Lightning strike sparks change in control system

Gulf Course

By: Lauren Robeson

The Galaway Creek Golf Course in Henderson, Nebraska, offers a relaxing place to unwind and practice one’s game, complete with a creek running throughout that can prove quite the challenge.

The golf course faced its own challenge one summer when lightning struck the property’s Remote I/O™ irrigation system. All four of the system’s satellite controllers were affected. The damage, assessed over two days, was vast: Two of the Remote I/O communication adapters; the SLC™ 500 PLC and its power supply, rack, and Remote I/O scanner module; a PanelView™; a motor starter and pressure control system in the pump control panel; control transformers in two of the Remote I/O boxes; and six output modules in the remote boxes.

Quick action was needed, of course: When you think of your ideal golf course, you’re picturing a lush, green space, not a dried-out expanse.

The golf course didn’t want to replace the whole irrigation system – both cost- and time-wise, that wasn’t a great option. A completely new system would have cost about USD 60,000, while the time for delivery and install would have been at least three weeks.

That’s where HR Engineering’s father-and-son team, Homer and Shawn Peters, stepped in to help the golf course figure out the best solution. They recommended that the golf course update the legacy Remote I/O system to an EtherNet/IP™-based Rockwell Automation® CompactLogix™ controller, a PanelView Plus and Ethernet POINT I/O™ using ProSoft Technology’s Industrial Media Converter.

HR Engineering had heard about the Industrial Media Converter from CED in Lincoln, Nebraska. The converter is a component of one of ProSoft’s Phased Migration strategies, which aim to help users update legacy Allen-Bradley® Remote I/O systems in phases so as to minimize scheduled downtime. The converters specifically allow users to switch to EtherNet/IP-based systems by enabling them to run Remote I/O and EtherNet/IP data simultaneously on existing Belden® 9463 Blue Hose® cable, allowing individual nodes to be upgraded in phases.

On the golf course, they used one master Industrial Media Converter, four slaves, and one repeater.

“Within one day of receiving the Industrial Media Converter from ProSoft, we were able to complete the installation of the new control system,” said Shawn Peters. “It was a very easy install.”

It only took five days (including a weekend) to get the new system in place, a definite improvement over a brand-new irrigation system – especially considering the sweltering summer temperatures that would have accompanied the extra work in a traditional system upgrade. That quick turnaround helped get Galaway Creek Golf Course back up and running as soon as possible and ensured that the grounds would be looking as gorgeous as ever for its devoted visitors.

For more information about ProSoft Technology’s Phased Migration Solutions, go to: