Process control system upgrades pique my interest, especially with respect to the work of the Open Process Automation Forum. So, when I received this one—ABB launches the latest version of its distributed control system, ABB Ability System 800xA 6.1.1, offering increased I/O capabilities, the agility of commissioning, and enhanced security as a foundation for digital transformation—I had to ask. Roy Tanner, ABB Product Marketing helped enlighten me considering that my ABB marketing contacts are now in England and communication is less frequent.
ABB Ability System 800xA 6.1.1 represents an evolution for automated control and plant operations of tomorrow, consolidating the technology pioneer’s number one leadership position in the DCS market. By increasing industry collaboration, the latest version of ABB’s flagship DCS enables decision makers to future proof their plants, making it an easy call to make.
I asked about customer interest in decoupling hardware and software in order to make upgrades less expensive and time consuming. Tanner replied, “I agree that there is a trend for decoupling hardware with software on multiple fronts as it brings a lot of value in various ways.” And he expands:
• One area, of course, is regarding virtualization which helps separate the PC hardware from software releases. As you know, our industry calls for longevity and stability and virtualization can help reduce the frequency in which customers need to update their infrastructure – which is not trivial. This is in addition to other clear maintenance and lifecycle benefits that can be realized.
• In addition, System 800xA supports LTS versions of software that match with MS …AND for System 800xA we support both the latest and previous operating systems. This gives our customers the ability to ‘update’ their systems online, over time rather than have the big “upgrade” which is usually scheduled with outages even though we support online-upgrades.
• Another is where we are trying to decouple I/O hardware design and software for more efficient, flexible project execution. As you may recall, we came out with the concept of xStream Engineering which is a fancy way of describing split -staging arrangements. We can install I/O in the field (or at an intermediate staging center or fabrication yard), configure the I/O, perform loop checks (even automated loop checks on smart devices), WITHOUT needing controller hardware site, and then send the results back to the project group doing the control strategy. This alleviates all the last minute project pressure and drama that results in increased project costs and delayed schedules.
• Check out our most recent release of our Ethernet I/O Field Kit and what it can do for smart commissioning tasks. That’s why you’ll see our tagline – “Ethernet I/O Field kit with xStream Commissioning”. Check out this site as you can see a video with a demo and read more. There’s also a link to our Select I/O virtual cabinet so you can learn more about Select I/O.
The challenge is that there is a shift in the traditional DCS architecture and even with a more modern, advanced System 800xA. We are taking on that challenge as it also meets our customer’s digital strategy endeavors as well. The challenge is how to help our customers reach their digitalization and IIoT goals without having to re-tool their existing automation infrastructure. We have embarked on this journey with a motto called “innovation with continuity”. By reshaping today’s platform approach to a NOA, OPAF, Modular – like architecture, we are creating the ultimate win-win scenario which I feel is different than some of our competitors.
• For our customers … with this new approach, we can provide today’s customer with a digitalization highway without having to change their chassis, tires, engine etc.,.
• For us … a faster time to market while keeping the process, safety, automation layer more stable.
Three of the eleven hours I spent on a variety of video platforms Monday and Tuesday were “at” Honeywell User Group, better known as HUG. I appreciate the virtual conference since there are a minimum of three places for me to attend this week. If they were all physical locations, I would never have made it.
This HUG was more interesting than I remember from the past couple of years. Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) has, well, er, solved several hanging issues that were critical to its future success. The big one is moving with software-defined and decoupling hardware and software. This is major goal of the Open Process Automation Forum and of major Honeywell customer, ExxonMobil. It has also opened an innovative migration path for its legacy TDC systems to its latest Experion C300 systems avoiding the dreaded rip-and-replace. I was pretty impressed with the progress since last year. I don’t hear from HPS on a regular basis, so this was welcome news.
There are two press releases below. The first discusses Operator Advisor, part of its plant-wide optimization strategy.
Jason Urso, HPS CTO, discussed the Autonomous Operations Maturity Model in his keynote and a later session with media. This model contains five levels all of which find HPS hard at work building out. Following is a brief outline.
- Level 1—automation optimization. Introduced Electronic Work Instructions and Forge Plant-wide optimizer.
