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Schneider’s Leeds plant gets a smart factory upgrade

22 December, 2022

Schneider Electric has upgraded its site in Leeds where it makes low- and medium-voltage products to transform it into a smart factory. As part of the multi-million-pound upgrade, a new assembly line, test cell and wiring loom machine have been commissioned. The site now has extensive digital capabilities. Together, these have resulted in a 10% increase in output, a 15% reduction in energy consumption, and improved operating efficiencies and customer service levels.

The 18,000m2 Leeds site, which employs 550 people, has grown significantly in recent years due to a rising demand for its products. It is Schneider’s second UK location to achieve smart factory status, following the conversion of the company’s Flint plant in North Wales last year. Leeds is also Schneider’s eleventh site globally to benefit from its Smart Factory Programme, which it launched in 2017.

“Our smart factory transformation is enabling us to enhance our quality and reliability while maximising our efficiency,” says Laurent Bergier, general manager of the Leeds plant. “We will also continuously benefit from all the analytics of the data we collect to continue to move towards the future of manufacturing. All of those new capabilities are helping us daily to drive efficiency, which is particularly important in the context of rising energy costs, while simultaneously improving customer experience.

The modernisation process at Leeds took place in stages over a nine-month period. Each stage included pilot phases followed by deployment of the new technologies. The upgrade has used Schneider’s EcoStruxure software, including its Facility Expert, Resource Advisor and Machine Advisor tools, as well as Aveva’s DLM (discrete lean management) technology. There are plans to install further enhancements including power monitoring systems and operator advisors during 2023.

As part of the upgrade, Schneider has also set up an Innovation Hub at the Leeds site, showcasing Electricity 4.0 technologies. Visitors can interact with these and other technologies (including an augmented operator advisor) via immersive experiences and gain insights into the industries of the future.

Schneider Electric’s upgraded Leeds plant now functions as a smart factory

Schneider is offering site visits and virtual tours of the enhanced Leeds facility.

There is a YouTube video about the Leeds plant upgrade.

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