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EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS evolves to enable measurable operational profitability improvements, safely

Posted: Thursday 31st August 2017

Future-proof control system delivers 100 percent ROI in less than one year.

Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, has improved the capabilities of its EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS, the company's flagship distributed control system and the only DCS that provides 100 percent ROI in less than one year.

With today's increasing speed of business, extracting additional value from existing control systems is critical to helping end users keep pace and remain competitive, but many manufacturers are reluctant to upgrade their process automation because it has been difficult for them to show full return on what can sometimes be a significant capital investment.

However, according to Craig Resnick, vice president, ARC advisory group, "With the growth and emergence of advanced digital technology - driven by the Industrial Internet of Things - the ability to recoup full, measureable ROI is there, if the right technology is applied. Schneider Electric's EcoStruxure platform is an example of that technology."

EcoStruxure is Schneider Electric's IoT-enabled, open and interoperable system architecture and platform. Delivering innovation at every level across connected products; edge control; and apps, analytics and services, the EcoStruxure architecture enables scalable design and operation of connected systems with best-in-class cybersecurity built in at every layer.

Value-focused apps and analytics measure, control operational profitability, asset to asset

Historically, distributed control systems have been limited to controlling the efficiency and safety of the process, without being able to measure and control other critical operating variables - especially profitability - in real time. The EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS, which marks the evolution of the Foxboro Evo control system, changes that. Highly scalable, open and interoperable, the Foxboro DCS is proven to increase the business value process controllers can generate, primarily by making the real-time profitability of the operation more visible.

With patented, customisable real-time accounting (RTA) models built in, the EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS not only allows the industrial workforce to evaluate the real-time financial performance of an industrial operation directly at the equipment asset level, it also empowers them to more easily identify the impact their actions and decisions have on the profitability of the operations they control. The RTA models can be manipulated and adapted to suit a variety of industrial operations across multiple segments, enabling a wide range of customers to reap far more value from their existing systems.

"For the most part, by the time business managers receive their monthly updates from whatever enterprise resource planning systems they use, the information is no longer relevant to the operational business decisions they need to make. Or should have made," said Peter Martin, vice president, innovation and marketing, process automation, Schneider Electric. "The EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS breaks the mold because our RTA models help control value asset to asset, all the way up the enterprise. By aligning process control with the hierarchy of the plant, we can provide far more visibility into the financial performance of every plant asset and asset set. That allows plant personnel to understand the impact their decisions have on the business and business leaders to understand the impact their decisions have on the operation, in real time."

Real-time accounting empowers real-time business control

Along with the RTA models, the continuously current EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS features high-capacity, high-availability control processors; more powerful, fit-for-purpose I/O; intuitive, role-based engineering tools; and enterprise-wide analytical tools and capabilities. Additionally, its hardened cybersecure design and secure integration with the company's market-leading Triconex safety systems protect the facility's critical assets and allow for continuous production. Moreover, its automated, enterprise-wide, real-time condition monitoring and predictive maintenance capabilities minimise unplanned shutdowns, maximise uptime and lower maintenance costs by 30 percent or more.

"With its embedded accounting models and other IIoT capabilities, the EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS has the potential to measure and control critical cost and value points in the industrial process," Resnick said. "That could open the door for end users to shift from managing their business month to month using traditional reporting structures and tools to actually controlling it in real time."

EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS works in tandem with EcoStruxure profit advisor, Schneider Electric's new software solution that applies the company's RTA models to help the industrial workforce diagnose and analyse the profitability of processes throughout the plant. Whereas EcoStruxure profit advisor connects to any process historian to mine both historical and real-time data, the EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS takes the next step by building the algorithms into the process controllers themselves, thereby extending real-time accounting capabilities to every point in the process.

The industrial profit engine

"The Foxboro brand has long represented a commitment to open, interoperable control systems, commencing with the launch of the Foxboro I/A Series in 1987," said Martin. "Over the last 30 years we have continually strengthened our pledge to deliver value-focused technology solutions to our customers. Now, after decades of continuous improvement, we are innovating at every level to help our customers drive measurable operational profitability improvements, safely, from all of their assets and asset sets. We are confident the EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS will convert their process control and automation into the profit engines of their business."




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October 2017

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