Egger versiondog Case Study

versiondog Creates a Standardized Version Control Process for Automation

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Egger Ltd. manufactures chipboard and associated products on highly automated production lines. Using versiondog data management software, Egger standardized their backup and version control process across a variety of manufacturing systems and controllers.

Egger is one of Europe’s leading wood-based panel producers, located in Hexham, England. With a product portfolio that ranges from construction materials like chipboard and OSB to decorative pieces like laminate and edging, Egger was in dire need of standardizing its data management strategy.

Why did Egger need a standardized data management strategy for their automated production lines?

All PLCs, SCADA systems, and Inverter Drive programs or parameter sets are vital for success at Egger. The company also uses Rittal’s EPLAN electrical CAD system. At the Hexham site, they have approximately 50 Simatic S7 PLCs, 15 Wonderware InTouch applications, and numerous Inverter Drives, each containing program data that is crucial for smooth operation. Without a standardized version control and backup process, Egger was at risk of severe data loss if a drive or device were to fail.

How does Egger use versiondog to manage version control for automated production?

Egger production facility

With versiondog, Egger can use a standard data management approach across all of their automated production devices. versiondog supports all of these device types.

The version control software captures all changes made to networked devices by allowing users to manually Check-Out a particular program, make changes, then Check-In the program with comments about changes made. versiondog centrally stores all original and updated versions. In some cases, as many as 200 versions of a particular device’s program are stored. Users can compare these versions graphically to ensure complete confidence in their program data.

In the case of EPLAN drawing files, the same process can be followed. The latest copy of the project is checked out from the file server via versiondog. Then, the EPLAN is opened, changes are made, and the project is checked back into versiondog with comments about who changed what, when, where, and why. This version control process is universal across all file types, including Microsoft Office and Adobe PDF.

How does Egger use versiondog for disaster recovery?

Egger Plant

versiondog also provides a complete backup and restore service. This is particularly important when a hardware failure requires a replacement unit to be fitted. Vital programs (or parameter sets) can be quickly restored, cutting downtime to a minimum and restoring production more quickly.

versiondog also helps companies detect unauthorized changes or cyber attacks. How? versiondog compares the version running on each device with the version located on the versiondog server. If there are differences, the appropriate users are notified promptly.

At the Hexham plant, versiondog is set to back up everything over a two-day cycle automatically. Egger has noticed that the equipment managed by versiondog has a shortened mean time to repair (MTTR) when unavoidable downtime does occur.

The bottom line for the Egger versiondog case study – how easy is versiondog to use?

versiondog has automated a great deal of maintenance tasks at Egger, like recording changes and automating backups. When there is a hardware failure, all programs can be quickly restored, in the full confidence that they are the latest version.

At the Hexham site, about 20 people regularly and easily use versiondog. Because of versiondog’s integrated notification system, necessary individuals are notified by email when changes are made. They can easily see not only what was changed, but who made the change and why. With layered password-protected authorization levels and highly specific user rights, Egger can be sure that versiondog is hard at work safeguarding their automated devices from both internal and external threats.

“versiondog is vital to the smooth running of the plant and life without it on a day-to-day basis would be a nightmare.”

- John Ewington, Deputy Electrical Engineer at Egger

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