Like all Gruber Autocaster continuous casting machines still in use, the Autocaster RC is subject to a lot of use, wear and abuse. Inevitably, with age, certain parts of the machine may wear or become unreliable or technically obsolete. To keep your Autocaster RC running reliably without potential disruption to your business, we recommend that you proactively replace certain components of your machine before they cause a possible disruption.
1. Operator Panel Display Screen and Button Options
2. PLC Replacement
Note: Autocaster RC casting system shown at right. Machine is no longer a current model.
Operator Panel Display Screen and Button Replacements
Shown at left: Complete Replacement Panel, Order No. 166346
Four different replacement options are provided to suit your preferences. Replace only buttons, display screens, or the entire panel.
Display replacement benefits:
- Modern screen currently in production and supported by the manufacturer.
- Brighter, easier to read display and larger screen area
- Full color display and updated graphics
- Improved navigation
- Fits within the same cutout of the front operator panel for easy, simple “plug-and-play” replacement.
- Backward compatibility with existing software. Same screen options and information.
Variety of Replacement and Upgrade Options:
Buttons and other parts of the panel may become so contaminated with matrix that they are no longer usable, readable or functional, so in addition to replacement display options, we offer a variety of kit configurations to suit your needs:
Replacement RC Screen with Mounting Kit – To replace your current display with the new model (KTP700), order this part number. Includes the required mounting plate adaptor kit. Order No. 166344
Replacement RC Button Kit – Save money with this DIY kit by replacing all your buttons yourself. Includes all buttons and protective button covers shown on the panel above (excludes the Totalizer display). Order No. 166345
Complete Replacement of Front Panel, Assembled - For ease of replacement, we offer a complete replacement panel including a new Display Screen, Replacement Buttons and Button Covers, new Faceplate cut to the new display size (no adaptor required) with Graphic Overlay as shown above (note – this kit excludes the Totalizer display to the right of the main display). Order No. 166346
Replacement Autocaster RC Display Screen, Programmed – New KTP700 display technology ensures that this display screen provides many years of OEM manufacturer support, and if you ever require a replacement in the future, you can order this same display. Order No. 166343
Autocaster RC PLC Replacement
Shown at left: Original PLC (left), and new PLC (right).
As the Autocaster RC ages, a capacitor in the PLC tends to fail. Once that capacitor fails, the PLC is vulnerable to any disruption in power to the unit. When the system power is on, the PLC is powered by the system power. When the Autocaster system is turned off, the PLC uses the backup battery for its power source. In the event that that battery loses its charge, and the system is turned off, the PLC no longer has a power source, and will fail. When that PLC fails, it loses all its programming, including the PLC software, any settings modifications, and all stored recipes. Ordinarily, the capacitor in that unit will protect it from this loss of data, but that initial failure of the capacitor in turn puts the PLC at risk with no protection in the event of a power disruption of even a few seconds. To avoid this problem, make sure the battery is good and replaced regularly (with power on).
If disaster strikes, then your choices are very limited, and you will have a multi-day disruption to your business!
In the event of a loss of PLC programming due to power failure, you will either need to completely reprogram your PLC, which requires the correct Siemens software and downloaded software to upload to the old PLC, or you will need to send the old PLC to Gruber for possible repair, or purchase a new modern replacement PLC. Generally, shipping it to Gruber Systems is the only practical solution. Once the program is downloaded, the unit is returned to you, where all settings and recipes will need to be re-entered and calibration will be needed.
Avoid a potential "multi-day down" disaster because of old PLC CPU failure!
Replace your old unit with a new modern PLC CPU before the old one dies.Proactively replacing the old PLC before a failure with a modern, currently supported PLC eliminates this type of scenario that would result in your Autocaster RC being out of commission for potentially several days, thus putting your company’s production schedule at risk.
PLC Replacement Options
We highly recommend replacing your old PLC with a new, modern and supported PLC to eliminate this type of scenario. Call Gruber to schedule shipment of your old (but still functioning) PLC (where the current program is intact), and we can transfer all of your programming to the new PLC without loss of settings (or recipes) – usually generally turn it around within a day if it is scheduled. Or, purchase a new but unprogrammed unit if you prefer to do the software programming and recipe input yourself and keep your RC running during this time.
If your old PLC suffered a loss of power and it has lost its’ programming, then all recipes, parameters and other software settings are gone! Best case, your machine will be down for minimum of two days while a new PLC CPU is rushed out to you, and then you will have to re-verify your recipes and all software parameters. All this results in a costly disruption to your business production of at least two full days, plus the time it takes you to manually re-enter all its settings and recipes after installation. Note: Always document your settings beforehand!
Instructions for replacing the original CPU314 PLC with a new replacement PLC:
The PLC Replacement includes PLC CPU-313C Module S7-300 (replacement for 314IFM), Central Processing Unit, 24VDC, 1 Serial Ports, RS-485 MPI. Includes a Memory Card and all new Programming. Note: Some rewiring will be required. Order No. 165640R