11 months ago

Control Engineering - January 2018 (R) 'I'

Revista Control Engineering


INSIGHTS INTERNATIONAL Stone Shi, Control Engineering China Using software to provide IIoT value Schneider Electric is expanding its industrial software platform offerings to provide value for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to companies. Software defines the future manufacturing industry. As hardware becomes increasingly convergent, this assertion becomes more realistic. Schneider Electric, a global industrial automation provider, began acquiring industrial software companies a few years ago to expand its software offerings. During the Schneider Electric industrial software user convention, Control Engineering China interviewed Cui Jingyi, who is in charge of software business of Schneider Electric China region, and Geok Kee Tay, chief technical officer of software business in the Asia-Pacific Region to better understand Schneider Electric’s software strategy. Software, which is seen as the future core of competitiveness for manufacturing, also provides value for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Lifecycle software foundation Schneider Electric, while regarded as a hardware provider, expanded its software offerings with the 2014 acquisition of Invensys. The company has become one of the few industrial software product and solution suppliers that cover process, hybrid, and discrete manufacturing. ‘ EcoStruxure from Schneider Electric provides interconnected hardware, edge point control, and applications, analytics, and services. ’ Jingyi said the existing software product lines of Schneider Electric includes six parts: process engineering, operation control, information management, asset management, operation management, and supply chain management. Each stage covers the full lifecycle including design, planning, operation, analysis, and optimization. At this point, software offerings already covered the breadth of the industrial supply chain and each market niche. Cui Jingyi is in charge of software business of Schneider Electric China Region. Courtesy: Control Engineering China Jingyi said Schneider Electric began to engage in mergers and acquisitions five or six years ago and continued to invest in its original software offerings. In 2014, Schneider Electric established a software department to integrate related assets, technologies, and personnel. The number of global software business personnel numbers 3,000. In addition, Schneider Electric has 10 R&D centers and more than 1,000 R&D personnel. Schneider Electric has 2 million software authorizations, serves more than 100,000 factories, and has 4,000 partners globally. Core of the platform strategy Facing an upsurge in global intelligent manufacturing, Schneider Electric released EcoStruxure IoT architecture at the beginning of 2017. However, EcoStruxure, as a three-layer architecture, is neither an IIoT platform nor an industrial cloud platform. The bottom layer includes various hardware products with interconnectivity capacity. The intermediate layer is edge point control. The uppermost layer comprises various applications, analytics, and services. These three layers are not mutually independent. IIoT only can be realized through intercommunication of these three layers regarding 8 • January 2018 CONTROL ENGINEERING

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