EcoStruxure Machine allows OEMs to track, monitor and fix machines remotely
What exactly is the EcoStruxure Machine concept? Is this a retrofitted device/system or does it involve any work with the OEMs at the building stage?
EcoStruxure is Schneider Electric’s IoT-enabled, plug-and-play, open, interoperable architecture and platform in Homes, Buildings, Data Centres, Infrastructure and Industries. EcoStruxure delivers Innovation at Every Level from connected products to edge control to applications, analytics and services. And, EcoStruxure Machine is Schneider Electric’s smart machine solutions, which are built on the EcoStruxure system architecture and platform. The architecture delivers Innovation at Every Level from Connected Products to Edge Control, and Apps, Analytics and Services.
Specifically, for EcoStruxure Machine, at the apps, analytics and services layer, it ensures seamless integration of machines to the IT layer, allowing the collection and aggregation of data ready for analysis – for machine builders and end users alike. This means increased uptime and the ability to find information faster for efficient operations and maintenance. At the edge control layer EcoStruxure Machine facilitates information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) convergence across industry-standard platforms, meaning machine builders reap benefits from web interfaces and cloud computing for easy vertical integration of production lines, and real-time data exchange to access, monitor, and control from anywhere.
Schneider Electric’s vision for smart machines is part of a connected, cybersecure production system based on the platform EcoStruxure Machine. The company’s machine-centric automation architecture enables OEMs to retrofit and to design more efficient, more flexible, better connected, and safer machines through advanced digital technologies and open standards.
How does the EcoStruxure Machine control work in practice, in terms of facilitating the coordination between OEMs on the one hand and the users on the other?
Schneider Electric’s machine control solutions and dedicated services empower OEMs to maximise their business infrastructure and face increasingly stringent demands on productivity, safety, equipment availability and performance optimisation.
Amid the rapid digitisation of manufacturing, machine builders (OEMs) need to provide a better service to improve their customers’ agility and market responsiveness. Hence, EcoStruxure Machine allows OEMs to track, monitor and fix machines remotely as well as enable operators to predict and execute preventive maintenance schedules and improve machine availability.
Furthermore, EcoStruxure Machine Advisor is a cloud-based services platform for machine builders. It helps to track machines, monitor performance data and fix exceptional events, while reducing support costs by up to 50%. It enables machine builders to provide new services to machine operators for each installed machine in any production site worldwide. It provides unique access to all machine data anytime, anywhere, enhance customer satisfaction through better and faster service, provide new services to machine operators at any location, for any installed machine, read and update program files from the web browser and prepare for onsite interventions.
With EcoStruxure Machine Advisor, OEMs gain real-time remote access to their machines, allowing them to add and modify new services to each installed machine at any production site worldwide. This connected offer brings additional value to the end users and further differentiates our OEM partners who are making this service available to their customers.
You have mentioned in one of your blogs about using Augmented Reality for remote servicing. Is this already being done?
Evolving customer needs and the impact of digital transformation has introduced a significant amount of complexity to the machine design and building process. Machine builders need to go beyond the traditional machine design process to profitably deliver “smart” machines with reduced operating cost and increased safety. New technologies are emerging that act as an equaliser to this complexity. These technologies are specifically designed to optimise the digitisation aspects of the new generation of “smart” machines by powering greater operational efficiencies to shorten time to market, optimise use of expertise, increase in productivity and reduction of downtime.
Digitised services are now enabling OEM machine builders to develop new ways for supporting their customers. A service that can enhance the ability to track assets and help machine builder enhance machine history, bill of materials information, localisation details, maintenance logs, warranty information, and spare parts availability. This can be done by logging into a web-based portal to access machine information anytime and anywhere. This also enables predictive maintenance and the resolution of issues before any unanticipated downtime occurs. This can be done through augmented reality where technicians and operators can be guided virtually for on-site maintenance work. This approach accommodates information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) equipment convergence and boosts software and IIoT-oriented solution development and together these digitised support tools can reduce the time for corrective actions by up to 50%.
What about the data safety and cyber security concerns?
For Schneider Electric, robust cybersecurity and data protection is a must. And our solutions can deliver this regardless of the business type or industry. We apply a rigorous mind-set, policies, and methodologies in the development of our products and implementation of our solutions. The vendor-agnostic services provided by skilled professionals helps to protect the entire critical infrastructure thereby helping to assess risks, implement cyber-specific solutions and maintain onsite defences over time.
We understand and apply cybersecurity solutions from business operations perspective while integrating appropriate IT policies and requirements – this is our difference and your advantage. Our EcoStruxure platform builds in robust cybersecurity across.
Since January 2016, Ali Haj Fraj took over the position of Senior Vice President Machine Solutions within the Business Unit Industry of Schneider Electric. Ali started his career in May 2001 as Project Manager in the Motion Control Unit at Siemens AG. In the following 15 years, he held various leadership positions in R&D, Sales and Marketing, Business Development, Strategy and General Management. Ali is known as one of the digital thought leaders in Schneider Electric and together with his team he is dedicated to realise the vision of “smart machines” for industrial and commercial applications.