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APQ Engineering, Inc.

211 Aspen Avenue

Menahga, MN 56464

(218) 564-7832


Control Upgrades

Many plants are operating with old control technology. Their original control systems have usually been in place for 20+ years—and they’ve worked great, but now they’re obsolete.

We provide new PLCs to replace outdated ones. New programming software provides more functions, rapid conversion of code, and increased productivity. Existing code can be converted either automatically or manually.

Control system upgrades can be a simple replacement or a complete control system including electrical panels, PLC, and SCADA systems.

pie charts rising off of tablet screen
Our Clients Describe the Following Problems with Their Obsolete Technology
  • Increased costs to maintain
  • Loss of support for old hardware and software
  • Risk of production loss; if a component fails, it takes a long time to get a replacement or find people who know how to configure it
  • Inability to improve the system. Programming is difficult, so changes are avoided. The old system does not have capabilities for data handling that can improve production.
  • Potentially limited system speed due to control system capabilities
New software and hardware will have new capability to do things the old system could not.
  • Collect performance data for continuous improvement
  • Integrate with databases to get information for rapid setup and product changes
  • Integrate with upstream or downstream equipment
  • Likely uncover and address existing problems that have been slowing production
  • Increase machine speeds

APQ will follow a process (below) to design and implement a new system.

Our Goals Include
  • Minimizing risk by planning and testing
  • Minimizing downtime by designing for fast installation
  • Providing a fully documented system for ease of maintenance
  • Providing current hardware that will be supported far into the future
Our PLC Upgrades Process
  1. Survey existing system
    • IO count
    • Networks
    • Enclosures needed
  2. Evaluate options for new control platform
  3. Propose a control platform that will be the best fit for functionality and maintenance
  4. Identify opportunities for improvements in functionality. Common opportunities include:
    • Data collection
    • Database for line setup
    • Integration with upstream or downstream processes
    • Increased speed
  5. Generate detailed quote
  6. Project approval
  7. Control panel design. We consider the following options to minimize downtime for installation:
    • Replace enclosures
    • Replace subpanels
    • Replace components on existing subpanels
  8. Programming
  9. Panel construction
  10. Simulation and testing
  11. Factory Acceptance Testing (testing with the customer before the program leaves APQ)
  12. Commissioning
Examples of Conversions
  • PLC5 to ControlLogix for a whey dryer
  • Siemens to ControlLogix for a new machine from Germany
  • Modicon to Omron for a refrigeration compressor room
  • Six Modicon controllers converted to a single Allen-Bradley for a cheese plant
  • Packaging machine retrofit with new control panels and servo motors
  • Retrofit metal fabrication equipment replacing mechanical cams with servo controls
  • Convert Labview HMI to Ignition SCADA and MES platform for consumer packaged product.
  • Convert Citect to Ignition SCADA and integrate lab information system for food plant.

A new control system has the added benefit of available support if a problem comes up or changes are needed. We often install remote access tools so that questions can be answered and small changes made in real time.

Immediate Service Area

Travel time and expense will not be billed for our immediate service areas.

We use a reduced rate for travel time and we don’t markup travel expenses for job sites that are farther away.


  • Detroit Lakes
  • Menahga
  • Park Rapids
  • Perham
  • Wadena
  • Walker


  • Becker county
  • Hubbard county
  • Wadena county

Ready to Start or Need More Information?