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  • BRX Hardware Reliability Concerns

    The company I work for started using the BRX plc. We have roughly 20 BRX plc's installed across half the state. Most of them being used in water pumping applications. All of them have varying amounts & types of IO. We started with the Click plc prior to the BRX (i'll get into that later).

    Over the past few months we have been dealing with a lot of nuisance problems. And we are concerned with the continued use of the Automation Direct BRX family.

    Here is the running list of problems with the BRX:
    1. None of the analog values were changing in the PLC. Even after physically pulling the terminal block out of the card, none of the values changed. Had to power cycle the processor for the values to start changing again. This system has been running for several months without a problem. Why all of a sudden?
    2. During installation at a site, the running feedbacks on a bunch of motor starters (dry contacts) were routed to an AC input card on the BRX. Panel mounted indicator lights were also tapped off the same 120vac input in order to have panel indication of starters running. After powering everything up, the AC card smoked (literally). Swapped the card for a new one, and smoked that as well. Had to interpose the running feedback with a bunch of relays to the input card. This application had an Allen Bradley Micrologix prior to the BRX being dropped in. Why could the BRX not handle it, but the Micrologix 1200/1400 could?
    3. Another installation that has been working just fine, now all of a sudden an OTE on one rung, triggering an XIC on a 2nd rung which controls a timer, wont run the timer anymore. Checked to make sure the time wasn't duplicated anywhere else.
    4. Updated firmware/booter for one of the processor's at another installation and the analog card quit working. Had to roll back the firmware/booter
    5. Upgraded two sites to BRX PLC's. Both sites, had existing PLC's (Mircologix at one, EZautomation at the other). Back in April, a storm came through and wiped out the entire PLC at the first site. In May, another storm came through and wiped out the PLC at the 2nd site. The customer informed us that due to their location geographically (the sites), they are affected by a lot of storms. How come 8-12 years goes by, and the MicroLogix & EZautomation PLC never had to be replaced. We upgrade to BRX and both site get whacked with a month of each other?

    Jumping back to the Click PLC for a second. Prior to the BRX being released, we started using the Click PLC for some of these water pumping applications. Not ONE of the 8 that we have deployed, has failed us. With some being at the top of a mountain, strapped to a water Tower with a cell modem to measure tank level located in Southern New York and lake effect snow/temperatures.

    To sum up this post...is anyone else experiencing reliability issues with the BRX family of PLC's? Prior to adding Automation Direct to our "bag of tools", we used the "snot" out of Allen Bradley. Deploying around 50 sites across the state, in similar installations that we are now utilizing the BRX for. Not a single issue with any of those installation's either (just like the CLICK plc's). Why is the BRX causing us so many return/service/warranty calls?


  • #2
    I can't answer your questions, but figured I would mention one thing.

    I learned the hard way that Do-More DL205 PLC 120v input cards do not like getting a run input from a starter that derives it's power source from the same wiring as the output to the coil. The input cards for a DL205 at least, have a very low voltage tolerance. I didn't even make it through startup and commissioning before it failed. Made that change, and now I haven't touched anything since installation, Oct. 2015.

    And this DL205 system was installed right next door to a very similar system that is running that exact same input wiring method on a 19 year old Micrologix 1500 without issue.

    The cards for a BRX may be similar. I believe I was able to find the voltage tolerances for the input card after a quick cut sheet search on AD's site.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Cow View Post
      Do-More DL205 PLC 120v
      I have seen a lot of DL205 system's in operation. Some upgraded to the H2. Although in industrial applications vs water pumping applications like above, some of them get beat up pretty hard. The DL seams reliable, but not from first hand experience.

      A while back, we used a P3K and its been working flawlessly. That was in an oil & gas application out in the middle of a field. Seriously considering moving to a P2K platform instead of the BRX. I think the P2K has been out for a while? So maybe a bit more proven? The P1K is labeled as "new", so like the BRX, I would be worried about similar quality issues.

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      • #4
        None of the analog values were changing in the PLC. Even after physically pulling the terminal block out of the card, none of the values changed. Had to power cycle the processor for the values to start changing again. This system has been running for several months without a problem. Why all of a sudden?
        I've seen this exact issue with the TerminatorIO series running DoMore.

        Comment



        • #5
          Originally posted by dslusser View Post
          The company I work for started using the BRX plc. We have roughly 20 BRX plc's installed across half the state. Most of them being used in water pumping applications. All of them have varying amounts & types of IO. We started with the Click plc prior to the BRX (i'll get into that later).

          Over the past few months we have been dealing with a lot of nuisance problems. And we are concerned with the continued use of the Automation Direct BRX family.

          Here is the running list of problems with the BRX:
          1. None of the analog values were changing in the PLC. Even after physically pulling the terminal block out of the card, none of the values changed. Had to power cycle the processor for the values to start changing again. This system has been running for several months without a problem. Why all of a sudden?
          2. During installation at a site, the running feedbacks on a bunch of motor starters (dry contacts) were routed to an AC input card on the BRX. Panel mounted indicator lights were also tapped off the same 120vac input in order to have panel indication of starters running. After powering everything up, the AC card smoked (literally). Swapped the card for a new one, and smoked that as well. Had to interpose the running feedback with a bunch of relays to the input card. This application had an Allen Bradley Micrologix prior to the BRX being dropped in. Why could the BRX not handle it, but the Micrologix 1200/1400 could?
          3. Another installation that has been working just fine, now all of a sudden an OTE on one rung, triggering an XIC on a 2nd rung which controls a timer, wont run the timer anymore. Checked to make sure the time wasn't duplicated anywhere else.
          4. Updated firmware/booter for one of the processor's at another installation and the analog card quit working. Had to roll back the firmware/booter
          5. Upgraded two sites to BRX PLC's. Both sites, had existing PLC's (Mircologix at one, EZautomation at the other). Back in April, a storm came through and wiped out the entire PLC at the first site. In May, another storm came through and wiped out the PLC at the 2nd site. The customer informed us that due to their location geographically (the sites), they are affected by a lot of storms. How come 8-12 years goes by, and the MicroLogix & EZautomation PLC never had to be replaced. We upgrade to BRX and both site get whacked with a month of each other?

          Jumping back to the Click PLC for a second. Prior to the BRX being released, we started using the Click PLC for some of these water pumping applications. Not ONE of the 8 that we have deployed, has failed us. With some being at the top of a mountain, strapped to a water Tower with a cell modem to measure tank level located in Southern New York and lake effect snow/temperatures.

          To sum up this post...is anyone else experiencing reliability issues with the BRX family of PLC's? Prior to adding Automation Direct to our "bag of tools", we used the "snot" out of Allen Bradley. Deploying around 50 sites across the state, in similar installations that we are now utilizing the BRX for. Not a single issue with any of those installation's either (just like the CLICK plc's). Why is the BRX causing us so many return/service/warranty calls?
          We (Host) are not aware of any reliability issues with BRX and have not received any reports of excessive or abnormal field failures. We would like to work with you to find answers. Please contact Host directly at support@hosteng.com. Mention that BobO asked you to contact us, and I'd like to start a dialog to get these issues resolved.

          Comment



          • #6
            I have had the same problem with 1 analog card. I have a remote rack with BRX Controller ( bx-dmio-m), 1 16 120v input (bx-16na), 1 16 out (bx-16tr), and 1 8 analog in current module (bx-08ad-1). The input and output cards seem to work fine but the analog are doing amp gauges on a touch panel and they just froze up. Cycling power cured then it happened again. I purchased a new analog card that has been working now for about 3 weeks with no issue. Other then that i have at least 4 brx units running and am using brx as my remote stations now instead of the terminator series cause the input cards have more range in the brx (up to 240vac). I have had a bit of issue with the terminator series blowing inputs but that's like was mentioned with the starter coil also feeding the aux and going to the input card without a snubber. have since put snubbers on and issue has gone away so that was my fault not the cards. I did have an issue that i had to put some relays in to isolate inputs on a brx 16 na card because 8vac was causing the input to be on. The spec sheet says 80 vac is the on state but lower voltage from a triac output was causing the input to be on all the time. I put a 10k resister to neutral on the input and that brought it from 17vac to 8vac but the input was still always on. Measurements are from a fluke volt meter not an oscilloscope so maybe missing something that is triggering the input.

            Comment

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