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ABB offers a firmware update as a service option. Asset owners can download firmware updates using ABB’s data sharing and backup service called Data Care.

ABB

  • Firmware updates are a fundamental part of managing ABB’s protection and control relay life-cycle. The updates usually provide the latest usability improvements, optimum operation and performance, and improved user experience.
  • ABB’s firmware update concept allows asset owners to update the firmware of their protection relays. ABB provides all the necessary information, enabling asset owners to decide “whether and when to implement the firmware update.”
  • The company recommends that all updates be carried out during a maintenance break or periodic testing.
  • ABB announces available firmware updates on its webpages. The updates are downloadable and are easy to recognize as there are no changes to the order of composition (REX640) code, product version, or connectivity level, and the relay configuration and parameters.
  • Asset owners can easily download the available firmware updates using Data Care (ABB’s data sharing and backup service). There is no need for user registration, as users can access the update by inputting the relay’s serial number.
  • Downloading ABB’s firmware update is free, and it does not affect the product warranty. ABB also offers a “firmware update service as an option.”
  • ABB’s firmware update package for protection and control relays includes the firmware update binary files, release note, and firmware update guidelines.

ABB Advant Master Systems

  • Firmware upgrades for ABB Advant Master Systems utilize significantly lower subscription pricing than the firmware list prices. Additionally, asset owners can purchase upgrades as an “add-on to the Automation Sentinel control system software maintenance program.”

Consumer Feedback/Forum Links

  • Users on ABB Application and Knowledge Store (AKS) often post issues regarding completing a firmware upgrade for reasons such as firmware update failed, inability to carry out the procedure, or other forms of firmware update error.
  • ABB’s forum appears to rely on peer support from AKS expert or star users. The experts are selected based on user activity on AKS.

Siemens

  • Siemens offers long-term support and regular individual upgrade packages to ensure continuity, compatibility, and the maximum quality in version management of its process control systems. As such, asset owners can achieve “cost-effective conversion of existing licenses and engineering data as well as step-by-step modernization at the various levels of their plants.”
  • An example of a Siemens firmware upgrade is the ST950 Firmware Release 46059, which was updated to issue 14 and made available in Siemens Traffic Downloads. Siemens frequently provides technical updates for asset owners and makes it easily accessible from the Siemens Traffic Downloads webpage.
  • The update package provides all the necessary information to allow users to know whether and/or when to implement the firmware update.
  • The updates come with user instructions for previous versions and new installations. The upgrade procedure for the ST950 Firmware Release 46059 was divided into prerequisites, before upgrading, performing the upgrade, and verify the upgrade. These four steps provide a complete breakdown of the requirements and resources to ensure a successful upgrade.
  • Siemens also utilizes a support center (Industry Online Support) where asset owners/users can make further inquiries and/or complaints regarding updates and procedures when in need of direct technical assistance.

Consumer Feedback/Forum Links

  • Users on Siemens Industry Online Support often post issues regarding completing the firmware upgrade or the procedure to carry out the upgrade.
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