Schneider Electric delivers profitable safety

Singapore –Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, today demonstrated how it enables customers to extend real-time control from only operational efficiency to include operational safety, security and profitability. 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.

“Through our EcoStruxure Triconex systems, solutions and software, Schneider Electric is focused on helping our customers ensure a safer, more profitable operation,” said Mike Chmilewski, vice president, Process Safety, Schneider Electric Process Automation. “By leveraging our innovative applications and analytics, which take advantage of secured connectivity, digitisation and big data, our 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.”

In today’s competitive global economy, manufacturers are under constant pressure to improve overall business performance, but many still are unaware of the various ways superior levels of safety can drive profitability.

“Since a manufacturer’s primary business objective is to drive profitability from its operations, protecting the safety of the plant’s people, assets, and environment has traditionally been viewed as a necessary cost of doing business,” said Craig Resnick, vice president, consulting, ARC Advisory Group. “However, by helping end users link the safety of their assets with the profitability of their operations, manufacturers must deploy solutions, such as EcoStruxure Triconex systems, that can transform the value of their safety systems. Today’s advanced safety systems are investments, not expenses. Because they can quickly gather and analyse data, they enable plant managers and operators to accurately predict when their operations will exceed acceptable safety thresholds. These newfound abilities to avoid near misses and unexpected outages have a direct, positive impact on overall business performance.”

The Power of Digitisation

According to a recent ARC Advisory Group study, 92 per cent of respondents in global manufacturing organisations strongly support the use of robust and capable devices to enable real-time decision making, with near-unanimous agreement about the concept. Users have long recognised the value of being able to process data and execute programmes as close to the manufacturing process as possible, with the aim of maximising process efficiency and reducing or virtually eliminating the time between acquiring data and acting on it. This requires manufacturers to digitise their operations so they can benefit from increased access to and visibility into operating and business data.

“Emerging IIoT technologies, such as digitisation, analytics and visual clues, when appropriately applied, open the door to new opportunities that empower better, highly accurate operating and business decisions in real time,” Resnick said.

Using advanced, value-focused EcoStruxure™ Triconex® technologies, as well as the company’s patented real-time accounting models and dynamic performance measures, the industrial workforce is now capable of analysing past, present and even future incidents to improve safety risk, which significantly heightens their ability to eliminate unscheduled downtime.

“IIoT-driven algorithms can be configured to identify looming threats to equipment and safety, allowing operators to act before incidents occur,” said Resnick. “By better identifying, planning and managing these operating and business risks, process manufacturers not only reduce the likelihood of unexpected production outages and downtime, they also have greater control over operational profitability. This continuous, closed-loop approach is how solutions, such as Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Triconex systems, can help them to shift from managing safety as a cost centre to controlling it as a profit centre.”

The EcoStruxure Triconex Advantage

At the heart of Schneider Electric’s safety capabilities is the Triconex Tricon CX, the company’s most powerful, secure safety system that enables connectivity between systems, assets and people, and allows for better real-time operating and business decision making.

Along with stronger cybersecurity features and enhanced performance, new Tricon CX v11.4 features include:

• A new high-performance I/O bus that goes further, faster: o New fault-tolerant 1GB I/O bus and fiber-optic adaptors allow for greater distances—up to 20 kilometres—greater system flexibility, and enhanced end-to-end performance.

• A smaller footprint and flexible architecture that, together with Triconex Safety Intelligent Enclosures and Tricon CX Universal Safety I/O, significantly reduce system engineering and installation costs, while shortening project schedules and reducing risk.

• A new version of TriStation that allows the Tricon CX safety system to be engineered and configured faster, including:

o The ability to open legacy project files without the need to install, upgrade, or maintain the programming software; The addition of HART container, which allows intelligent device configuration and detection.

• The all new Triconex Diagnostic Expert that resolves maintenance issues faster and more accurately, including: o Enhanced Diagnostic Monitor, making it quick and easy to understand system health and identify issues;

  • New Sequence of Event recorder and playback for faster event analysis and identification of process upsets and outages;
  • o High-speed data logging for quick and accurate resolution to operational issues.

EcoStruxure is Schneider Electric’s open, interoperable, IoT-enabled system architecture and platform.

EcoStruxure delivers enhanced value around safety, reliability, efficiency, sustainability and connectivity for its customers. EcoStruxure leverages advancements in IoT, mobility, sensing, cloud, analytics, and cybersecurity to deliver Innovation at Every Level. This includes Connected Products, Edge Control, and Apps, Analytics & 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.

If It’s Not Secure, It’s Not Safe

“The global manufacturing and critical infrastructure industry is faced with increasingly frequent and sophisticated cyberattacks, which are occurring across all geographies and segments, regardless of which control and safety systems the end users have installed,” Chmilewski said. “To help our customers combat these dangers, we applied the unique insights, expertise and knowledge we acquired in the last year to enhance the Tricon CX so that it is able to withstand multiple threats and attack methods.”

Tricon CX is compliant with the IEC 62443 cybersecurity standard and is certified by TÜV Rheinland for use in safety applications up to Safety Integrity Level 3. It is also ISASecure® EDSA Level-1 certified, the industry’s leading cybersecurity certification for industrial control and safety systems and components. This has resulted in further security enhancements in Tricon CX v11.4 to mitigate sophisticated methods of attack.

“Strengthening the Tricon controller continues the security journey we committed to when we were the first to receive safety and cybersecurity certifications from TÜV Rheinland,” said Chmilewski. “With its recent security enhancements, dual certifications and standards compliance, and because it was designed in accordance with our recognised Security Development Lifecycle process, Tricon CX remains highly secure while also delivering the highest degree of operational availability of any safety system. It keeps customers on a path for a safer, more secure future, and it serves as the best example of how Triconex safety systems—the most dependable in the industry with more than one billion hours logged without dangerous failure—are helping our customers drive measurable, real-time improvements to their operational profitably, safely and securely.”