Schneider Electric has launched EcoStruxure Power and Process to unify engineering design, operations, maintenance and optimise enterprise-wide decision making. Developed in partnership with AVEVA and already implemented at several energy intensive production sites globally, EcoStruxure Power and Process allows a medium to large oil refinery producing 450,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) to attain 10 per cent process energy usage improvement, reducing CO2 output by 567,000 metric tons and saving US$210 million a year.

The introduction of the package enables companies to break down the traditional barriers between power systems and process control systems and enter a new era of digital efficiency. Based on the vendor agnostic principles of universal automation, this solution connects all assets at every level, across the full lifecycle and the entire supply chain. This enables plant and enterprise-wide data analysis to drive resilient operations and optimise energy usage for the most profitable operation.

Improvements needed

Expectations are that business can achieve a 20 per cent reduction in electrical, instrumentation and control (EI&C) CapEx, uptime improvement of three percent along with a reduction of unplanned downtime reduction of 15 per cent. This is in addition to the process energy usage improvement of ten per cent.

In recent years, the immense complexity of disparate systems has made project execution and subsequent operations increasingly challenging. Despite advances in automation, machine learning, and analytics, 30 per cent of project implementation and maintenance costs come from a lack of efficiency and operational visibility. Siloed engineers and programmers are required to separately build up and maintain operations. Project teams are isolated from operational decision making. Bringing these disciplines together under a design to operate philosophy is a key step in reducing future maintenance costs, right from the start of facility engineering. As maintenance improves, operational resiliency is solidified, and process energy improvements can be realized throughout the operation of an asset.

By achieving complete visibility and connectivity, businesses can, for the first time, gain full situational awareness and build operational resilience across its sites and production facilities, improve profitability at every level, from planning and installation, through to energy use and carbon emissions.

Driving industrial development

“The siloed nature of industrial operations is crippling performance,” Peter Herweck, executive vice president of industrial automation at Schneider Electric, said “Our vision is a completely unified architecture, across every site and the entire supply chain. EcoStruxure Power and Process is another step in the journey toward complete unification, providing unparalleled access and insight to users. To drive industry development, businesses with locked-in industrial equipment and systems solutions can benefit from the solution equally. Combined with universal automation, it has the potential to drive profitability and sustainability at every operational level and empower managers to make the best possible decisions. In pilot projects, our customers were able to achieve 20 per cent E&IC CapEx reduction with payback in 12 months.”

Power management systems provide vital information on the flow of power in an electrical generation or power plant, improving overall power efficiency. Process management systems enable managers to plan and monitor the performance of operations within an industrial or business environment. For decades, these two systems have worked independently, stunting innovation and efficiency.

Holistic management age

The convergence of power and process management systems moves industry into the holistic management age and provides instant and dramatic benefits.

“The industrial world has been too slow to digitize,” Chris Dartnell, president of the oil, gas and petrochemicals business, Schneider Electric, said. “Despite the prevalence of new, cutting-edge technology with huge potential, industry is still largely dependent on human interaction. We now can unlock that potential and move to a fully automated, fully digital means of industrial operation and communication. The potential to drive production efficiency is unparalleled. Implementing the technology across an entire ecosystem will drive profitability and sustainability at every level, both locally and globally. Connectivity and visibility can no longer be side lined. We must embrace the new era of open, universal integration to create to new efficiencies and new innovations.”

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