MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Sept. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent analysis of the top 50 game changers in manufacturing hardware (20 companies) and software (30 companies), Frost & Sullivan recognizes Schneider Electric Corporation (Schneider Electric) with the 2013 Global Frost & Sullivan Award for Customer Value Enhancement for its PlantStruxure architecture. PlantStruxure is a single, integrated platform to optimize automation and energy management solutions and consequently, minimize the overall costs of a plant. It uses a scalable, open architecture to support continuous improvement and treats energy as a manageable asset.
By providing a detailed energy consumption breakup, PlantStruxure helps consumers understand their energy footprint so that they can make informed decisions to optimize energy consumption. The platform ensures effective analyses by establishing communication among diverse elements such as engineering, operation, and maintenance. The real-time intelligence component helps identify bottlenecks, the causes of downtime and, importantly, aids the management of resource input and output right from the design stage through operations to maintenance.
The transparent, advanced, real-time communications systems and data access facilitate the automatic configuration of replacement devices for faulty technology, which helps decrease maintenance time. This unified platform ensures that the right information is accessed by the right people at the right time, thereby lowering performance discrepancies and eliminating ineffective processes.
"Schneider Electric understands that for customers to become truly efficient, they must integrate formerly disparate systems," said Frost & Sullivan Senior Analyst Sonia Francisco. "To support this transition, Schneider Electric has developed the EcoStruxure architecture, which serves as a single platform that can connect to diverse solutions, including the PlantStruxure architecture."
The EcoStruxure system offers compatibility among five key domains: process and machines, power, building control, security and data centers. By plugging PlantStruxure into the EcoStruxure architecture, customers can easily extend the system to include information from any of the other domains. By using innovative interphase tools that are adaptable to individual preferences (multi-screen and smart navigation), Schneider Electric offers an intuitive, easy-to-use system.
The PlantStruxure architecture has several positive implications throughout the value chain, delivering production efficiencies, while protecting people, assets, and enhancing system reliability. For example, while the MES system creates a sustainable real-time architecture to address complex requirements, the batch management software provides the necessary flexibility to address volatile demands.
"In the past, addressing demand response required a hardware-focused approach," noted Sonia Francisco. "Instead of shutting down the plant during a demand-response event, Schneider Electric's approach enables continuous production. Depending on the level of control in the plant, Schneider Electric can design systems that enable multiple levels of demand-response without turning off the production systems."
The PlantStruxure architecture takes a holistic approach in helping customers meet their business goals by optimizing the total plant, and not just one performance aspect of the plant. It provides solutions to a wide range of market participants, from single sites with local control to multiple sites with distributed control. Incorporating the service aspect into all operating modules becomes important, especially in an operating environment that is often challenged by an aging and shrinking workforce scenario.
Schneider Electric's systems are augmented by its associated consulting program that provides complete lifecycle support. While some solution providers focus on the demand side of the process and examine only energy utilization, Schneider Electric includes supply-side services like energy purchasing, energy procurement, and utility tariff negotiation.
"Overall, Schneider Electric's integrated platform is gaining in popularity across enterprises of all sizes, and infuses reliability, scalability, and flexibility in plants' processes," noted Sr. Industry Analyst and Team Leader, Muthuraman Ramasamy. "It also provides additional functionality to meet customers' specific requirements in a cost-effective manner."
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated excellence in implementing strategies that proactively create value for its customers with a focus on improving the return on the investment that customers make in its services or products. The award recognizes the company's inordinate focus on enhancing the value that its customers receive; beyond simply good customer service. This leads to improved customer retention and ultimately to client base expansion.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
About Schneider Electric CorporationAs a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in Utilities & Infrastructure, Industries & Machines Manufacturers, Non-residential Building, Data Centers & Networks and in Residential. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green, the Group's 140,000 plus employees achieved revenues of 24 billion euros in 2012, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations make the most of their energy.
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