Industry today is clearly at an inflection point. The pressure to improve efficiency, safety and reliability continues to mount, even as many of industry's most experienced practitioners retire. Automation and other information technologies can be part of the solution, but they need to deliver value while simultaneously reducing complexity, boosting the effectiveness of those engineering and operations professionals charged with supporting these important and ongoing tasks.
Indeed, the time is ripe for 'Big Ideas' that will deliver unprecedented value for the hybrid and process industries, said Gary Freburger, president, process automation, for Schneider Electric in his opening remarks to the company's 2015 Global Automation Conference today in Dallas.
"Global technology developments represented by the Internet of Things, Big Data and Industry 4.0 have opened new opportunities for vendors and customers alike to look at the industrial landscape through a different lens and to drive more value in the face of unprecedented challenges," Freburger said.
"Schneider Electric, bolstered by stronger control and safety offerings, is uniquely positioned to power the Big Ideas our customers need to solve their most critical issues. Not only do they need to leverage and get more from existing assets, they need a partner who can help them increase productivity, reliability, security and agility with future-proof solutions that reduce risk and lower costs."
Schneider Electric has accelerated its technology development plans, for example, quadrupling its Triconex safety system investments over the past four years, Freburger said. "Innovation continues to be our priority. We have the people, technology and resources in place. We continue to invest and be committed to our process automation offerings—Modicon, Foxboro, Triconex—as the core of our industrial solutions business."
Adding the former Invensys brands to Schneider Electric rounds out an especially broad and deep portfolio that reaches across the industrial automation landscape, from highly discrete manufacturing facilities to continuous processing plants to highly distributed SCADA applications common to water/wastewater, mining and oil & gas sectors. Freburger also sees the opportunity to deliver increasingly integrated solutions that bridge the company's automation, electrical and information technology offerings.
While many think of Schneider Electric as a leader in the energy management space, the company is now number two globally in discrete automation and number four in process automation, Freburger said. "We see a significant amount of leverage in the full portfolio we can bring to bear on behalf of our customers, and we are uniquely positioned to provide a measurable return on investment."