Schneider: Safety and Software

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 @ 05:10 PM gHale

By Gregory Hale
Safety remains at the core of businesses throughout the manufacturing automation industry.

“We need to enforce the safety of plants and people,” said Ravi Gopinath, executive vice president of Schneider Electric’s software business, during his keynote address Tuesday at the company’s 2014 Software Global Customer Conference in Orlando, FL.

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“Safety should be the core of what we do,” said Daniel Doimo, president of global solutions at Schneider Electric during his part of the keynote address. “When we deal with electricity, it is dangerous so we should be safe in everything we do.”

While safety was something they discussed, the main topic of Gopinath’s address was assure users the Invensys integration with Schneider Electric was going smoothly and effectively.

“Integration has been a smooth process and that is important,” Gopinath said. “Our integration has been in the formative stages.”

During the integration of the companies, which started in earnest after the Schneider-Invensys $5.6 billion deal closed in January, the software unit is focusing “on how to bring the best products to our customers,” Gopinath said.

Some of the focus areas are on energy, IT business, industry business and partner business.

“It is all about enabling business value,” he said. “We are a software products and technology company. We don’t aim to be anything else.”

Part of their way to help their customers is to focus on five key technologies across the value chain.
• Engineering excellence
• Asset performance
• People enablement
• Operational efficiency
• Information management

“There is a greater need to harmonize over greater more complex processes,” Gopinath said.

Part of that harmonization is to unite software from the two companies and have them work together instead of competing against each other. Something Gopinath said was working well in bringing the two companies together.

“There needs to be a common platform that has a platform of products, a positive user experience and an interoperable framework,” Gopinath said.

Some cases where integrated Invensys and Schneider Electric software applications include:
• Wonderware System Platform software, combined with Schneider Electric’s Aquis advanced decision-support software, improves water network behavior forecasts, water quality, what-if scenarios and information integrity between measured points for customers operating water distribution networks.
• Wonderware Corporate Energy Management software combined with Schneider Electric Power Monitoring Expert software to improve reporting coverage in a variety of manufacturing applications.
• Expanded Equipment Maintenance Services with Remote Electrical Asset Monitoring utilizing Wonderware Historian software to help customers manage data collection. That data can then end up used with Avantis Enterprise Asset Management and Avantis Condition Manager Software to improve asset performance, analytics and failure prediction, as well as to optimize field service operations and improve uptime.
• Wonderware Historian software expanded into the Citect, ClearSCADA and Wonderware InduSoft HMI SCADA systems to improve historical archiving capability.
• The Wonderware Alarm Adviser application from the Citect development team helps Wonderware customers optimize alarms for larger SCADA applications.

Part of the goal moving forward on the software side is to ensure a smooth integration and continue development capabilities for faster time to market, Doimo said.

“The software focus is a key pillar of our strategy,” Doimo said. “We are a technology company. That is where our DNA is coming from.”

“We don’t want to reinvent the wheel, we just want to spin it faster,” Doimo said.

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