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Version Control

How Version Control Systems Document Every Change to a Plant and Safeguard Data Sovereignty for Operators

Efficient asset management through version control

Version control in industrial systems is a key element and a systematic approach to automation data management. It aims to log every device setting, driver version, and associated item of operating data so that they can be understood afterward. A version control software solution, therefore, makes development teams and plant operators more efficient and productive by providing a detailed history of all the changes made to an industrial plant.

This in turn enables plant statuses to be compared, which helps to identify and rectify faults and problems more quickly. Coordinating and synchronizing all of a plant’s devices, machines, and system components is essential not only when commissioning it, but also during ongoing production.

Version control in plant management aims to log every device setting, driver version, and associated item of operational data so that they can be understood afterward. This in turn enables the most recent working system status to be identified quickly and efficiently in the event of an operational interruption or the breakdown of particular parts of the plant. That way, any changes and subsequent updates made to device settings can be undone. If you know the most recent project status of a device, you can perform disaster recovery quickly at any time, thus minimizing a plant’s downtime.

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Logging Unwanted Changes Caused by Cyberattacks

Plant managers can use version control to track every change and adjustment from the original version onwards. This also helps, for example, when looking for unwanted changes that may have been made in the course of a cyberattack or hacker attack. And it facilitates knowledge management between different teams working on different shifts.

It is also important that version control covers every part of a plant and its operational technology (OT) for the sake of clarity – from PLCs and automation components to virtualizations, to drive technology and IIoTcomponents. This kind of software solution should provide central data storage, support versioning, and change history across all industry standards, bus systems, and manufacturers, and – last but not least – help to monitor the programs in automation devices. That’s the only way to keep track of which versions have been in use, and when. Version control is therefore usually an effective means of running a partially or fully digitized system efficiently.

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