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Gould Modicon PLC
We are using Modicon PLC in water treatment plant. The processor model is 984 and system is in service since 1989. The programming unit which was supplied along with the PLC is not working and also the software back up not available. We want backup of running software and access to the system with new programming unit or through P.C with interface, without replacing the PLC to the new version
By Hafeezullah K. Khan (MNT-J) on 3 March, 2000 - 3:45 pm

Dear all,

We are using Modicon PLC in water treatment plant. The processor model is 984 and system is in service since 1989. The programming unit which was supplied along with the PLC is not working and also the software back up not available.

We contact modicon for providing alternate programming unit and access to software in case required for any modification. They have only one solution " replaced the PLC with new version and rewrite all the software " which looks ridiculous as it will cost a lot and especially when the system is running perfectly.

We are interested to have backup of running software and access to the system with new programming unit or through P.C with interface.

Does anybody using similar system who can help us and provide us the detail how they are doing with old system.

We will appreciate your interest in this problem.

Thanks and Best Regards,

Hafeez Ullah Khan
Tel: 00966 3 3406508
Fax:00966 3 3406577
Email: hkkhan@safco.net

By Anthony Kerstens on 6 March, 2000 - 11:36 am

You're right. It is ridiculous. If it's a 984, then Modsoft should be able to download the program from the processor. The programmer you have should be able to put the descriptors onto a disk and Modsoft can handle the descriptors from there. I suggest going back to your supplier and ask if they know what they're talking about. There is no need to replace the PLC just because your programmer is malfunctioning.

Anthony Kerstens P.Eng.

By R A Peterson on 6 March, 2000 - 1:16 pm

You can buy software that will allow you to upload the program from the existing PLC. The best package for this purpose is the proworx package sold by modicon. its basically obsolete but is a solid package that i have had a lot of good experiences with.

the only downside is that if you stored any descriptors on the P190 (old programming panel) tape, you won't get them and will have to type them in again.

> We are using Modicon PLC in water treatment plant. The processor model is
> 984 and system is in service since 1989. The programming unit which was
> supplied along with the PLC is not working and also the software back up not
> available.
>
Do you recall which programmer terminal you have? There were the P-190 and the P-230. The 190 required a "loader tape" that was often a source of headaches. The 230 is a basic industrial IBM-AT that used Modsoft to interface to the PLC.


> We contact modicon for providing alternate programming unit and access to
> software in case required for any modification. They have only one solution
> " replaced the PLC with new version and rewrite all the software " which
> looks ridiculous as it will cost a lot and especially when the system is
> running perfectly.

Sounds like you contacted a sales office instead of a support center. Of course they want to sell you more equipment. That is what they are in business for. The problem Modicon has faced for some time is that their PLC's are just that darned reliable - they just keep going and going.


> We are interested to have backup of running software and access to the
> system with new programming unit or through P.C with interface.

Any PC type computer running DOS can run Modsoft. With Modsoft, you can upload, download, and program the PLC. The only OS Modsoft has any troubles with is Windows NT, but even that is not a major difficulty to overcome.


> Does anybody using similar system who can help us and provide us the detail
> how they are doing with old system.

I work in a General Motors Plant (Plant support Engineer) that has mostly Modicon PLC's. We have 484, 584, 884, 984 and Quantum PLC's (all Modicon models).

> We will appreciate your interest in this problem.

Just trying to help!

Ron Gage - Saginaw, MI
(rongage@att.net)

Ron.. if you can contact with people of General Motors Ramos Arizpe Coahuila Mexico They have old PLC Modicon and probably help you..

By Brian Peck on 7 March, 2000 - 10:25 am

Hafeezzullah,

We are also using Modicon 984 series PLCs that were installed in 1992 in a number of Hydro-Electric plants. The particular CPU that we are using is the 984-685E. This system is still growing, in fact we purchase additional Input modules just last year. We have always programmed these PLCs with the Modsoft programming tool using a PC. Is there some issue where your "programmer" will allow you to set a program in the PLC that cannot be downloaded with Modsoft?

I would call or email the Modicon Technical Support group again, and perhaps call your local distributor. If the answer that you have received
came from a local distributor, I would call a different distributor.

