New DCS release facilitates profitability improvement

Aug 07, 2018

New 7.1 release of EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS Control Software is designed to help customers improve the real-time efficiency, cybersecurity, reliability and profitability of their assets and operations. With expanded capabilities and an enhanced HMI, the updated software simplifies engineering and enhances the user experience, while expanding the ability of EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS to drive measurable operational profitability improvements, safely. The new software version is on display at Schneider Electric’s annual EcoStruxure Foxboro user group conference, this week in San Antonio, Texas.

The EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS process automation system is designed to provide highly accurate and effective control over a manufacturing plant’s operational profitability, enabling a measurable 100% ROI in less than one year. With its high-capacity, high-availability control processors; powerful, fit-for-purpose I/O; intuitive, role-based engineering tools; and enhanced, intuitive operation capabilities; the continuously current Foxboro DCS is proven to:

  • Improve time to first production by 30 percent.

  • Reduce project costs and risk by 20 percent.

  • Reduce maintenance costs by 30 percent.

  • Reduce energy, material, engineering, operating and inventory costs.

  • Empower the workforce to make better business and operational decisions in real time.

EcoStruxure is Schneider Electric’s system architecture and platform, and was created to deliver enhanced value around safety, reliability, efficiency, sustainability and connectivity for the company’s customers. EcoStruxure leverages advancements in IoT, mobility, sensing, cloud, analytics and cybersecurity. This includes connected products, edge control capabilities as well as applications, analytics and services. EcoStruxure has been deployed in 480,000+ sites, with the support of 20,000+ system integrators and developers, connecting over 1.6 million assets under management through 40+ digital services.

Open process automation standard

“Schneider Electric understands and is driving the future of open process automation, and our EcoStruxure Plant platform will help us fulfill this vision,” said Hany Fouda, vice president, Process Automation Offer Management and Global Sales, Schneider Electric. “The new control software migration path ensures our customers have continuously current technology. We have been the industry’s standard bearer when it comes to open process automation since we launched the Foxboro I/A Series DCS more than 30 years ago. Our flagship DCS, the EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS, is built on this legacy. Updated EcoStruxure Foxboro Control software and other ongoing investments are enabling our customers to move from simply controlling their processes to controlling their real-time business performance. This approach provides for an easier, less costly transition into the future of industrial automation and a clear path toward success in the digital age. Our customers have never been better situated to succeed, now and tomorrow.”

EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS Control Software 7.1 runs on Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016, to provide maximum flexibility while ensuring robust cybersecurity. When planning upgrades, Schneider Electric customers can mix Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 10 on the same system, allowing flexibility in scheduling and timing for upgrades. Customers can upgrade individual sections of the plant in any order, at any pace, to best accommodate plant production schedules. With Microsoft support for Windows 7 due to end in 2020, transitioning to Windows 10 allows EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS customers to benefit from the strongest operating system with the most up-to-date cybersecurity features.

Among other new and updated features, EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS Control Software 7.1 now includes:

  • EcoStruxure Field Device Expert that improves efficiency, safety and profitability, while considerably reducing time for startup and restarts. It includes:

    • Intelligent Commissioning Wizard, to reduce commissioning time up to 75 percent by automating HART device commissioning and documentation processes.

    • Device Replacement Wizard to significantly reduce time and expertise to replace or commission HART devices, either individually or in bulk.

    • Bundled HART DD library for increased security, faster device deployment, eradication of version mismatch and elimination of cybersecurity risks previously created by moving documents from the HART consortium web page into the system.

  • New HMI Bulk Graphics Editor for increased operational efficiency and reliability by greatly reducing engineering hours and improving quality during testing. Use in major projects shows that replicating hundreds of displays with the new Bulk Graphics Editor saves months of man hours and improves quality by delivering highly predictable results. The Bulk Graphics Editor makes migrating from the classic FoxView HMI to the new Foxboro DCS Control HMI easier, requiring far fewer engineering hours, which reduces the time and cost to transition between technologies.

  • Control Editors Activity Monitor for increased efficiency by improving communication, workflow and collaboration.

  • Real-time asset health condition monitoring for increased reliability.

  • Future-proof technology supporting the latest FTD 2.0 standard, which improves compatibility with digitized field devices from Schneider Electric and third-party vendors.

  • System platform update for version continuity with leading business software from AVEVA.

  • New migration path,along with the new HMI Bulk Graphics Editor,simplifies the transition from existing FoxView HMI displays to the EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS Control Software 7.1 HMI platform for a continuously current and future-proof system. An upgrade migration path is available from previous Control Software Versions 5.x, 6.x and 7.0. After upgrading, users can tap into newer technologies that improve productivity, cybersecurity, efficiency and profitability.

“Our value-focused EcoStruxure Plant systems, solutions and services empower our customers to move from controlling only the efficiency of their assets and operations to controlling all their other business variables in real time, including their safety, cybersecurity, reliability and, especially, profitability,” Fouda said. “Backed by our continuously current pledge, the EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS and EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS Control Software 7.1 ensure our customers are never left behind. These are just two examples of how we help customers convert their process automation investments into the profit engines of their business.”