23 Jul 2024

AUTOMATION FOR MANUFACTURING

Collaborative environment marries automation with energy

Schneider Electric in the UK has formally announced the launch of a collaborative system that combines automation and energy management functions. The PlantStruxure system, which some customers have been using for several months, integrates a plant’s hardware and software components in flexible, scalable and collaborative architectures. It is said to allow companies to optimise their energy use and operational efficiency, while improving productivity.

The Ethernet-based system allows plant and operation managers, to collaborate with engineering and maintenance teams. It offers redundancy and functional safety at each level, and said to cut project development, operational and production costs, while delivering real-time visibility of business performance, and improved compliance and ROI.

“Traditionally, process automation systems, energy management systems, production management systems, and even plant design and engineering tools have each occupied separate domains,” explains Michel Crochon, executive vice-president of Schneider’s Industry business. “Manufacturers – and the industry in general – are increasingly moving to a single environment encompassing production management, energy management and control systems functions, as well as business information.”

According to Craig Resnick, research director of the ARC Advisory Group, collaborative frameworks, such as PlantStruxure, “will encourage the further breakdown of barriers to information by enabling a more comprehensive multi-disciplined operational strategy which, in turn, impacts productivity, responsiveness, lifecycle costs, energy efficiency – and, most importantly, profitability.”