Brian Peck
Engineer
Northeast Utilities

By laura bersini on 7 June, 2001 - 12:04 pm

Hi,
I'm very interested in application of automation to hydroelectric power plant with Modicon product.
Can you give more information about this application or other similar?
Thanks

Best regards,
Laura Bersini

By Steve McAlpin on 7 March, 2000 - 4:51 pm

Hi,
We use Modicon PLC's and a variety of 984 models. We currently use Taylor software (ProWorxPlus)for communication's and programming of these plc's.
You can get information on the software which run's on a pc by contacting Modicon at http://www.modicon.com/ they bought Taylor's ProWorX software package.

Steven Dale McAlpin

By Letourneau, Todd (IndSys, GEFanuc, TCP) on 8 March, 2000 - 6:22 pm

Ask Modicon for their ProWORX software. It will support your 984 without having to re-write your program.

Todd Letourneau
Total Control Products Canada, Inc.
(formerly Taylor Industrial Software)

By Rich Weekly on 9 March, 2000 - 5:31 pm

You should not have to replace the PLC, any new version of 984 Ladder logic software will retrieve the Program ( NxT, Modsoft, Proworx Plus etc.....)
Give me a call or e-mail if you need help.

By Green, Jonathan on 10 March, 2000 - 12:21 pm

Do you mean thar Modicon does not supply Modsoft any more? We use Modicon compact 984 controllers and use Modsoft along with a lap top to program
them. The compact 984 has two ports, a serial and a Modbus + port. You can interface from the laptop serial port or use their modbus + adapter.

By R A Peterson on 14 March, 2000 - 9:30 am

Its no longer a product they want to sell. If you call and ask about it they point you toward concept. Personally, I'd be more likely to point people toward Proworx Nxt also sold by Modicon. I am currently engaged in using the concept product and am convinced it was designed almost entirely to force users to pay to take a class on how to use it. Its menu structure is completely non-intuitive and littered with terms that are never defined. The online help is nearly useless, containing lots of verbage but little information. I have never used the NXT product but loved the proworx plus product. Both were Taylor Industrial Software products. They were bought by TCP, who was then bought by GE Fanuc. GE then sold off Proworx plus and NXT to Modicon.

By Anthony Kerstens on 15 March, 2000 - 4:52 pm

I love Modicon as a PLC. I prefer the hardware to anything AB has. However, if Modicon doesn't get it's act together they are going to seriously
alienate me as a customer. Proworx plus is superior to Modsoft, but NXT was nothing more than a port from DOS to Windows, and not a very
good one at that. Group S. better look at RSLogix 5/500/5000 to see what the competition is up to.

If Modicon doesn't do something right about the software, Modicon fans are going to loose out.

Anthony Kerstens P.Eng.

By R A Peterson on 17 March, 2000 - 2:24 pm

The sad part is that RSLogix is a poor replacement for the AI software. It sure seems like PLC programming software has not improved a wholelot with the transition to the windows environment, almost like its gone backwards.

By Leon McClatchey on 21 March, 2000 - 11:54 am

On 3/14/00, 8:20:17 AM, Anthony Kerstens
<AnthonyK@AGSIMPSON.COM> wrote

> I love Modicon as a PLC. I prefer the hardware to anything AB has.
> However, if Modicon doesn't get it's act together they are going to
> seriously alienate me as a customer. Proworx plus is superior to Modsoft, but
> NXT was nothing more than a port from DOS to Windows, and not a very
> good one at that. Group S. better look at RSLogix 5/500/5000 to see what the
> competition is up to.
> If Modicon doesn't do something right about the software, Modicon fans
> are going to loose out.

I don't know about all of that, We've got both NXT and RSLogix, and I've found NXT to be quite a bit easier to use than RSLogix. We upgraded from DMC to NXT when we went to a Win95 platform. (DMC was a lot easier to use and in a lot of ways a lot more powerful than the Modicon software that we looked at). RSLogix reminds me in a lot of ways of OS/2 with the tab set up and all of that, but as far as getting into the logic and what you can do online, by configuring the
views in NXT, you csn show a lot more information on each screen:-)

Perhaps the port from dos to windows is what makes NXT more intuitive as far as use goes:-) The only problem that we ran into as far as NXT
goes is that we could not convert our old mnemonics from the DMC software to the new style used in Taylor. The funniest thing about that is that Taylor does have a text import format, but it doesn't match the text export utilized by DMC.