- Level 2—Intelligent Operations. Here, Urso discussed expanding use of digital twins for modeling and HALO automated intelligence (see below).
- Level 3—Remote Operations. For example, well head, pipeline, offshore, and mining operations. Urso discussed project execution support services leading to fully remote operations.
- Level 4—Resilient Operations. Experion HIVE I/O increasing in useability and flexibility, decouples hardware and software eliminating concern with end-of-life issues for equipment.
- Level 5—Autonomous Operations. HPS have introduced Energy Control System with market APIs.
Overall, an informative couple of days devoted to Honeywell Process Solutions.
Operator Advisor Added to HALO Suite
Honeywell announced the addition of Operator Advisor to its Experion Highly Augmented Lookahead Operations (HALO) suite.
This software solution enables plant owners to objectively measure gaps and drive operator effectiveness to the next level. This market-first solution presents users – including oil and gas, chemical, refining and petrochemical organizations – with a consolidated scorecard of enterprise automation utilization and recommended steps to address performance-related gaps.
Honeywell’s solution uses machine learning-powered analytics, a type of artificial intelligence, to gather insights from enterprise data sources such as distributed control systems and funnel those insights into dashboards. These dashboards can provide operations managers and supervisors with a clear and complete view of operator performance and improvement opportunities.
By understanding how operator actions, inactions and workload levels contribute to optimal production, organizations can develop targeted training programs, make strides toward autonomous operations and build process resilience – all of which can help them better compete in the digital age.
“According to the Abnormal Situation Management Consortium, 40% to 70% of industrial accidents are linked to human error,” said Pramesh Maheshwari, vice president and general manager, Lifecycle Solutions and Services, Honeywell Process Solutions. “This underscores the importance of deploying an enterprise-wide competency program that empowers organizations and workers through use of advanced technologies like machine learning to improve plant performance, uptime, reliability and safety.”
As part of Honeywell’s Workforce Excellence portfolio, HALO Operator Advisor is a timely response to several industry trends, including the global desire for post-COVID-19 preparedness and resilience, growing operational complexity, the aging industrial workforce and the urgent need to upskill next-generation recruits.
Honeywell data reveals the transformational impact HALO Operator Advisor can have on plant operations. Potential benefits include the reduction of 75% of incidents and human errors, leading to the recovery of $1.5 million annually per plant of production loss due to worker performance; a $2 million annual reduction in operational costs by optimizing worker productivity and training and advancing toward full autonomous plant operation; a $1.3 million annual savings in headcount through optimized production; and a $1 million savings in annual maintenance costs through improved equipment reliability.
HALO Operator Advisor will be available in October 2021. For more information, visit: https://www.honeywellprocess.com and check the HALO Operator Advisor Service Note.
Cybersecurity Research Reports Increase In USB Threats
- Report finds that 79% of cyber threats originating from removable media could critically impact operational technology (OT) environments
- 2021 Honeywell USB Threat Report finds 37% of all cybersecurity threats were designed to use removable media – nearly double last year’s findings
According to a report released today by Honeywell, USB-based threats that can severely impact business operations increased significantly during a disruptive year when the usage of removable media and network connectivity also grew.
Data from the 2021 Honeywell Industrial USB Threat Report indicates that 37% of threats were specifically designed to utilize removable media, which almost doubled from 19% in the 2020 report. The research also highlights that 79% of cyber threats originating from USB devices or removable media could lead to a critical business disruption in the operational technology (OT) environment. At the same time, there was a 30% increase in the use of USB devices in production facilities last year, highlighting the growing dependence on removable media.
The report was based on aggregated cybersecurity threat data from hundreds of industrial facilities globally during a 12-month period. Along with USB attacks, research shows a growing number of cyber threats including remote access, Trojans and content-based malware have the potential to cause severe disruption to industrial infrastructure.
“USB-borne malware was a serious and expanding business risk in 2020, with clear indications that removable media has become part of the playbook used by attackers, including those that employ ransomware,” said Eric Knapp, engineering fellow and director of cybersecurity research for Honeywell Connected Enterprise. “Because USB-borne cyber intrusions have become so effective, organizations must adopt a formal program that addresses removable media and protects against intrusions to avoid potentially costly downtime.”
Many industrial and OT systems are air-gapped or cut off from the internet to protect them from attacks. Intruders are using removable media and USB devices as an initial attack vector to penetrate networks and open them up to major attacks. Knapp says hackers are loading more advanced malware on plug-in devices to directly harm their intended targets through sophisticated coding that can create backdoors to establish remote access. Hackers with remote access can then command and control the targeted systems.
The 2021 report includes data from Honeywell’s Secure Media Exchange (SMX) technology, which is designed to scan and control USB drives and removable media. To reduce the risk of USB-related threats, Honeywell recommends that organizations utilize several layers of OT cybersecurity software products and services such as Honeywell’s Secure Media Exchange (SMX), the Honeywell Forge Cybersecurity Suite, people training and process changes.
Honeywell’s Secure Media Exchange (SMX) provides advanced threat detection for critical infrastructure by monitoring, better protecting and logging use of removable media throughout industrial facilities. The Honeywell Forge Cybersecurity Suite can monitor for vulnerabilities such as open ports or the presence of USB security controls to strengthen endpoint and network security, while also ensuring better cybersecurity compliance.Read the full report here and visit Honeywell Forgeersecurity.
Process manufacturing grew more and more complex, as well as more and more digital. Engineers needed better ways to communicate with field devices and instrumentation from control and operator stations. “We need a fieldbus,” they said.
Unfortunately, they didn’t get a fieldbus; they got many. There were angry magazine articles and resignations and recriminations as standards organizations didn’t approve one fieldbus for process applications. Every company through its proxy association wanted its technology recognized as a standard. And that is what happened. We had many standards.
Imagine my bemusement when after rearranging my schedule a bit to attend a 7 am (for me, 2 pm in Germany) press conference only to see the leaders of FieldComm, ODVA, and Profibus/Profinet International along with the leader of the OPC Foundation together discussing how this new Ethernet for Process manufacturing—Ethernet Advanced Physical Layer or Ethernet-APL—was the culmination of their work.
One physical network. The differing protocols? Well, heaven is still in the future, I guess.
Actually, this new network does solve many problems, bringing 10 Mbs Ethernet in standard cable and connector being intrinsically safe to the market. This is an example of collaborative work on a standard bringing great benefit to users.,
Following is today’s press release:
The numerous barriers to deploying high-speed Ethernet enabled instrumentation in hazardous process automation facilities are now resolved with the introduction of Ethernet-APL technology. Ethernet-APL is the new two-wire, intrinsically-safe physical layer suitable for use in demanding process automation applications. Ethernet-APL’s benefits include dramatically improved communication speed, hazardous area reach, power to field instrumentation, and long cable runs. Leading standards development organizations FieldComm Group, ODVA, OPC Foundation, and PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI), as well as 12 major industrial project partners, have worked together successfully over the past three years under “The APL Project” to create this new physical layer solution for field instrumentation. With the release of the specifications, engineering guidelines, and conformance test plans by The APL Project, end users can now expect components from leading suppliers, with first products now available from select vendors.
Ethernet-APL is an extension of the specification for Single-Pair Ethernet (SPE) based on 10BASET-1L, which can support every higher-order Ethernet communication protocol. By making adjustments to the physical layer, the requirements necessary for reliable operation in process-related plants are satisfied. The principal requirements are high-speed Ethernet based communications, operation in potentially explosive areas, and an ability to install long cable lengths of up to 1,000 meters. The electrical parameters that an Ethernet-APL device must meet to ensure “intrinsically safe” ignition protection are defined in the technical specification of the IEC TS 60079-47 (2-WISE or 2-Wire Intrinsically Safe Ethernet).
The APL Project to bring Ethernet to the field has been underway for several years, and it is with much excitement and anticipation that this initial technology launch is announced. “We are very pleased to release the carefully crafted technology specifications and engineering guidelines to enable Ethernet-APL technology to start to transform the field of process plants,” commented Dr. Jörg Hähniche, Chair of the APL Steering Committee. “The high level of cooperation across multiple standards development and vendor organizations within the APL Project has resulted in one future oriented Ethernet physical layer for process automation. This technology launch is a key progress marker, and the development journey will continue now with products in the pipeline from significant industry partners.”
