How often do you back up your control system programs?
A production line is rarely an unchanging system. In fact, various devices get added and removed and production processes get altered, leading to changes to control system programs.
Still, there are many enterprises that back up their control systems irregularly or not at all. In fact, the more often you modify your PLC programs, the more important it is to back them up. It is also essential that new program revisions are described and their authors are known, as those can be a variety of different people – including colleagues, subordinates and suppliers. If, then, a control system fault or failure occurs and you do not have a backup, you lose the PLC program. How much time and money will you have to invest to recover it?
How about purchasing a software application that automatically backs up PLC, CNC, HMI, robot and device programs, and documents? With it, you will quickly find the latest program version and download it to the device.
Automatic PLC program backup is safer than manual backup, as manual backup involves the risk of human error. With automatic backup, you always have a full history of all the recent program changes at your disposal, enabling you to restore the device program to a particular version – and safeguarding your plant's operation against such situations as when the PLC program cannot be found or has been overwritten.
The MDT AutoSave program, which represents an all-in-one automatic backup and version control solution, has been on the market for over 30 years and has allowed thousands of enterprises to standardise their program backup efforts.
What are the benefits of automatic backup?
The MDT AutoSave software offers automatic program backup and compare for all popular PLCs, CNCs, HMIs and robots. It has been on the market for over 30 years and has allowed thousands of enterprises to standardise their program backup efforts, representing an all-in-one automatic backup and version control solution.
Thanks to FOXON, you can now buy it also in Czechia and Slovakia. FOXON has been the exclusive MDT AutoSave distributor and integrator for Czechia and Slovakia since 2020.
1. Automatic backup
AutoSave allows you to automatically back up PLC, robot, CNC, HMI and device programs, and documents. If you cannot undo a program change that you have made, simply restore the program to one of the prior revisions saved in AutoSave. To learn more, watch our video tutorial.
2. Program compare
AutoSave enables you to compare any two versions of a program, providing a report documenting all the differences. So if a supplier or a colleague forgets to tell you about a program change that they have made, the change will not go unnoticed – you will know about it immediately. To use this functionality, you do not have to install the program editor for your control system. Simply use the AutoSave Agent.
3. Change management for Wonderware
AutoSave offers automatic backup and object version compare for Wonderware System Platform.
4. Managing non-networked device changes
AutoSave also supports automatic backup of devices that are not connected to an Ethernet network. You connect your laptop to a non-networked device, back up the program and then, when you are back in the office, you sync all changes to the server, which contains the complete history of program revisions.
Vital plant information, including program activity, is accessed from a single web interface – the AutoSave Portal.
In the Portal, you can see how many programs have been changed and how many remain the same, how many errors have been detected, etc. In addition, you can drill down to such details as specific program changes made, change author and more.
Portal dashboards are customisable.
The AutoSave server acts as a central repository of all program changes. It also stores reports, documentation and report generation service tools.
Alternatively, program versions can be saved to a remote server. You can select this option during AutoSave installation.
AutoSave agents are server-controlled clients that perform periodic backup and compare PLC programs in devices, as well as documents, with the latest revisions stored on the server.
The number of agents required depends on the number, frequency and complexity of concurrently running operations, as well as on third-party software limitations. In our experience, the optimum number of agents for deployment is 1–5.
The client is a program that allows users to access program backups on the server.
The client can be installed somewhere on the network (online mode) or, for example, on a laptop (offline mode) that a technician uses in the field to connect to shop floor devices at various sites. Regardless of whether you are working offline or online, you also need to install the proper program editor for programming, backing up and restoring your PLC.
How not to lose a PLC program after a production line failure
In this video, you will learn how to prevent a PLC program loss following a production line failure. With AutoSave, you have access to all the latest device program revisions, so PLC program restore cannot be easier.
Setting up program backup for a new device
Imagine that you have installed a new press line and want to start backing up the PLC program. In this tutorial, we will show you how to set up and schedule automatic PLC program backup.
Introducing the MDT AutoSave Portal
The MDT AutoSave Portal provides users with a quick overview in the form of graphs, charts and user-friendly dashboards. You can see the number of actions detected in the last 24 hours, device program changes made and their author, and more.
How to set up periodic PLC program version control
In this video, you will learn how a maintenance manager can utilise notification emails to access reports generated by AutoSave and obtain a summary of all the changes detected. If any of the changes were unauthorised, he can restore the program to the desired revision.
AutoSave supports the following devices: