Beyond the Concept: Controls Retrofits and the Things to Consider


Donavan Moore, Electrical Design Department Manager at Concept Systems, and Jerry Flynn, Principal Engineer at Concept Systems, talked about all things controls retrofits on Beyond the Concept.

They had the tips and the insights for considering and the factors involved when determining if a retrofit makes sense. Moore’s work in design automation dates back to 1997, and he has a lot of experience doing retrofits. Flynn’s experience in controls spans the course of 25 years.

Why are companies interested in retrofits, and how do they make the proper evaluation on when it’s time to consider a retrofit?

“One big reason to do retrofits is obsolescence,” Flynn said. “If your parts are reaching a point of obsolescence, then obviously you want to look at upgrading, because you can no longer repair them. Another reason would be you see excessive downtime on your machine. The best way to get a handle on that is to upgrade the machine and figure out where the problems are and what you can do to correct them.”

When weighing the factors on deciding to retrofit, Moore said it comes down to how much downtime a machine is experiencing.

“Is there a threat that, if this particular part that goes out you can’t get anymore, there will be unexpected downtime? Then what do you do? Are you going out looking for used parts on the internet? Or is it time to do some sort of forced retrofit [instead of an] unexpected retrofit, which could really cause a lot of downtimes if you have to redesign things?”

Pre-planning a retrofit will help minimize that downtime.

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