The APL Project has defined port profiles to create the Ethernet-APL concept for multiple power levels with and without explosion hazardous area protection. Ethernet-APL port profiles, including electrical power classes, shield connection options, and segment lengths, have been finalized. Markings on devices and instrumentation will indicate power level and function as sourcing or sinking. This will provide a simple framework for interoperability from engineering to operation and maintenance. Engineering guidelines and best practices for planning and installation are also now complete and available in an engineering directive document that will support users when designing and commissioning networks utilizing Ethernet-APL. This facilitates an easy transfer of knowledge for a smooth adoption of Ethernet-APL. Standard Ethernet diagnostic tools will assist new or seasoned instrument techs and engineers in their daily work, providing for a shallow learning curve.
As a single physical layer, Ethernet-APL will be able to support EtherNet/IP, HART-IP, OPC UA, PROFINET, or any other higher-level network protocol. Activities are underway to finalize conformance testing at the leading standards development organizations that are a part of the APL Project. The test specifications now published will assure the quality of products and verify that a product complies with the parameters defined in the APL port profiles specification. The APL Project team has also cooperated with semiconductor manufacturers who will offer 10BASE-T1L Phys for Ethernet-APL on the market. Additionally, the 12 APL Project industry partners are finalizing development of products that will be available in the marketplace soon. The multivendor demonstration in Karlsruhe, Germany – displayed digitally during ACHEMA Pulse showing participation across different product vendors and networks – highlights the multiple options and interoperability that Ethernet-APL will offer end users.
With the launch of Ethernet-APL, users can now anticipate a single Ethernet physical layer that can enable long cable reach, intrinsic safety, and application-level protocol support for maximum productivity and output. Products will be available in the market soon with conformance testing certification. Users can learn more about Ethernet-APL by visiting ethernet-apl.org and downloading the “Ethernet to the Field” white paper.
About FieldComm Group
FieldComm Group is a global standards-based organization consisting of leading process end users, manufacturers, universities and research organizations that work together to direct the development, incorporation and implementation of new and overlapping technologies and serves as the source for FDI technology. FieldComm Group’s mission is to develop, manage and promote global standards for integrating digital devices into automation system architectures while protecting process-automation investments in HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus communication technologies. Membership is open to anyone interested in the use of the technologies.
About the OPC Foundation:
Since 1996, the OPC Foundation has facilitated the development and adoption of the OPC information exchange standards. As both advocate and custodian of these specifications, the Foundation’s mission is to help industry vendors, end-users, and software developers maintain interoperability in their manufacturing and automation assets. The OPC Foundation is dedicated to providing the best specifications, technology, process, and certification to achieve multivendor, multiplatform, secure, reliable, interoperability for moving data and information from the embedded world to the enterprise cloud. The Foundation serves over 815 members worldwide in the Industrial Automation, IT, IoT, IIoT, M2M, Industrie 4.0, Building Automation, machine tools, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and Smart Energy sectors.
About PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI)
PI is a wide spread automation community in the world represented by 25 different Regional PI Associations and is responsible PROFIBUS and PROFINET, the two leading industrial communications protocols covering all industries. The common interest of PI’s global network of vendors, developers, system integrators and end users lies in promoting, supporting and using PROFIBUS and PROFINET. Regionally and globally over 1,500 member companies are working closely together around the world to the best automation possible. The organization’s global influence and reach is unmatched in the world of automation.
Partnerships remain crucial for success in today’s industrial market. This seems especially true for cybersecurity firms who need ways into integrating security into operational technology. This is the story of one such partnership.
Horizon Controls Group, a global digital process automation solutions and consultancy company, has announced a formal agreement with Verve Industrial, a leader in operational technology and industrial control systems (OT/ICS) cyber security technology and consulting solutions. This partnership allows both companies to expand collaboratively into new areas of highly sophisticated service and technology delivery engagements with manufacturing and research organizations in pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and other life sciences.
