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of how our EcoStruxure solutions deliver benefits to our
customers, we are gaining those same benefits in our
operation and sharing that knowledge.”
Tamoud had mentioned during the opening remarks
that the energy required to power the world in 20 years
will double, while fossil fuel consumption will need to
drop by 80%
“This is the major megatrend that we have to embrace
and help our customers and help our communities to be
ready for the challenges of tomorrow,” says Tamoud, who
notes the manufacturer tries to be as green inside as its
brand color is on the outside.
A big part of that is evangelizing the merger of energy
management with industrial automation, explains Carlos
Villa, V.P. of industry at Schneider Electric.
“There are incredible synergies and opportunities to
unlock around energy savings when you can tie up your
manufacturing information to your energy consumption,”
Villa says. “And that is what I believe Schneider Electric
does best in terms of what we provide to customers.”
He says modularity is the key. As long as you are laying
the groundwork for optimization in some areas, you have
a foundation to add more.
“It’s not about the size of the enterprise, but the busi-
ness propositions you are trying to achieve,” Villa says.
“Once you prove that concept, you can build around that
investment to expand to a larger coverage.”
And the more applications you have, the better chance
there is for meaningful change.
“We are opening infinite numbers of doors that we never
thought about by measuring and starting to see a pattern,”
Like with working out to shed unwanted pounds, there’s
no shame in starting small. Even if your doctor tells you
that you’re out of shape and severely at risk for a heart
attack in 12 months, you wouldn’t solve the problem by
attempting a marathon on day one.
It’s perfectly acceptable to start with small applications,
such as EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor. NED
has long advocated for finding ways to put AR tech in the
hands of workers, predating even the Pokémon Go zeitgeist,
so it was great to see it being deployed more on the floor.
Schneider uses it for accessing relevant machine data
by pointing the tablet camera at a machine or operation,
and relevant data pops up on the screen. It runs through
the Magelis iPC edgeBox and a PLC.
Using this to access info such as work instructions
faster has resulted in a reduced mean time to repair by
20% at this plant.
Swiss industrial equipment provider Bühler also notes
how it can hasten work.
“The speed of the resulting information display on the
terminal is greater than what we could previously achieve
using routing slips or other paper or electronic records,” says
Holger Feldhege, Bühler COO for
manufacturing, logistics, and
Villa says starting with AR
would only cost about $5,000-
10,000, and was a crucial piece
to reducing paper by 90% at the
plant. Tamoud says that Schneider is also deploying wearable
headsets for maintenance work
and to engage with remote experts that may be at the smart
factory in Le Vaudreuil, France,
but would have a closeup view
of an issue at Lexington.
The number of Io T devices
is set to grow ten times the
current amount over the next
few decades, Tamoud says,
and Schneider is adding to
that with RFID OsiSense. The
sensor system—simple plug-
and-play boxes connected to
insight into inventory location. This has cut 128 miles
of forklift travel per day from the plant, greatly increasing
safety. The ROI was 33% in the first year and has cut
$500,000 work in progress inventory and saved $1 million
in material handling manpower costs. Previously, Engle says
automated material handling cut 50 forklifts from the plant
in 2007. MiR automated mobile robots and self-driving
Yale pallet trucks were also seen moving parts around.
Resource Advisor and Power Monitoring Expert may
hold the greatest power for transformation. The software,
paired with Schneider’s expertise in energy purchasing,
has helped Lexington save $6.6 million since 2012, and
3.5% year over year. The connected meters constantly feed
data to the system, which is visualized on dashboards to
indicate benchmarks and can alert management when a
level dips too low.
“Customers know the threshold, but don’t know exact
scheduling, which lines they could slow down without affecting deliveries to stay within the range of the current
energy consumption rates,” Villa says. The outcomes are
One of those customers, Saint-Gobain says it has saved
$50 million by allowing Schneider to buy their energy for them.
Ryan Spies, Saint-Gobain’s director of sustainability, says
Resource Advisor empowers each level, from floor to management to the C-Suite to make the right moves by comparing
plant data over time and against each other.
“It looks and finds our really good players, where we are
using more energy, and where I should be helping the business
and talking to senior management to get more capital,” Spies
says. “It’s a tool we use to really evaluate our sites and make
improvements and also recognize our high achieving plants.”
Spies admits dealing with zero-waste emissions, renewable
energy, and conserving water can be challenging, even for a
354-year-old company. But the former mirror manufacturer
is probably more reflective than most on the subject, their
CEO Pierre-André de Chalendar having written a book on
“Globally, we recognize the threat of climate change
beyond just the cost savings on the operations side,”
Spies says. “We have a responsibility as a company to
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