Facts Page


Here we break out a few “Interesting Facts” and some “Tricks of the Trade.”

General Automation Projects

  • Process Automation typically uses up about 2% of a greenfield budget.
  • IIoT is still not seen in initial Capex projects and is implemented after the fact. 
  • The development of a PLC program is usually the least expensive cost of a control system
  • +75% of all Industry 4.0 projects fail to realize the ROI that was projected
  • Any report can be automated to be compiled faster, be more accurate, or more consumable.
  • Control systems are frequently replaced/updated while the plant/equipment/process is operating.
  • The expected lifespan of a project is designed to be 20 years while the expected life span of automation system components:
    • Computer/software – 5 years
    • PLC – 12 years
    • HMI – 11 years
    • Communications switch – 18 years
    • Pressure Transmitters – accuracy degradation after 5 years
    • UPS Battery – 3 to 5 years
  • Allen-Bradley Support Expectancy
    • PLC-5 Support ended after 30 years
    • SLC Support ended after 25 years
    • ControlLogix has been out for 24 years

Wiring Design

  • Trip/fault indications (except for a low level) should be wired normally closed
  • Run status or position confirmation should be wired normally open
  • All inputs and outputs should be fused not only for protection but to streamline commissioning and maintenance
  • HART analog cards allow you to gather additional data from the same wire reducing costs and increasing visibility
  • Floating ground should be avoided
  • ESD circuit should be hard-wired and not rely on your PLC processor

Controls Communications

  • Two dedicated networks – one for PLC’s and one for all else.
  • A/C Cabling needs to be +8 inches away from comm cables (except fiber)
  • Ethernet cabling has a maximum length of 328 feet
  • Internet connection should be air-gapped to the control network
  • Software updates should never happen automatically to control components
  • Output control should never be done over communications.

Systems Integrators

  • Software and Hardware – Familiar with many OEM’s and Technologies
  • End devices and communications are supported in addition to the PLC, HMI, DCS, and SCADA
  • Control systems – Develops every day and therefore
    • Can spot and manage risk points
    • Tools developed to streamline development and testing
    • Familiar with industry standards
  • Onsite Support – Setup for quick or long term tasks

Thanks for taking some time to look. We’d love to hear if you have some of your own tips, tricks, or interesting facts you use or come across in your dealings with automation. Fill out the form below with your favorite and we’ll shoot you a Starbucks coffee for your trouble.