What comes to mind when you think of a battery? Perhaps a normal household battery, like the one you use for your TV remote? Or better yet your car battery. When it comes to power storage at Siemens Energy, batteries take on a whole new dimension. What the user sitting in central control unit perceives to be an XXL battery is in fact a network of power cells joined together. Depending on energy requirements, there can be up to 30 switch cabinets connected to each other. And that´s not all. In each control cabinet, 9 battery modules are connected in a series, and each of these modules are made up of around 28 cells.
And who requires such big packs? The rise of electromobility at sea should make people forget about engines running on diesel and crude oil. At present, there are several ferries sailing the fjords that produce zero emissions; and, on drilling platforms, engines that were designed for peak loads are gradually becoming a thing of the past. The engine units including switchgear, controls and power supply are manufactured at Siemens Energy in Trondheim. Jan Petersen is a production line engineer at Siemens Energy AS and previously programmed engine software - so he is an expert when it comes to hardware and software. "Ensuring global supervision and accountability requires a comprehensive and uniform source for all projects and versions," explains Jan Petersen. "In this regard, versiondog is a valuable tool that around 300 users at our company benefit from today."
versiondog is used for version management for maintenance and change management for automated production. Siemens Energy extensively utilizes both of these functions.
„The decision to bring in versiondog was born out of a desire for comprehensive and uniform overview for all projects and versions in production and maintenance. We also wanted to unify all automation data for all user groups, including our over-seas-based technicians, into a single system. These expectations were fully met with the introduction of versiondog.“
Jan Petersen, production engineer at Siemens Energy AS
Maintenance: situations where a service technician is required occur around the global, and when they do speed is of the essence. The technician gains access to the project by checking it out from the versiondog server in Trondheim and uploading it to their local programming device; in doing so they now have access to the latest engineering version.When the service is complete, the technician simply checks in the new version to the versiondog server. By doing so all authorized personnel have access to the latest version. Other users can make changes to a project depending on the rights they have been assigned.
Jan Petersen remembers well the challenges that used to occur before versiondog was introduced. "When overseas situations that required a service technician occurred, the service technician used to save their files locally on their computers first. These new versions were not always promptly transferred to the central server and thus to engineering. In the worst case, they were never transferred because the files on the server were forgotten." Looking back, the previous approach does not seem to elicit any feelings of nostalgia, which Petersen confirms. "Everyone sees the advantage of using versiondog instead of zip files." Before versiondog was introduced to Siemens Energy AS, it was possible to save the current software versions in a zip file and then change the date and time. Due to the number of manual entries, this way carried the risk of incorrect entries. The risk associated with this method disappeared with the introduction of versiondog, because of versiondog automatically shows who changed what, where, when and why. Only the change reason can be entered manually.
What happens in engineering when it comes to engines, switchgear, and batteries? The developer checks out their project (for which they have been given authorized access rights) to the programming device, and then, they work on creating a new version (so long as the appropriate settings have been activated this work may be done exclusively). Once finished, they Check-In their changes to the versiondog server, and a new version is available to all other authorized developers.
This way, it is no longer possible for development to be inadvertently carried out on the basis of the wrong version, provided that the developer made sure to Check-Out the latest version of the programming device at the start.
One function that Jan Petersen values especially is the free compare function, which allows for file formats located outside of versiondog to be compared in detail. "It allows us to immediately see where a change was made. We use this function frequently because it helps save time when comparing Word or PDF files as well as S7 projects."
When asked what has been the greatest advantage that versiondog has helped to bring about, Jan Peterson does not need long. "The decision to bring in versiondog was born out of a desire to gain a complete and comprehensive overview with regard to all projects and versions, whether for the purpose of reducing downtime in production through immediate availability, or ensuring the seamless creation of versions for engineering, or for helping provide consistent data for service technicians worldwide. In all of these areas, backups and the ability to create versions are the most important aspects. Our expectations were thus fully met when it came to introducing versiondog."