Managing automation upgrades, retrofits

Upgrades can be tricky, especially in automation systems. They come in many varieties, each with unique challenges. Sorting through a plethora of technical and operational issues while keeping budgets and schedules under control is a tough course to navigate, but great outcomes are more than possible. When pursuing an upgrade, consider these guidelines. Form and function Not all upgrades are created equal. Some can be done with simple swaps with little to no impact on operations. Others fundamentally alter the composition and behavior of the system, requiring extensive installation, training, and monitoring to complete. Usually, upgrades entail some change to the physical or logical structure of the system. New application functionality is often thrown in the mix. First, consider the different aspects of an automation upgrade before exploring the best approach for managing each. The most common type of migration is minor version/model upgrades to the hardware or software components in


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