A leading UK Yogurt and Desserts Manufacturer were seeking to find a solution to help improve their Software Automation Management across a varied and complex mix-mode of legacy and modern Industrial Automation & Control System (IACS) estate, covering three separate factories. They proposed to introduce the Asset Guardian Solution to include the following enhanced AG features:
- IACS Software Repository
- Change Management and Version Control
- Disaster Recovery
- Cyber Security Management
- Document Control (of all Technical documents)
- Hardware Configuration
- Obsolescence Management
- User access Control and Password Control
- Management of Forces and Bypasses
- eLearning and Classroom Training
- Migration of existing data and files to the latest versions: This included all the software associated with 3 different Manufacturing sites across the UK with over 1713 assets, 1462 software and 2913 documents just for one of their key sites alone.
- Multiple Asset Guardian Servers installed locally on each site: This made all the files and information instantly available to engineers and technicians working on their site. The AG Web Client also ensures that central engineering staff can access each site’s systems from remote locations. Sites can also be given read-only access to other sites’ information allowing better exchange of ideas and best practice.
- Computer Based Training for Users and Classroom Training for Administrators: Computer Based Training allowed a wide range of users to familiarise themselves with the system before it went live. Also, Super Users and Administrators got more in-depth classroom training so they could extract the maximum benefits from Asset Guardian’s advanced features.
- Repository of all Software Revisions and proper management of changes: The manufacturer was able to quickly find the latest version of all control software backups for maintenance work, project work and for checking out and issuing to third party vendors. Changes are properly controlled with full audit history of all actions.
- Extended Use of Asset Guardian: With utilisation of the broader Asset Guardian functionality, the manufacturer can now easily manage all Engineering, Maintenance and Project Documentation and drawings. With the secure data management, including hardware configuration of PLC and SCADA systems and password control providing layers of security, the client can begin to unlock the full potential benefits of their Asset Guardian Solution investment.
- The client will benefit from Business Continuity following an event where systems have to be restored on site but where the connection to central systems is not available. This ensures the Functional Integrity and availability of the backups and greatly reduces the risk of extended periods of downtime.
- Compliance with relevant standards and industry best practice is now clearly demonstrable, leading to operational excellence and complete traceability. Auditable records and a full audit trail provide a secure and reliable history of all activities for any investigations or internal or third-party audits.
- Having their software backed up to a centralised repository is key to preventing any non-planned downtime due to the wrong software version being deployed. Risks are mitigated by managing relevant authorised user access and Operations will benefit from well managed software, resulting in the smooth running of Business Critical Systems.
- With AG Servers situated locally on each site, in a full Disaster Recovery situation, the Asset Guardian Solution can be relied on to provide all configurations and files to get the plant back in production in the shortest possible time.
- The number of licenses has been reduced whilst increasing the number of users, resulting in reduced Capex cost and opportunity to offset cost to enhance Project Delivery.
- The integrity of files is now fully protected by automatic schedules running on the AG Server constantly verifying all files against recorded checksums, with Admin users automatically notified straight away if any mismatch found. This minimises the risks associated with Cyber Security and corruption or infection of software backups.
- With a secure repository of all their software and hardware assets under control, they can now begin to utilise AG Obsolescence Management capabilities. They will benefit from aligning to IEC 62402 standards to help drive a proactive and robust approach to their critical assets. Cost savings will be gained and downtime eliminated due to pro-active Obsolescence Management being implemented on IACS.
- The company will benefit from its current knowledge base, unlock and realise the inherent value in this accumulated information, as well as secure and share it with current and future personnel. Importing this knowledge base into Asset Guardian’s structured approach means that it is now easy to find the relevant information and be sure it is the correct version, so saving valuable engineering time. The Company chose to utilise Asset Guardian Professional Services for the data migration.
Written by Mark Steel. Mark Steel is a Business Development Manager for Asset Guardian Solutions Limited and cultivates relationships with existing and prospective clients in the UK, and is fully committed to increasing the profile of AGSL’s complete portfolio of capabilities, software products/solutions, and professional consulting services. Mark holds an MSc Degree in Manufacturing, Management & Technology from the Open University. He is an active member of Manufacturing UK, Manufacturing Execution Systems, Enterprise Software Sales Professionals, and Manufacturing Executives in the UK.