As digital technology continues its inexorable transformation of industrial processes, Schneider Electric is taking a leading role in reconceiving those process and business variables we could once only manage into ones we can now control.
Production efficiency was first, asset reliability was second, and now the company is taking aim at process safety—all toward helping industrial companies to fully leverage their automation infrastructure as profit engines for their businesses.
“We’re already affecting either the top line or the bottom line in everything we do,” said Steve Elliott, senior marketing director for Schneider Electric Process Automation control and safety offerings. “By applying new, stronger and secure process safety systems and components, Schneider Electric customers are better able to mitigate risks, eliminate incidents that lead to downtime and drive measurable operational profitability improvements, safely.”
Elliott delivered one of many safety-related keynote addresses and sessions at Schneider Electric's EcoStruxure Triconex User Group 2018 on Oct. 15-17 in Galveston, Texas, which was attended by several hundred attendees.
Schneider Electric's expertise in optimizing process efficiency is packaged in its EcoStruxure Control Advisor solution. Further, having pioneered the concept of real-time accounting, its EcoStruxure Profit Advisor allows process manufacturers to view in real-time the profitability of their operations. The company’s EcoStruxure Maintenance Advisor, meanwhile, helps companies to predict and prevent equipment failures that can lead to unscheduled, profit-sapping downtime. Now, it wants to change how users think about safety, and how the systems and processes designed with the primary mission of protecting people and production assets can now help to improve the profitability of operations as well.
“During the design of any plant with potentially hazardous conditions, processors have long acknowledged not only the safety integrity level (SIL) needed to reduce potential risks to an acceptable level, but also safety’s environmental and commercial counterparts,” explained.
However, it’s only with the recent introduction of advanced safety controller technologies—such as the company’s latest EcoStruxure Triconex Tricon CX—along with powerful analytics and data visibility among a plant’s varied assets and decision-makers that processors can possess a real-time understanding of where the plant is within that window of safe operations. A real-time knowledge of where the plant is with respect to those safety limits allows processors to operate more closely to that threshold when such operations enhance profitability.
“By leveraging our innovative applications and analytics, which take advantage of secured connectivity, digitization and big data, our EcoStruxure Triconex customers are better able to exploit their business and operating data so they can better understand the impact safety has on the real-time profitability of their operations.” added Mike Chmilewski, vice president, Process Safety, Schneider Electric Process Automation.