As far as that goes, often times, I've found that the software available for a given PLC pretty well matches the capabilities of that PLC. Along those lines, Modicon does offer a much more powerful package:=3D) And Taylor does pretty much enhance that factor. Granted, on some of the cards, there is not much help available, (mainly because some of those cards were not available when Taylor (at least our version) was released. And I have also found some of the card
help to differ from the hardcopy distributed by Modicon.

Alan Bradley does have it's strengths, especially if you like to use various forms of seqencers, but if you want Dynamics, than Modicon is the way to go, and it sure does help when you can pull up a register editor on a pid2 block and fill in all the registers at one time:-)

> > From: PETERSONRA@aol.com
> >
> > .... Its menu structure is completely non-intuitive and littered
> >with terms that are never defined. The
> > online help is nearly useless, containing lots of verbage but
> > little information. I have never used the NXT product but loved the proworx plus
> > product. both were Taylor Industrial Software products. They were bought
> > by TCP, who was then bought by GE Fanuc. GE then sold off Proworx plus and
> > NXT to Modicon.

I do have to disagree about the statement here about the help as in Taylor, it has been a rare occasion when I couldn't find the answers about a given block. The only time that I failed to find help was on certain cards which were not available when our version was released.

BTW, have you checked out the software for GE? Talk about a dinosaur! And I thought the Symax Software was outdated!

cya l8r
Leon McClatchey
mailto:leonmcclatchey@homemail.com
Linux User 78912 (SuSe62 Box)

By David Wylde on 3 April, 2000 - 1:55 pm

Have you looked at Concept Version 2.2?

It's good stuff.

DJW

By Anthony Kerstens on 21 March, 2000 - 5:55 pm

If we're going to gripe, why not cobble together a deficiencies list?

I got used to a lot of hotkeys and functions in Proworx Plus that I found absent in NxT. Also, why is it that RSLogix can display a rung with full descriptors, but NxT has difficulties doing so. Perhaps allowing the user to pick whatever font he wants for logic display
will help?!?

If there's anyone lurking around from Rockwell and Schneider software dev. please respond. We are your user base!!

Anthony Kerstens P.Eng.

By Rich Weekly on 23 March, 2000 - 3:38 pm

FYI, Anthony. All the Proworx Plus hotkeys are available in NxT. You need to set it up under properties.

By Leon McClatchey on 24 March, 2000 - 3:43 pm

Actually, if you enable the document window, and you've set up your descriptors sufficiently, you can get sufficient information by clicking on the item in the network. You can also set up your view to display more information as well. But, I do agree with you on the fact that RSLogix is able to display more on the rung. But then, the
modicon software is setup to do networks rather than rungs, and so perhaps that is the reason, At least as far as I've seen in DMC, Modicon, and NXT, the network is set up along the lines of a grid, and in this grid, there is no real room for ascii? But at least with Modicon, you can get all the data points for a particular network on
one page and so the logic is a lot easier to follow:-)

cya l8r
Leon McClatchey
mailto:leonmcclatchey@homemail.com
Linux User 78912 (SuSe62 Box)

By Joseph Luft, FasTrak SoftWorks, Inc. on 12 October, 2000 - 5:06 pm

FasTrak SoftWorks also offers a PLC programming solution for Modicon PLCs which supports all of the Modicon PLCs from the 584, 984ABX, 984-x8x, Quantums and Momentums. We released a new 32 Bit Windows product (PLC WorkShop for Modicon - 32 Bit) in June 2000 as a foundation for supporting Modicon processors for years to come. This replaces our 16 Bit Windows and our DOS-based (former Gray-Soft) products.

A demo can be downloaded from www.fast-soft.com.

We do even have a Modicon 884 programming product still supported and available.

Thanks. Joe
414-358-8088
info@fast-soft.com

By chris ballard on 18 March, 2005 - 11:21 pm

If you can get a copy of the old modsoft software you can load it onto a pc which is running on Windows 95\98 and it will run with no problems. As long as the 984 has not been left without power for a long period you can transfer the program to another programmer. However you will not have any symbol descriptors. If your old programmer is a P230 then you could try removing the hard drive and plug it into another machine.

Hope this helps. I have worked with 984's and modsoft software for approx 8 years. I am by no means an expert but if i can help please email again.

Regards

Chris Ballard
billyballard1@aol.com