Keep Your Systems Up and Running

Allen-Bradley’s decision to make their 1761-NET-ENI and 1761-NET-AIC obsolete has put a lot of network engineers in a tight spot. The decision to upgrade your communications network or replace your equipment comes with a long list of headaches and costs, especially if this one inconvenience forces you to upgrade or replace your entire system.

There is another solution…two, actually (RTA’s 515RTAENI and 515RTAAIC).

Replacing Allen-Bradley’s 1761-NET units rather than upgrading your device or system offers several benefits that may not be obvious on initial consideration but may be a key component to postponing that upgrade or replacement until you can put a long-term plan in place to address those headaches and costs…when you decide it’s time.

Consider enhanced functionality. Newer models of communication interfaces often come with advanced features. For instance, a replacement model might support higher data transfer rates, have increased memory capacity, or offer improved diagnostic capabilities. These enhancements can lead to better performance and increased efficiency.

In terms of compatibility with modern systems, let’s say you have a newer PLC that supports the latest communication protocols, but your 1761 unit is not compatible with those protocols. Upgrading the device alone might not resolve the compatibility issue, as the older communication interface may still pose limitations. In this case, replacing your 1761 with a newer model that supports the required protocols ensures seamless integration with the modern system.

There’s also the extended lifespan benefit. If your 1761-NET-ENI or 1761-NET-AIC has been in use for a long time (at least five years), it might be nearing its end-of-life. Finding replacement parts for repairs could become increasingly challenging, leading to longer downtime in case of failures. By replacing the 1761-NET-ENI, you can ensure the availability of spare parts and manufacturer support for an extended period, minimizing the risk of unexpected failures and reducing downtime.

Improved security is crucial in today’s interconnected world. Older communication interfaces tend to lack the support for modern security features, such as strong encryption or robust authentication mechanisms. By replacing the 1761 unit, you can benefit from the latest security advancements. For example, a newer model might have built-in security features like secure communication protocols, role-based access control or support for network segmentation, providing better protection against potential vulnerabilities and unauthorized access attempts.

Let’s consider an upgrade scenario where you need to retrofit the existing system to make it compatible with the newer communication protocols supported by an upgraded 1761-NET-ENI or 1761-NET-AIC. As mentioned already, retrofitting could involve huge expenses, such as purchasing compatibility modules or reprogramming existing devices. However, by replacing the 1761-NET units, you can avoid these additional costs and invest in a more future-proof solution that directly supports the required protocols, saving both time and money in the long run.

Finally, suppose you encounter an issue with your 1761-NET unit, and you need immediate troubleshooting guidance. With an older device, finding up-to-date technical documentation or receiving timely support may be challenging, to say the least. By replacing your unit, you can benefit from improved manufacturer support, access to updated documentation, and easier availability of firmware updates, simplifying maintenance tasks and reducing dependence on outdated systems.

These are just a handful of the benefits replacing your 1761-NET-ENI or 1761-NET-AIC units offers. And it just so happens that Real Time Automation has the replacement units you need. Replace your ENI unit with the 515RTAENI or your AIC unit with our 515RTAAIC. Aside from having a slightly different footprint from their predecessors, both these replacement units offer the same functionality and can interconnect your favorite Allen-Bradley controllers.

Give our Enginerd® team a call at 800-249-1612, send us an email to or visit our Contact page.