How to Automatically Back Up
PLC, CNC, HMI and Robot Programs
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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 quickly find the latest program version and download it to the device.

What Are the Benefits of Automatic Backup?

  • Automatic backup represents a standardised way of managing changes to control system programs, simplifying training of new staff
  • Program backups are available anytime – in the case of an unexpected failure and a control system program loss or overwrite
  • Control system program recovery following PLC repairs or replacement becomes cheaper
  • Automatic backup reduces downtime necessary for program recovery
  • All program revisions are stored in one system, so you do not need to look for them anywhere else
  • You get a detailed insight into program changes and can compare them

How to Go About It

The MDT AutoSave program offers automatic backup and compare for all popular PLC, CNC, HMI and robot programs. 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. Since 2020 FOXON has been the exclusive MDT AutoSave distributor and integrator for Czechia and Slovakia.

AutoSave's Key Features

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.

All information accessible via a web browser

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.

AutoSave architecture

AutoSave server

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 agent

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 third-party software limitations. In our experience, the optimum number of agents for deployment is 1–5.

AutoSave klient

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.

MDT AutoSave licencing

  • The price for the licence depends on the number of periodically backed up devices.
  • Additional charges apply for add-on modules, such as Reports Module, AutoSave User Group Integration with Active Directory and Program Export Event Module.
  • There is no limit to the number of users or AutoSave clients.

Video tutorials

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.

How to go about backing up 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.

AutoSave supports the following devices:

Need help with automatic backup?

Let us explore how you could benefit from MDT AutoSave. Our technicians will be happy to advise you on how to deploy automatic device backup on your factory floor. Feel free to share your expectations with us.

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