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2018 Foxboro User Group Conference: How digitization drives profitability

The different ways digitization drives profit was the focus during the opening plenary session of Schneider Electric’s Foxboro User Group meeting in San Antonio. The event, which features more than 50 technical sessions and a 21,000 sq. ft. Innovation hub unveiled the release of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure™ Foxboro DCS Control Software 7.1. The latest version of the software improves the real-time efficiency, cybersecurity, reliability, and profitability of end-users’ assets and operations. 

FIG. 1. Gary Freburger, CEO and President, Process Automation, Schneider Electric, spoke about the company’s high-level strategy and vision.
FIG. 1. Gary Freburger, CEO and President, Process Automation, Schneider Electric, spoke about the company’s high-level strategy and vision.

Gary Freburger, CEO and President, Process Automation, Schneider Electric, provided the company’s high-level strategy and vision for the future during the opening plenary session (FIG. 1). “We know how to control things, and very well,” said Freburger. “Now what do we do with it?”

The vision for the company is to take the customer’s installed industrial automation technology investment and make it a profit engine for their business. “We have to take our tools and use them to help drive profits for you (the customer),” said Freburger, “Digitization empowers users to drive measurable business value. This new approach includes shifting real-time control across an entire company’s value chain.”

Dr. Peter Martin, Vice President, Innovation, and Marketing, Process Automation, Schneider Electric (FIG. 2), echoed Mr. Freburger’s remarks that digitization can drive profits in the industry. This concept, which has been around for more than 40 years, is shifting the way the industrial world operates, as well as connecting/converging IT and OT operations. “Digitization can drive significant value across your company’s operations,” said Dr. Martin. “It activates the workforce, optimizes assets and extends control.” But what do these concepts mean? Additional details and benefits of these concepts include:

  • Activated workforce—Digitization empowers the workforce with real-time operations and business decision support. Benefits include: faster decision making, business-centric decisions, and lifetime learning
  • Optimized assets—Digitization can optimize operations and profitability of existing/installed assets. Benefits include: maximum profitability from assets, combined reliability and efficiency, and safety
  • Extended control—Digitization provides extended control to cover efficiency, reliability risk, safety risk, security risk and operational profitability. Benefits include: measurable operational profitability improvement, as well as safe, secure and sustainable operations.

FIG. 2. Dr. Peter Martin, Vice President, Innovation and Marketing, Process Automation, Schneider Electric, spoke on how digitization drives industry to profit.

FIG. 2. Dr. Peter Martin, Vice President, Innovation and Marketing, Process Automation, Schneider Electric, spoke on how digitization drives industry to profit.

These benefits provide an emerging value from the concept of industrial digitization. “Industrial digitization can provide real value for companies,” said Dr. Martin. “It can provide extended real-time control, automate industrial assets, increase asset performance and activate/engage the workforce.”

In closing, Dr. Martin reiterated that a company’s industrial automation investment can, and will, become a profit engine for their business and digitization activates and empowers businesses to drive measurable value.  

Schneider Electric’s Foxboro User Group meeting continues through Thursday.


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