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Upgrade of Obsolete and unsupported Siemens hardware & Festo valve islands


The Client has several Siemens S5 PLCs connecting to Festo type 03 VIMP-/VIFB-03 valve islands and Siemens Sinec-L2 communication network. All are no longer supported and spares are obsolete and will therefore need to be replaced with modern technology.

The first stage of the upgrade was to provide new valve islands to the Siemens S7/400 PLC, communicated over Profibus. The controls maintained via the S5 PLC, with a serial link for commands and status to the S7/400 PLC.

Main challenges:
• Aligning the current I/O structure to the S7/400 PLC minimising any errors in the translation
• Sourcing old redundant equipment for initial testing purposes

Our Solution

Number of Control Panels to modify = 4 – off
Number of Valve Stations in total = 9 – off

For migrating all the existing Festo valve stations to NEW, the activity is as indicated below:
• Conduct a full site survey to verify the panel and work scope details
• Update the software in all PLC’s for the new stations
• Provide GAs’ (General Arrangements) and updated network drawings for the PLCs and new valve islands
• Provide an installation plan for the changeover
• Siteworks, being:
– Progressively isolate and disconnect each of the existing valve islands marking or listing all cable and pneumatic lines
– Remove the existing valve island hardware
– Move the connection from the L2 bus onto Profibus (Profibus cable installation is existing and outside the scope of our supply)
– Install and reconnect the new valve island
– Basic I/O and electrical checks
– Repeat for selected valve islands units
– Update communication links on both L2 (S5 PLC) & Profibus (S7 PLC)
– Check all communications and test the system

All PLC software modifications resulted in the retention of the existing process software for the plant.

The changes made to the PLC software eliminated the need for any update or modifications to the existing SCADA (iFix) system. This allowed for a reduced engineering and commissioning time.


  • Upgrade of obsolete machinery
  • Reduced machinery downtime
  • Improved reliability
  • Lower manual intervention

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