Warsteiner Brewery versiondog Case StudyAUVESY2021-04-20T15:22:26-04:00
Warsteiner Brewery versiondog Case Study
Refreshingly Efficient Automated Production with versiondog
Preventive maintenance has long been the norm at the Warsteiner Brewery, but unplanned maintenance still happens. With no time to waste searching for data during downtime, versiondog provides centralized data storage and transparent change management.
Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Wenthaus works at the Sauerland-based family enterprise, the Warsteiner Group, in the operative engineering department. Wenthaus’ staff members, who he lovingly calls “The Automators,” work to optimize existing processes, manage ongoing processes, and develop new processes, especially for new production facilities or new production lines. The team is also involved in plant maintenance which involves restarting machines and plant components.
Why did Warsteiner Brewery need a data management software like versiondog?
In the past, each department of the company had its own systems for maintenance, repair, and operations. Each individual department used to save the current data for each PLC individually. Each of these systems were organized differently.
Gradually the company began to use an older version control system called VersionWorks, but they were still searching for a way to ensure PLC projects were safeguarded and versioned in a standardized way.
They switched to versiondog and haven’t looked back.
How does Warsteiner Brewery use versiondog for data management?
“Today, it’s impossible to imagine working without it,” Wenthaus says. “Having a centralized data storage system means that there is a complete change history to which all 60 users have access from whichever department they may be in.”
In addition to the main brewery in Warstein, Germany, yet another brewery belonging to the group has integrated versiondog. That way, the team in Warstein can manage all of the PLC programs even from afar.
At Warsteiner Brewery, everyone is required to meticulously document their work. They happily use versiondog to do so, because they recognize the benefits.
How does versiondog help to reduce downtime at Warsteiner Brewery?
For food and beverage production facilities like Warsteiner Brewery, the biggest benefit of versiondog is reduced downtime. It’s common for each machine to be connected to one other via the network. If one machine comes to a halt, the entire filling and bottling process is put on pause.
“Thanks to versiondog, we are able to rapidly localize errors and get the plant back up and running again.”
The same benefits apply to Warsteiner’s robots. One wrong piece of data can cause the weeks of configuration work to fly out the window. For packaging machines like the ones that are used at Warsteiner Brewery, the calibration data must be precise with little room for error.
“The wonderful thing about versiondog is that fact that you know when exactly a particular change was made, who made it, and why it was made,” said Wenthaus.
All processes involved in production are controlled via a central control system. This presents a particular challenge in the filling and bottling process because the machines are connected to each other and there is a comparatively large number of individual machines. All data is centrally available for comparison. For the members of maintenance staff, this definitely has a practical use. It allows for errors to be detected and for the cause of malfunctions to be resolved swiftly.
What is the automated backup process like at Warsteiner Brewery?
The brewery’s process with versiondog ensures that no data will be lost. The brewery regularly creates versions for fast and efficient disaster recovery. versiondog efficiently stores the data from all controllers.
In the event that an error occurs on the assembly line or if the assembly line itself suddenly stops, the maintenance team can immediately swap out the malfunctioning component with a working version with confidence.
The frequency of backups depends on the relevance of the device. Not all PLCs are backed up on a daily basis. The number of backups per average day is around 40, but the Warsteiner Brewery runs between 300-400 backups per week.
“Thanks to versiondog, we are able to rapidly localize errors and get the plant back up and running again. The wonderful thing about versiondog is that fact that you know when exactly a particular change was made, who made it, and why it was made.”
- Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Wenthaus, Operative Engineering Department at Warsteiner Group