Thanks all for you replies.
pcmccartney1 - Yes, the main intention is to try and make the 'engineering station' easier to use for the shift electricians and more user friendly than using the dos system that only uses F keys.
As I said earlier, my Allen Bradley experience has been with Logix500 and this has always been adequate for minor program changes and bit forcing etc which is the only thing that day to day, month to month we will use it for other than IO fault finding.
Your suggestion of having the engineering station with all the software versions sounds spot on tbh but I can imagine setting it up with licences etc will cost thousands of pounds. I think that this will be a sure fire way that the costs will never get approved (and possibly historically why it was never done by my predecessor).
Joe E - I understand what you mean about manually transcribing the code.
It seems that I (wrongly) assumed that having the code in Logix5000 would still allow connection to the old hardware (field racks and processors) via a DH+ card in the new PC, it would just make the reading and navigation of the code much more user friendly.
Obviously this has a low priority rating in regards to cost with the people who hold the purse strings, but I am trying to avoid us getting into the position where the only PC (engineering station) dies and then we have no access to the code or indeed the backups (which I now have on floppy disks!!)
I just want to get the point where I have a PC (that's not 30 years old) with a user friendly front end that I can back up after modifications easily.
The reason that I am looking at Logix5000 is that I have it on the laptop so I know I wont have to factor in that cost....
As Im sure you have all realised by now, this is my first foray into the program/operating system/networking side of PLCs. In my experience there has always been a device (laptop/PC) that has used windows based software (Logix500) to interrogate and modify projects.
Again, thanks for all your help, it seems like I need to think about other options than just simply relying on using logix5000 just because I already have it...…..