Elevating efficiency by modernizing conveyor system controls

A PLC-5 to ControlLogix conversion within 48 hours helped improve control and visibility for a food manufacturer’s conveyor system.

By Automation Group April 16, 2024
Key hardware considerations include whether to do an in-kind replacement of PLC-5 with ControlLogix, or to use a CompactLogix. Courtesy: Rockwell Automation, CFE Media's New Products for Engineers Database

Conveyor system insights

  • A food manufacturer upgraded their conveyor system controls from Allen-Bradley PLC-5 to ControlLogix, integrating AVEVA InTouch HMI and EtherNet/IP for improved control and visibility within 48 hours.
  • The modernization provided enhanced performance, efficient fault detection and strengthened network communications, significantly reducing the risk of downtime for the manufacturer.

Challenges arise when hardware and software become outdated. This was the case for a leading food manufacturer who needed modernized controls for their warehouse conveyor system. The existing Allen-Bradley PLC-5 hardware was obsolete and lacked modern communication protocol. The conveyor system also lacked HMIs to monitor processes, identify problems and visualize data. Because of this, the customer sought the help of Automation Group, an E Tech Group company, to upgrade their Allen-Bradley PLC-5 to the latest Rockwell Automation ControlLogix processor, integrate AVEVA InTouch HMI stations and connect devices over an EtherNet/IP communication network.


Automation Group was challenged to migrate the PLC system within 48 hours of planned downtime. Automation Group worked closely with the customer to understand their existing system in detail and identified potential challenges that could occur before the PLC conversion. After this step was completed, Automation Group proceeded with the Allen-Bradley PLC-5 to ControlLogix migration, overseeing the installation and testing. Automation Group converted the existing PLC-5 logic to its Logix equivalent and connected the new ControlLogix processor to distributed, remote and POINT I/O racks via EtherNet/IP communication network. Then the project team configured and connected devices with AVEVA InTouch HMI to provide conveyor line operators with better visualization capabilities


This upgrade provided the food manufacturer and its operators with greater control and visibility over their conveyor system, enabling efficient fault detection, improved PLC and HMI communication, data acquisition and technical support from the manufacturer. With this migration project completed, the customer minimized their risk of downtime, enhanced conveyor performance and strengthened their network communications.

Automation Group is a CFE Media and Technology content partner.

Original content can be found at Automation Group.

Author Bio: Automation Group