Process Control System Support
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - Backup & Recovery
In many automated production facilities, changes are made to SIMATIC PCS 7 projects on a daily basis, with individual processes often optimised by multiple workers due to shift changes. Documentation is key here, as this keeps workers informed about why a change was made. Furthermore, SIMATIC PCS 7 installations are generally used in locations where documentation is required for audits and certification. The ability to track changes between two software projects is not only an invaluable aid during shift changes, but also when searching for errors or optimising a PCS 7 installation. Every change made to the system is labour-intensive and time-consuming. Moreover, there is also the risk that errors may occur. If a change is saved in the project, then the old version is lost unless a backup copy was created in advance. If no backup was created, it will no longer be possible to return to the previous state if and when programming errors occur. Each backup denotes a version used by the SIMATIC PCS 7 system to operate an installation. To correctly interpret a version, information is required on WHO changed WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHY: - Who created the version/who is responsible for the version? - Who released the version? - What was changed in the version i.e. in which block or module of the SIMATIC PCS 7 installation were the changes made? - When was the version created? Is this the latest version or is there a more recent version? - Why were the changes made to the version? If they are part of a regular maintenance cycle, then is the aim to fix an error or to improve production processes? - Is this particular version also the version currently being used in production? The fact that SIMATIC PCS 7 projects use extremely large quantities of data complicates the situation even further, and it can take a long time to load and save information as a result. Without a sustainable strategy for operating a SIMATIC PCS 7 installation, searching for the right software version can become extremely time-consuming and the installation may run inefficiently as a result.
The Siemens Solutions Partner AUVESY (Automated Versioning Systems) has developed a major PCS 7 add-on for its versiondog software that can be integrated seamlessly into any SIMATIC PCS 7 setup while meeting all data management requirements. The versiondog software allows users to back up, version and document not only SIMATIC PCS 7 projects, but also software versions of all other automation devices involved in production. The data management system is usually installed on a virtual machine in the local network and is available to all users who have been granted the necessary authorisation. The versiondog PCS 7 add-on is installed with full functionality in the production network of a SIMATIC PCS 7 installation and is able to: - Carry out all data backups and version management throughout the entire lifecycle of a SIMATIC PCS 7 installation. - Ensure that only the valid version is used in production due to automated backups of the automation systems and cyclical comparisons with the version released on the server. This can also help to detect cyber-attacks. - Plan and map out the entire lifecycle of a SIMATIC PCS 7 system, from commission to operation, with a complete change history. - Compare SFC and CFC blocks of a SIMATIC PCS 7 project without the need for any additional drivers. Blocks can be compared graphically or in text form using versiondog’s proprietary SmartCompare technology. All differences are highlighted in colour and can be individually selected, thus removing the need for manual searches. - Fully document changes within a SIMATIC PCS 7 project for audits, validation or certification. - Provide version control of software versions for immediate device restoration when errors occur (disaster recovery) The versiondog software is the key to providing optimum data management support for process control systems. Siemens knows this, too, which is why versiondog is listed as an official PCS 7 add-on in the Siemens Industrial Mall at www.mall.industry.siemens.com. For additional details view: https://mall.industry.siemens.com/mall/en/WW/Catalog/Products/10048340