Schneider Electric | Powering the Industry of the Future

Jun 13, 2018 9:15 AM ET
Blog

At the heart of innovation is action, and when it comes to energy management and automation, innovation means embracing digital transformation to build a more sustainable future.

I’ve written here before about Powering the Digital Economy; how The Internet of Things and the digitization of devices are enabling the convergence of IT and OT; how decarbonization presents perhaps the biggest opportunity for improvement in energy efficiency and sustainability; and how the energy future is more electric and more decentralized. As this digital future continues to reshape how we all live and work, we are working to drive results and innovation both for our customers and our own operations.

Innovation starts here

At Schneider Electric, innovation starts here — in our factories, our operations, our supply chain, and with our partners. Our industrial footprint includes 207 factories in 44 countries employing approximately 86,000 people.

As our 2017 – 2018 Schneider Sustainability Report shows, we are committed to making our supply chain more efficient, connected, and sustainable. We are deploying our EcoStruxure solutions across our own enterprise — in 2018, our goal is to have 60+ factories using EcoStruxure for Industry. By the end of 2020, our aim is to have more than 100. We are making our factories smart through six areas of digital transformation:

  • Agile management — creating shop-floor agility by connecting control to the enterprise level
  • Empowered operators — enabling operators to make better decisions on the factory floor with connected assets that provide real-time insight
  • Asset performance management — optimizing performance and improving profitability with real-time asset and process information
  • Energy efficiency — providing more visibility, control, and optimization of power consumption and costs through real-time power monitoring
  • Process efficiency — improving closed-loop measurement and control for greater throughput and faster processing
  • Reliability — ensuring plant, process, and asset uptime through IoT-powered predictive analytics

Industry of the future

One example of our own digital transformation is our factory in Le Vaudreuil, France. Over 12 months, the factory introduced digital tools to support its mass production operations. The production line has been 100 percent automated and, using augmented reality, technicians can now analyze data and address issues, making interventions safer and reducing diagnostic time by 30 percent.

Sensors now allow for predictive maintenance, cybersecurity has been enhanced through the addition of a data bunker, and our EcoStruxure solutions are enabling better energy efficiency. And, as if the long-term energy and operational savings weren’t enough of a reward for these efforts, in February 2018, the Le Vaudreuil plant received the “Showcase for Industry of the Future” award from the Alliance Industrie du Futur.

We’re also helping our customers increase the efficiency and sustainability of their operations. For example, at the entertainment company AEG, which owns venues as diverse as the O2 Centre in London and the Staples Center in Los AngelesEcoStruxure Resource Advisor provides visibility to 52 different types of data streams, across 59 facilities, in a single platform. They’ve saved over $3 million, and diverted 53% of their waste worldwide from landfills, as well as reduced GHG emissions by 14% since 2010.

Taking action through innovation

We believe the challenges of increased urbanization, industrialization, and climate change can be overcome through innovation. Our EcoStruxure solutions and services are focused on empowering our partners, customers, and our own sites to accelerate this transition to a sustainable future in buildings, industry, data centers, and the grid. For all of us, the time for innovation — the time for action — is now.