Aluar versiondog Case Study

versiondog Provides Better Documentation and Version Control for a Growing Aluminum Producer

Aluar is one of the largest aluminum producers in the world and Argentina’s only producer of primary aluminum. versiondog helps their industrial automation department maintain a strong commitment to quality.

Aluar aluminum plant logo versiondog case study

Between 2005 and 2010, Aluar went through a large period of growth resulting in upgrades at several production facilities. These upgrades included an expansion in the number of PLCs (predominately Siemens S7-300 and S7-400), increasing from 100 to 300.

Why did Aluar see the need for version control software?

Aluar aluminum plant for versiondog case study

Not long after, problems began to arise with managing the control program software and adhering to the established workflow. Before Aluar’s growth phase, these procedures were done using manual backups and documentation. An increase in the number of industrial automation and maintenance staff (>100 users) also coincided with more reports of infrequent or incomplete documentation of software versions. These inconsistencies required additional work when it came to bug tracking and detection. It also increased the risk of incidents that could affect operations, resulting in production interruptions and increased safety hazards.

What critical requirements did Aluar have for a version control software?

  • Version control for binary/proprietary data
  • Customizable user permissions
  • Automation of audit tasks

How does Aluar use versiondog?

Aluar installed versiondog at its main facilities, where it worked with the casting process, electrolysis process, anode manufacturing, and peripheral equipment used for fume treatment and material flow. Additionally, versiondog supported areas such as transport and infrastructure when it came to climate control, gas, and water supply.

Aluar aluminum productionAside from its central role in version control, versiondog also helped in other areas. All the processes, tasks, and equipment that Aluar used needed auditing for quality assurance. Automatic backups for all controller units were made every week. If the last automated backup version did not match the version running on the system, versiondog would detect it. This gives the maintenance staff the ability to react quickly and correct a problem before suffering greater consequences.

Aluar also chose to add versiondog’s EasyClient, which contains all the basic functions necessary for managing data in an automated production environment. Due to its ease of use, versiondog EasyClient is a favorite of maintenance staff members who do not have an in-depth knowledge of the versiondog software. With versiondog EasyClient, users can Check-Out, edit, create versions, and Check-In components. These functions allow users to make changes, create documented versions, and backup software development stages quickly and easily.

What improvements has the management team seen as a result of this Aluar versiondog case study?

versiondog gives Aluar ongoing documentation, clarity, and traceability, which has allowed the team at Aluar to take their data management practices to the next level.

The management team at Aluar says that machine safety and dependability has greatly improved because of versiondog. The version control software allows the production facility to keep their repository structure in order, review changes quickly and efficiently, and lock components to avoid conflicting versions, all while reducing the effort it takes to manage considerably.

“At no point has Aluar regretted its decision to introduce versiondog. On the contrary, the software and the benefits that it has brought are so great that nowadays none of us would want even to consider the idea of working without it.”

- Federico Ares, Automation Project Engineer at Aluar

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