Schneider Electric, leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, has introduced its Industries of the Future vision. The industry-wide call to action urges industrial enterprises to embrace universal automation, sustainable efficiency and digitalisation to boost global economic recovery and advance manufacturing and process industries.
As the most sustainable corporation in the world and a global manufacturer with an end-to-end network of smart factories and smart distribution centres, including three designated by The World Economic Forum as Advanced Lighthouses, Schneider is on a mission to make the industry of the future possible for all.
Its next-generation framework and winning formula for industrial settings is founded around three core pillars: universal automation, sustainable efficiency, and software-centric automation. These create a firm foundation for protecting biodiversity and improving health and safety, while also enabling real-time data sharing and remote operations, resulting in step-change improvements in productivity and cost savings [Source: BloombergNEF].
“As we strive to recover from the impact of the pandemic, improve productivity and drive sustainable agendas, industry has a golden opportunity to become a central pillar of global economic recovery,” said Peter Herweck, executive vice president, industrial automation, Schneider Electric.
“Industrial automation helps build stronger eco-efficiency and a more innovative and resilient ecosystem. Today’s industrial innovation is driven by powerful software and data analytics that increases both productivity and sustainability. With net zero factories now possible due to increased computational power and connectivity, as well as advanced digital supply chains, ecology and progress are no longer at the opposing ends of the environmental spectrum.”
Schneider Electric’s newest industrial solutions based on its EcoStruxure platform, and released at its Innovation Summit World Tour 2020, bring the benefits of universal automation, sustainability and software to the market. These include: EcoStruxure Automation Expert, EcoStruxure Power and Process, and EcoStruxure Plant Advisor.
Schneider Electric has challenged industry to advance the underlying technology model to meet modern agility and resiliency demands. “Open automation,” as it exists today, is not open enough as companies are bound by automation solutions that prioritise vendor lock-in rather than innovation. By contrast, “universal automation” is the world of interoperable, “plug and produce” automation software components, enabled by the IEC61499 standard. Portable application software is an essential enabler for next-generation industries, capable of unlocking step-change improvements in efficiency and sustainability impossible a decade ago. EcoStruxure Automation Expert is Schneider Electric’s first offer based on the universal automation vision.
The benefits of universal automation are demonstrated by Schneider Electric’s strategic relationship with Wood, a global leader in delivering automation solutions. The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding agreement to provide Wood’s automation and control group access to Schneider Electric’s IEC61499-based technology. This is helping Wood to deliver innovative automation solutions to their global energy and industrial customers.
As the pathway to net zero factories protecting biodiversity, empowering workers and improving productivity, Schneider Electric has also called on manufacturing and process industries to approach production with a sustainable mindset. According to BloombergNEF, industrial digitisation supports corporate sustainability, promotes decarbonisation and circularity, reduces material waste, prolongs equipment lifetime and enables better emissions monitoring. EcoStruxure Power and Process empowers manufacturers to drive sustainability across the world’s most energy intensive sites. Using industry leading software from AVEVA and Schneider Electric, users can connect assets across the full lifecycle, resulting in one real-time view of projects and/or operations.
By embracing innovative technologies alongside achievable sustainability goals, companies can easily accommodate new business opportunities while also conserving energy and safeguarding the natural environment. For example, Schneider Electric helped Argentina’s largest refinery develop and easily integrate the smallest footprint solution in the market for continuous energy improvement.
Faced with the continuing disruption of the pandemic and ever-changing customer requirements, Schneider Electric has underlined the importance of software. EcoStruxure Plant Advisor is the next evolution of the company’s IIoT digital plant management. Based on results from pilot projects, EcoStruxure Plant Advisor could generate up to €2.8 million / year of improvements for a typical €100 million manufacturing site.
Tomorrow’s challenges will not be addressed with new hardware but will require the intelligent application of software-based technologies. This digital paradigm has the potential to provide unprecedented operational capabilities and support new business opportunities for all industrial stakeholders.
For more information on Schneider Electric’s Industries of the Future framework, visit Industries of the Future.