The increased publicity and attention to the unprecedented achievements of the pharmaceutical industry during the global pandemic have significantly increased the potential cyber-related threats to this critical infrastructure. While energy and other utilities such as water treatment have historically been targets of advanced persistent threats (APTs) from highly resourced, nation-state, or terrorist-backed organizations, the value of the pharmaceutical sector is increasingly apparent and, in many cases, lags the security posture that has developed in these other industries.
Verve Industrial’s OT/ICS cyber security products and support services were selected by Horizon Controls Group as a powerful, targeted, and holistic solution to manage the sprawling ecosystem of myriad automation applications employed at any given pharmaceutical facility.
“Horizon Controls Group provides consultation, design, execution, and support for the full project life cycle of automation process control systems (PCS), building automation systems (BAS), manufacturing execution systems (MES), and process historians, using industry standards and best practices,” said Youssef El-Bahtimy, Automation Information & Systems Manager at Horizon Controls Group. “Our team integrates data integrity, resiliency, manageability, and security principles into every project, not as an afterthought, bolt-on, or cost adder, but in a proactive quality by design (QbD) manner.”
El-Bahtimy continued: “We believe this is the new standard for a modern systems integrator, and a key differentiator to becoming more than just a service provider – being the trusted adviser that our clients require. We see the Verve Security Center (VSC) and the expertise of Verve Industrial’s team as an invaluable and versatile way to solve the challenges posed by the unique security, situational awareness, and manageability environment of the OT space.”
“We are quite excited to join forces with Horizon Controls Group,” said Rick Kaun, VP of Solutions at Verve Industrial. “Their ‘trusted adviser’ status within their client base combined with their deep OT systems control abilities are a perfect match for the power and insight provided by our industry-leading VSC platform.”
About Horizon Controls Group
Horizon Controls Group is a full-service digital process automation company offering solutions including engineering design, systems integration, cyber security, and customized training. With corporate headquarters in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, its European subsidiary is based in Cork, Ireland.
About Verve Industrial
Verve Industrial Protection has ensured reliable and secure industrial control systems for 25 years. Its principal offering, the Verve Security Center, is a unique, vendor-agnostic OT endpoint management platform that provides IT-OT asset inventory, vulnerability management, and the ability to remediate threats and vulnerabilities from its orchestration platform. Verve Industrial’s Design-4-Defense professional services support clients in ensuring their OT environments are designed and operated in a secure manner.
After my first meeting with Don Bartusiak, then with ExxonMobil, at an ARC Forum, I thought this was an extremely ambitious idea thinking that an open, interoperable, relatively easily upgradable process automation system build upon industry standards was feasible. And the timeline was aggressive.
The Open Process Automation Forum, under the auspices of The Open Group, has persevered, grown, and has now released version 2.1 “into the wild” for comments from the broader process community before finishing and adopting early next year. So, please go to the Website and review. Your comments could be most helpful.
The marketing people sent a news release, but I realized there wasn’t a lot of “there” there, so I talked with Aneil Ali, Director of the OPAF since May a year ago to get a bit more detail. A key factor gleaned from our chat was that 105 members were involved in the development of this standard. Final release is slated for early 2022.
I think the remarkable thing about 105 member companies is actually getting something done. All of us who have worked on this type of project know that there are companies (which I shall not name) who send engineers to join with the express purpose of asking lots of questions in order to delay the process or even (hopefully) entice everyone else to give up in despair. This committee worked through 22 recurring weekly meetings to bring this together. Remarkable.
And Ali does not expect the pace to slow.
To recap: Version 1.0 dealt with interoperability; Version 2.1 with information model; Version 3.0 (in process) will focus on application portability—system orchestration.
Some of the details of 2.1 include defining standard function blocks, addressing IEC61499, IEC61131, IEC62443 (security), and OPCUA. O-PAS is a “standard of standards”, an approach that greatly reduces detail work.
In addition to this standards development work, companies have been building ongoing prototype test beds and field trials which are underway proving this is more than mere paper. The Forum has also been conducting plug fests and developing certification testing partners and parameters.
The group has really come a long way.
