New Products Introduced by Schneider Electric at Connect 2016

Gary Freburger SchneiderSchneider Electric automation President Gary Freburger talked about living in a time of immense change in the industry. Sandy Vasser of ExxonMobil (my last report) discussed some of the disruptions his team is working on. One of the disruptions relates to configurable I/O.

At the conference, Schneider Electric announced an update to its Intelligent Marshalling solution. It now contains redundancy capabilities. Likewise the Tricon CX compact safety system has been enhanced with the addition of the 3902X TMR universal I/O module.

The Foxboro Evo FBM 248 and Tricon CX 3902X remove the dependency among control and safety system design and the installation of I/O systems. Universal I/O offerings for Foxboro Evo and Triconex enable process automation professionals to seamlessly adapt to last-minute I/O design changes and provide backup to eliminate the impact of any process downtime.

Schneider Intelligent Marshalling“Upgrading our award-winning Intelligent Marshalling solution to include redundancy and safety capabilities demonstrates our commitment to providing the connected solutions our customers need to improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of their plants and business operations,” said Chris Lyden, senior vice president of strategy, Process Automation, Schneider Electric. “Configuring control and safety systems I/O can be costly, labor-intensive and subject to change. With their additional flexibility, the Foxboro FBM 248 and Tricon CX 3902X I/O offerings allow our customers to adjust to unforeseen module changes and errors with little impact to installation time. That can drive huge savings when it comes to project execution and operations.”

With its universal I/O and software-configurable modules, Intelligent Marshalling allows users to configure I/O points from anywhere in the plant or in the world. It also enables flexible options for future expansions and upgrades, as well as significant cost savings by reducing marshalling infrastructure, increasing I/O density per cabinet, reducing field and maintenance labor costs and drastically reducing the need for onsite replacement inventory.

Modicon Finds a Home

Modicon, and factory automation in general, has been a bit like an orphan step child for years at Schneider. The group now reports into the automation group under Freburger. It’s a learning experience for the process automation people—new language, new distribution, new service options. But things seem to coalescing well.

The PlantStruxure PES hybrid control system, build on a Modicon PLC platform, received its moment in the sun at the conference. Schneider Electric has added redundant controllers to the PlantStruxure PES system. Today, 50 percent of PlantStruxure PES projects require at least one pair of redundant controllers within the configuration. PES V4.2 meets the next generation of requirements with the M580 ePAC and the ability to lock down ports within a single configuration environment. With the highest levels of cybersecurity available on the market, PES V4.2 ensures nearly 100 percent uptime for customer systems.

“As IT and OT converge, we need solutions that boost plant connectivity and security,” said Lyden. “PlantStruxure PES enhances the ability of plant operators, engineers and managers to take better advantage of process and energy management data, which better enables them to improve maintenance, increase asset reliability and uncover additional operational efficiencies, all in a more secure environment. By making our PlantStruxure PES automation system secure and future proof by design, we are meeting the needs of tomorrow’s production facilities, today.”

A core feature of the Modicon M580 ePAC is its Ethernet-based architecture. Integration into the PES solution improves system management and provides customers with a level of standard communication, guaranteeing a future-proof system. Additionally, new services will be available for engineering and commissioning, which will make navigating a control program easier, as well as improve performance when making project changes. PlantStruxure PES V4.2 is also equipped with ready-to-use application and industry libraries, allowing systems to be built more quickly and with lower engineering costs. And by integrating energy-management features from other Schneider Electric automation and power devices, such as Altivar drives, the system will help users realize higher energy cost savings.

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