC?
The GEM80 range was introduced by GEC Industrial Controls in 1979, and released various versions and upgrades until March 2017 when GE Power Conversion closed the GEM80 facility in Kidsgrove. The PLC equipment is now obsolete, with reducing availability of spares and support.
Why should I take a phased approach to upgrading a GEM80 PLC?
GEM80 PLC sits in a wide variety of industrial sites, especially those 24/7 high volume production sites such as power plants, food and beverage, metals processing and chemical manufacturers. These are sites where downtime must be kept to a minimum and there must be minimal risk in the upgrade. Transicon’s phased approach can minimise downtime and risk, whilst bringing you fully up to date with modern controls equipment.
What are the risks involved in a phased approach to upgrading a GEM80 PLC?
Very little if you use Transicon’s . Our phased approach minimises the risk and downtime to our customers: Pre-Site - MIGRATION A GEM80 Code converter has specifically been developed to automatically convert GEM80 programs including the data and rung comments, along with an extensive library of proven GEM80 special functions already developed and in service for both Rockwell PLC and Siemens PLC ranges. We also have the in-house expertise to completely reprogram the PLC code if required. We run extensive tests and validation of software in house to check system functionality before attending your site. Site Phase 1 - TRANSICON SCANNER CARD The scanner card connects the GEM80 Basic IO modules to a new PLC via Ethernet. This enables the verification of the converted system code using the original plant IO. At a future date the GEM80 IO would then be replaced (Phase 2). Should a problem arise then it would be a simple matter to reconnect the IO to the original GEM80 Controller. Site Phase 2 - GEM80 IO INTERFACE Our interface cards enable us to reuse the existing GEM80 wiring/connectors when replacing GEM80 IO. New I/O Modules are prewired to the Interface cards which are housed in an Interface subrack mounted on a predrilled baseplate. The assembly is fully tested during factory test, reducing any potential wiring errors on site. The assembly is designed to quickly replace a GEM80 IO subrack with little or no wiring carried out onsite. This approach significantly de-risks project installation and time on site.
How do I make system improvements with a phased upgrade approach?
Once we’ve converted and upgraded your GEM80 PLC to a modern equivalent, such as Siemens PLC or Allan Bradley / Rockwell PLC, our team of control system engineers can implement desired system improvements to maximise the capability of modern PLC equipment. These improvements can be delivered within planned maintenance windows to minimise plant downtime.
How long will my GEM80 PLC upgrade take?
We ensure that the whole process line remains operational with minimal changes during a GEM80 upgrade. Typically, we can deliver the GEM80 PLC Upgrade (Phase 1) on 1-2 days onsite, with the I/O changes (Phase 2) taking place during maintenance periods.
What PLC options are available?
A GEM80 Code converter has specifically been developed to automatically convert GEM80 programs including the data and rung comments, along with an extensive library of proven GEM80 special functions already developed and in service for both Rockwell PLC and Siemens PLC ranges. We also have the in-house expertise to completely reprogram the PLC code if required.
How can I find out more about GEM80 PLC Upgrades?
Talk to our in-house experts, we’ll be happy to assist, contact details below. You’re more than welcome to visit us here in Telford, Shropshire, UK, or we can come to you to demonstrate our low risk, low downtime upgrade options. We’ve delivered many low risk, low downtime solutions and would be pleased to talk about any questions you may have.
Can you still buy GEM80 PLC Controllers?
No, since the closure to the GEM80 factory in Kidsgrove the GEM80 is now obsolete. Transicon has successfully migrated many GEM80 systems with modern replacements such as Siemens or Rockwell.
How do I communicate to GEM80 systems during GEM80 upgrade?
Transicon has a tried and tested method for maintaining communication links with GEM80 systems, GEMSTART (CCU) units, STARNET, GEMLAN-T, and other third-party devices.
How do I upgrade a GEM80 with IMAGEM graphics?
Transicon have successfully upgraded many GEM80 PLCs with IMAGEM graphics. We have an experienced team which understands the complexities of these system. Transicon have a Test bench GEM80 with IMAGEM which we can use when developing a SCADA replacement solution. Transicon has an indepth knowledge of iFIX, WINCC, Factory Talk View etc.
What communication protocols can a GEM80 support?
The GEM80 is now an obsolete product, the main protocol was called ESP which all GEM80s supported. Later GEM80 systems also had a GEMLAN-T option module which gave the GEM80 Ethernet communications. A GEMLAN-T supports ESP over Ethernet along with Modbus/TCP.
What benefits does Transicon's phased low-risk approach offer during GEM80 PLC upgrades?
Our phased approach minimizes cost, downtime, and risk, ensuring a smooth transition to modern control equivalents for GEM80 systems.
Who can offer training for GEM80 PLCs?
Transicon provides a range of services, including maintenance days, annual spares audits, test and repair, full obsolescence management, and training for GEM80 PLCs.
Who can support GEM80 PLC obsolescence concerns?
Transicon can assist in planning for the future by maintaining current systems, helping with spares acquisition, and supporting upgrades to modern equivalents. Our experts offer full obsolescence management solutions. We have a dedicated support Team focused on maintaining your site health.
Who is experienced with GEM80 PLC systems?
Transicon has an in-house team which includes senior members of the original GEM80 development and support engineering team, providing decades of experience in hardware design, testing, and repair, which is unparalleled.
What is the GEM80 Scanner module, and how does it aid in upgrades?
The Transicon GEM80 Scanner module, part of our upgrade Phase 1, connects GEM80 Basic IO modules to a new PLC via Ethernet. It verifies the converted system code using the original plant IO before future replacement.
How do I upgrade a GEM80 System?
Transicon has upgraded many GEM80 systems with our experience and knowledgeable Engineers. From industries such as Metals, Water, Food, Mining, Automotive, Power, etc.