From the press release:
The Open Group, the vendor-neutral technology consortium, has announced the publication of the O-PAS Version 2.1 Preliminary Standard. Developed by The Open Group Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF), this release represents a key milestone towards testing and field trials of the O-PAS Standard, enabling greater interoperability and portability in manufacturing control systems.
The O-PAS Standard defines a Reference Architecture and Information Model that will enable a distributed and heterogeneous ecosystem of industrial process automation resources to interoperate. The aim of the Standard is to stimulate innovation, lower system lifecycle costs, and provide end-users with more freedom when managing obsolescence within systems.
Created with the direct involvement of over 105 OPAF Member organizations, Version 2.1 progresses the overall Information Model of Version 2.0, while also adding new configuration portability capabilities.
“This latest advancement of the O-PAS Standard reflects the overall consensus of industry leaders: open, secure, and interoperable architectures are the irrefutable and inevitable future of industrial process automation systems,” commented Aneil Ali, Director of the Open Process Automation Forum. “The sense of urgency among product managers and sales teams to achieve this goal is therefore well-founded, with end-user test beds, prototypes, and field trials already up and running.”
Alongside Version 2.1, a certification program for the O-PAS Standard – due to launch in the first half of 2022 – is being developed against the various Profile-based requirements. As part of this work, test tools are currently being beta tested with suppliers.
“The updated version of the O-PAS Standard empowers end-users to look more closely at product roadmaps for O-PAS inclusion,” continued Ali. “As suppliers work to adopt the Standard within these roadmaps, OPAF is open to as much industry collaboration and feedback as possible.”
Following a finalized Version 2.1 Standard, scheduled for publication in Q1 2022, OPAF will work towards Version 3.0, which will address system orchestration, application portability, and further detail the physical distributed control platform.
About The Open Group Open Process Automation Forum
The Open Process Automation Forum is an international forum of end-users, system integrators, suppliers, academia, and other standards organizations working together to develop a standards-based, open, secure, and interoperable process control architecture. Open Process Automation is a trademark of The Open Group.
About The Open Group
The Open Group is a global consortium that enables the achievement of business objectives through technology standards. Our diverse membership of more than 800 organizations includes customers, systems and solutions suppliers, tool vendors, integrators, academics, and consultants across multiple industries.
Schneider Electric has been publicizing an implementation of the decoupled control hardware and software envisioned by the Open Process Automation Forum using IEC 61499. https://themanufacturingconnection.com/2021/02/schneider-electric-updates-ecostruxure-automation-expert-forges-strategic-agreement-with-wood/ For example, a recent post from the blog.
At last week’s Hannover Messe, Schneider Electric used its press conference to tout some updates to its Ecostruxure Automation Expert.
The press release is included below for your information, plus a bonus press release regarding a new, smaller footprint UPS.
First, a couple of notes. I listened recently to some software developers discussing the benefits and drawbacks of version numbering their software. The traditional way is to begin with version 1.0 and then increment. Of course, no one (or few?) buy version 1.0 which is typically pretty buggy. An alternative is to version number by year thus avoiding the dreaded V 1.0. Automation Expert has just been released a couple of months ago as Version 21.0. The new release discussed below is version 21.1.
Someone, I know not whom, asked a pointed question during the press conference. Schneider points to its offering following the IEC standard. The questioner wanted to know if Automation Expert was just another proprietary software with some standards baked in. The question was not answered directly. The answer given dealt with decoupling hardware and software allowing each to be independently upgraded. Good question to keep in mind if other companies dive into this water. Or—perhaps there is room for an independent software developer to jump into the fray if and when.
Automation Expert V21.1 Release
Schneider Electric released version 21.1 of EcoStruxure Automation Expert, its software-centric universal automation system. Adoption of the new technology is proving immediately beneficial for consumer-packaged goods, pharmaceutical and logistics enterprises.
“EcoStruxure Automation Expert v21.1 is an important milestone in our journey to help manufacturers achieve the step-change advancements possible with a digital-first approach to industrial automation,” said Fabrice Jadot, Senior Vice President, Next Generation Automation, Schneider Electric. “Today’s operations need to react quickly to fluctuating market and environmental dynamics and rapidly mitigate potential risks. By separating the hardware and software lifecycles, EcoStruxure Automation Expert enables automation applications to be built using asset-centric, portable, proven-in-use software components, independent of the underlying hardware infrastructure. This software-centric approach delivers unprecedented cost and performance gains and frees engineers to innovate by automating low-value work and eliminating task duplication across tools.”
