Commercial, political and environmental pressures are driving organisations to make more with less. This means they need to increase productivity with fewer resources, and using less energy. Thus, connectivity offered by the Internet of Things (IoT) is important for achieving this.
Schneider Electric developed EcoStruxure as a suite of tools and services to help users implement IoT. It simplifies collection of data from intelligent devices around their organisation. Notably, it does this using standard communications protocols. The data is then analysed either locally using Edge Control or remotely in the cloud to provide the user with critical insights to improve their business.
A range of software modules is available to simplify collecting data from a wide range of business functions and activities. As a result, they address the challenge of implementing IoT solutions in a seamless, cost-effectively and in a scalable manner.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the inter-networking of physical devices to collect and exchange data via internet protocol (IP). The power and potential value of IoT emerges when it connects with five major technology transformations, of: mobility, cloud, sensing, analytics and cyber-security.
Specifically, these are accelerating the capacity to converge OT and IT systems. They change data into meaningful actionable intelligence for better business decisions. EcoStruxure combines the worlds of energy, automation, and software to make IoT a reality for organisations of all sizes.
What is EcoStruxure?
EcoStruxure is a single, open IoT systems to help organisations compete in the modern digital economy. In this case, it supports four markets where Schneider Electric has years of expertise and experience. EcoStruxure’s offers individual customised architectures for each of: Building, Data Centre, Industry, and Grid.
Interoperability is imperative to supporting the diverse hardware and systems in four industries. EcoStruxure enables a breadth of agnostic applications, analytics & services for seamless enterprise integration. Moreover, these provide support for safety, reliability, efficiency, sustainability and connectivity across their business.
EcoStruxure supports the four core markets with six sub-domains of expertise: Power; IT; Building; Machine; Plant, and Grid. Using its plug-and-play, open, interoperable architecture delivers proven connectivity for all levels of the organisation.
The EcoStruxure Platform
Developed with partners Microsoft, Intel and others as an open ecosystem, the EcoStruxure platform is the technology backbone of the EcoStruxure architecture. It provides the fundamental set of technologies connecting three layers of innovation in IoT-enabled solutions for bridging the IT/OT gap. As a result, the EcoStruxure technology platform enables scalable design and operation of connected systems with best-in-class cyber-security built around three core capabilities.
Firstly, for connecting everything from shop floor to top floor, devices with embedded intelligence support better decision-making throughout operations. Schneider Electric’s IoT-enabled best-in-class connected products include breakers, variable speed drives, sensors, and more.
Secondly, the Edge Control layer. This provides the critical ability to manage operations on-premise as well as from the cloud, depending on the business needs. It includes connecting control platforms with remote access, advanced automation and operator capabilities. Local control and firewall protection maximises the benefits especially for mission-critical applications.
Thirdly, interoperability. It is imperative to supporting the diverse hardware and systems in building, data centre, industry, and grid end markets. EcoStruxure enables extensive agnostic applications, analytics & services on open IP protocols. These provide for seamless integration with any hardware, system, or control.
By bridging IT and OT, EcoStruxure software allows customers to maximise the value of their business data. Specifically, it helps translate the data into actionable intelligence and better business decisions. As a result of bringing together energy, automation, and software, EcoStruxure accelerates making IoT a reality.
It enables Schneider, its partners, and end-user customers to develop scalable and converged IT/OT solutions. These maximise energy efficiency and sustainability through smarter systems and real-time, data-driven decisions. Furthermore, it optimises asset availability and performance through predictive analytics and proactive maintenance.
EcoStruxure is the culmination of the company’s decades long industry leadership. It has been a multi-billion-dollar investment in R&D and acquisitions covering several years. Thus far, deployment exceeds 450,000 installations, with the support of 9,000 system integrators, and connected devices now exceed a billion devices.
EcoStruxure for industry
For industrial customers, EcoStruxure helps them unlock the potential of digitisation and IIoT: it speeds-up open standards-based development, offering more flexible alternatives to today’s models. Finally it addresses organisations with multiple and disparate systems within a process, and the complex and significant engineering issues to leverage IIoT and Industry 4.0.