The good news about firmware is that updates can be loaded on-site to resolve problems.
The terrible news about firmware is that updates must be loaded on-site to resolve problems!
Tuesday is Update Tuesday. We are ready to update all drive firmware to resolve compatibility problems, resolve bugs and to keep current.
- The firmware is downloaded from the vendor’s website on Monday.
- The line has to be shut down!
- How long will this take? Only 3 minutes per drive. Times 30 drives = 1 ½ hours. I know “Let’s bring in a second drive tech from Atlanta to get this down to ¾ hour”.
- Power must be maintained to the drives (so maintenance will have to wait)!
- Firmware updates begin 1 hour late because of some situation at the extruder.
- The firmware update utility provides this message “If power is lost during the firmware update this drive may never run again!” Fortunately, the lights stay on.
- Firmware updates are complete 1 hour late.
- Scheduled mechanical maintenance is performed with power locked out for 4 hours.
- Power is restored and the drives won’t start because the PLC doesn’t recognize the new drive firmware.
- Panic firmware update to the PLC
- HMI’s do not recognize the new PLC firmware.
- Problems cascade and a decision is made to revert to the old firmware.
Hours have passed. Next Tuesday is Update Tuesday!