GEA is one of the largest technology suppliers for food processing and a wide range of other industries. The company focuses on technologies, components, and sustainable solutions for sophisticated production processes in diverse end-user markets where time to market and agility is essential. EcoStruxure Automation Expert greatly simplifies the integration between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) creating new agility for GEA and its customers.
Master Systèmes, an industrial automation system integrator and Schneider Electric Master Alliance partner, is using EcoStruxure Automation Expert to increase the agility and flexibility of one of its cosmetic customer plants.
Schneider Electric is also implementing EcoStruxure Automation Expert in its own Smart Distribution Center in Shanghai, China to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
Because the software is decoupled from the hardware, modifying the conveying line to adapt as flow requirements change is easier and more cost-effective. With EcoStruxure Automation Expert, identifying the root cause of failure and troubleshooting is four times faster. And with 45% less products on the error line, throughput is increased by 5.3%.
Among other advancements, EcoStruxure Automation Expert V21.1 includes: enhanced cybersecurity, diagnostics, discovery and commissioning features, and expanded libraries and language support.
In addition, improved integration with AVEVA System Platform ensures EcoStruxure Automation Expert customers can take advantage of AVEVA’s market leading software for supervisory, enterprise SCADA, MES, and IIoT applications with minimal engineering overhead. One study showed the EcoStruxure Automation Expert and AVEVA combination reduced engineering efforts by over 50%.
New 3-phase UPS
Schneider Electric announced the global launch of the Galaxy VL 200-500 kW (400V/480V) 3-phase uninterruptible power supply (UPS), the newest addition to the Galaxy family. Available worldwide, this highly efficient, compact UPS offers up to 99-percent efficiency in ECOnversion mode for a full return on investment within two years (model dependent) for medium and large data centers and commercial and industrial facilities. A live, virtual “hands-on” event for data center professionals and partners will take place May 4 to demonstrate Galaxy VL’s capabilities and features from Schneider Electric’s Innovation Executive Briefing Center.
With data center floor space at a premium, the compact design of the Galaxy VL is half the size of the industry average at .8 m2. Its modular and scalable architecture enables data center professionals to scale power incrementally, from 200 kW to 500 kW with 50 kW power modules, providing flexibility to grow as their business demands.
With Galaxy VL, Schneider Electric introduces Live Swap, a pioneering feature which delivers a touch-safe design throughout the process of adding or replacing the power modules while the UPS is online and fully operational, offering enhanced business continuity and no unscheduled downtime. Additionally, Live Swap’s touch safe design offers increased protection for employees who no longer have to transfer the UPS to maintenance bypass or battery operation during the insertion or removal of the power modules.
Key Benefits of the new Galaxy VL:
- Maximize space to enable future growth: Galaxy VL is the most compact in its class, 50-percent more compact than the industry average at.8 m2, freeing up valuable data center real estate and IT space. Additionally, Galaxy Lithium-ion Battery Cabinets deliver total space savings of up to 70 percent compared with VRLA battery solutions.1
- Save money: Galaxy VL’s modular, scalable platform enables you to pay-as-you-grow, reducing CapEx investment, operating costs, energy consumption, and TCO. Scale power instantly in 50 kW increments from 200 to 500 kW with no extra footprint.
- Reach sustainability goals: Up to 99-percent efficient in ECOnversion mode for a full return on investment within two years in energy savings (26,280 EUR annual electricity savings). A Schneider Electric Green Premium product, it includes the option for long-lasting Lithium-ion batteries.
- Increased Reliability through EcoStruxure3: By connecting Galaxy VL to EcoStruxure—Schneider Electric’s open, interoperable, IoT-enabled system architecture and platform—data center operators can benefit from EcoStruxure™ IT software and services. These EcoStruxure offerings enable customers to monitor, manage, and model their IT infrastructure and get service support 24/7 anywhere, anytime.