Schneider Electric kicked off its Innovation Summit World Tour 2020 with numerous announcements around its EcoStruxure Platform.
EcoStruxure Automation Expert
Schneider Electric introduced new solutions based on its universal automation vision with the release of its EcoStruxure Automation Expert. The company’s first universal automation offering is based on the IEC61499 standard, beginning a new era for the company’s software-centric, interoperable industrial automation solutions.
EcoStruxure Automation Expert is a new category of Schneider Electric industrial automation systems with IEC61499 at its core. EcoStruxure Automation Expert is designed to:
- Enable automation applications to be built using asset-centric, portable, proven-in-use software components, independent of the underlying hardware infrastructure.
- Allow the user to distribute applications to their system hardware architecture of choice —highly distributed, centralized, or both — with minimal to no additional programming effort.
- Support established software best practices to help simplify the creation of automation applications that interoperate with IT systems.
The first release of EcoStruxure Automation Expert supports traditional automation platforms, such as Modicon PLCs, and Altivar Variable Speed Drives and PCs. Now, complex multi-drive control algorithms can be programmed and distributed to the drive controller without the need for a central PLC. Completing the line-up, a virtualized software controller running in Docker®-powered Linux containers supports distributed information and control systems across edge computing architectures.
Leveraging the object-oriented nature of IEC61499, software components known as Composite Automation Types (CATs) are used to model assets by combining real-time control functions with other facets, such as the human machine interface. This asset-centric approach delivers greater cost reduction and performance gains and helps to free engineers to focus on higher value tasks by automating lower-value tasks and helps to eliminate task duplication across tools. Benchmarking of EcoStruxure Automation Expert against traditional automation systems has reportedly demonstrated up to a 2 to 7X reduction in the time it takes to perform traditional automation tasks.
EcoStruxure Automation Expert’s support for mainstream IT best practices helps to enable step-change improvements in asset and workforce efficiency by using more advanced technologies, such as predictive maintenance and digital twins. The system also helps to reduce total cost of ownership by incorporating legacy systems with a wrap-and-reuse approach.
EcoStruxure Power and Process
Schneider Electric has launched EcoStruxure Power and Process to help to unify engineering design, operations, maintenance and better optimize enterprise-wide decision making. Developed in partnership with AVEVA and already implemented at several energy intensive production sites globally, EcoStruxure Power and Process allows a medium to large oil refinery producing 450,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) to reportedly attain up to a 10 percent process energy usage improvement, reducing CO2 output by up to 567,000 metric tons and saving up to US$210 million a year.
The introduction of EcoStruxure Power and Process helps enable companies to break down the traditional barriers between power systems and process control systems and increase digital efficiency. Based on the vendor agnostic principles of universal automation, this solution connects assets at all levels across the lifecycle and the supply chain. This helps to enable plant and enterprise-wide data analysis to drive more resilient operations and further optimize energy usage for a more profitable operation.
Businesses implementing EcoStruxure Power and Process reportedly can expect:
- Electrical, Instrumentation and Control (EI&C) CapEx reduction of up to 20 percent
- Uptime improvement by up to 3 percent
- Unplanned downtime reduction by up to 15 percent
- Process Energy usage improvement by up to 10 percent
EcoStruxure Plant Advisor
Schneider Electric also launched EcoStruxure Plant Advisor, the next evolution of the company’s IIoT digital plant management. A more scalable, open IIoT platform built within the company’s EcoStruxure architecture, it provides industrial enterprises with more focused insights to help better understand process and operational data and further enable common cross-function, live monitoring and application data sharing. This can lead to faster improvements in operational performance, improved quality control, further reductions in energy and raw materials use, better maintenance and increased profitability.
Developed for and implemented within Schneider Electric’s worldwide Smart Factories, EcoStruxure Plant Advisor helps to empower operations and production professionals with more meaningful specific business insights through contextualized live data, enabling them to make further improvements in machine performance, predictive maintenance and asset performance. A common data model also further optimizes remote plant operations, enables regional and global scalability across multiple plants, and helps to improve downstream and upstream traceability across the value chain. Based on pilot projects, EcoStruxure Plant Advisor reportedly could generate up to € 2.8 million / year of improvements for a typical €100 million manufacturing site.
The EcoStruxure Plant Advisor includes three key interconnected parts:
- Hybrid (Edge/Cloud) Connectivity: Agnostic edge-to-cloud approach to manage data source connectivity lifecycle within the same industrial data model.
- Industrial data processing platform and multisite analysis: Data aggregation and processing enabling remote and live monitoring through near real time multisite KPIs and analytics.
- App builder and industry specific offers: The ability to build custom applications in a low code/ no code environment, leveraging prebuilt IoT modules and centralized access to production data to help meet specific business needs.
Craig Resnick, ARC Advisory Group, commented, “The need for agility cannot be over emphasized for industrial operations, The EcoStruxure Plant Advisor suite provides industrial operations with the real-time visibility needed to understand the intricacies of operations that enables this agility. This information empowers a business to pivot and an operation to maximize production efficiency while reducing energy consumption, waste, and labor costs.”