Schneider Electric introduced its Industries of the Future vision at ARC Industry Forum 2021 today. The industry-wide call to action urges industrial enterprises to embrace universal automation, sustainable efficiency, and digitalization to boost global economic recovery and advance manufacturing and process industries. 

Schneider is on a mission to make the industry of the future possible for all. 

“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.”

Universal automation

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 prioritize vendor lock-in rather than innovation, per the company. 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.  

Sustainable efficiency

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. EcoStruxure Power and Process empowers manufacturers to drive sustainability across the world’s most energy intensive sites, per Schneider, which notes that 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.  

Software-centric automation

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, according to its maker.

Tomorrow’s challenges will not be addressed with new hardware but will require the intelligent application of software-based technologies, believes Schneider. This digital paradigm has the potential to provide unprecedented operational capabilities and support new business opportunities for all industrial stakeholders. 

About Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric is leading the Digital Transformation of Energy Management and Automation in Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries. With a global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the undisputable leader in Power Management – Medium Voltage, Low Voltage and Secure Power, and in Automation Systems. We provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation and software. In our global Ecosystem, we collaborate with the largest Partner, Integrator and Developer Community on our Open Platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency. We believe that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that our commitment to Innovation, Diversity and Sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment.

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