A large transport ship equipped for many years with a Modicon PLC for controlling the HVAC system had to have their programming computer and software updated from Modsoft to a more modern program. This update was made necessary by the age of the computer and the operating system. Fearing immanent failure of this old computer, the client had us perform this upgrade a year or so ago.


All has been working well since the update, however the new computer failed. Luckily the data had all been backed up on an external hard drive. The client contacted us and asked if Delta could reload the PLC programming software onto a replacement computer. At that time the ship was on the West Coast. The external hard drive was sent in and arrived at Delta within just a few days. The client had ordered a replacement computer to be sent to Delta as well.

Several weeks passed by awaiting this computer. The client had mentioned that there was no rush as the ship was moving to the East Coast. Unexpectedly, the replacement computer arrived late on a Friday. I set out to get started on this project. As with any software recovery, there were issues. I found that performing a complete reinstall of the programming software was the path of least resistance. The software was reloaded, then the drivers were loaded and setup. The communications link between the PLC and the programming package was also thoroughly checked. The clients’ program was moved from the external drive. All that remained was to reconfigure the user parameters of the programming software to the same settings that the client was familiar with. By this time the day was ending and I decided to continue with this on the following Monday. However, during the next day, Saturday, I felt compelled to complete this project. I went to the office and within a few short hours had completed the reconfiguration process, tested the system and packed it all up, ready to ship out on Monday.

Carib Map

On Monday morning I received an urgent call from the client. The ship had to be rerouted to Haiti on Tuesday for assistance in the earthquake relief effort. The client inquired if Delta could get the unit completed and onto the ship by the next morning. I happily informed them that the unit had been completed over the weekend and could be delivered that very day. The client was ecstatic! The reloaded and tested unit was delivered to the port authority and moved onto the ship with plenty of time to spare. Early the next day the ship headed off to Haiti with its holds full of relief supplies.