I ran across a software with a new look from Rockwell this past week.

If you have worked with Rockwell products, you are well aware that flashing module firmware is a necessity for new systems as well as upgrading and keeping systems current with the latest support and latest features.

Since I have always used ControlFlash, I thought I would download ControlFlash Plus and give it a try.

Features listed in the Release Notes for 3.01.00:

  • View copyright information of local firmware revisions
  • Export firmware revisions’ inventory in a CSV file
  • Delete multiple firmware revisions in a single operation
  • Flash parent an children devices concurrently, but a few exceptions also exist
  • Flash devices on Ethernet linear topologies concurrently, but a few exceptions also exist

As far as features go, the ability to flash multiple modules concurrently is certainly an improvement as you can get multiple firmware upgrades started and walk away instead of having to stay with it and restart the process after every module.

Another thing that should be beneficial is the inventory firmware revisions export to CSV. This will be a great tool to quickly capture the firmware of the devices on your control system networks.

Also, note that if you have any non-CIP devices that are in need of updated firmware, you will have to use the ControlFlash tool to update firmware. But while ControlFlash Plus only works for CIP devices, both versions of the software can be installed on your system.


Using ControlFlash Plus with Factory Talk Linx:

One of the first things you will notice is browsing to your Rockwell module to flash will bring up Factory Talk Linx instead of RSLinx. It is still basically the same as with RSLinx, simply browse to your module, but follow the arrows instead of the (+) signs.

Image by: Brandon Cooper

When you select the module that you would like to update the firmware of, this screenshot shows the current firmware in the device and lets you select the firmware that you wish to update to.

Image by: Brandon Cooper

The “Status” column shows the “transmitting update” similar-to the older ControlFlash software did.

Image by: Brandon Cooper

 

Status “Flash Finished”!

Image by: Brandon Cooper

Link to ControlFlash Plus Quick Start Guide:

Conclusion

If you have ever used ControlFlash to update module firmware, you will not need a manual to get started with ControlFlash Plus.

The software is completely intuitive, so you will just click your way right through and be flashing modules in a few minutes.

Again, one of the greatest benefits of this software is the concurrent flashing of many devices. If you are deploying a large system, this feature will be a huge time-saver for your project.

Written by Brandon Cooper
Senior Controls Engineer and Freelance Writer

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Brandon Cooper
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