Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, announces EcoStruxure™ for Mining, Minerals and Metals, a new system architecture that leverages innovative digital technologies and the IIoT to allow companies to seamlessly connect, collect, analyse and act on data in real time to improve safety, efficiency, reliability and sustainability.

According to Schneider’s Mining, Minerals and Metals president Rob Moffitt: "The mining, cement, steel, and glass industries face constant challenges that place a premium on operational excellence. Fortunately, there has been a significant transformation in digital technologies that are now available to help deal with many of these challenges. By leveraging this transformation, EcoStruxure for Mining, Minerals and Metals helps our customers improve how they manage their operations and plants to improve the bottom line."

Core technology layers

EcoStruxure integrates innovation at three levels:

  • Connected Products: Field devices with embedded intelligence such as sensors, circuit breakers, meters, variable speed drives and process instrumentation provide the link to real-time data that is essential to higher-level control and decision-making
  • Edge Control: Real-time and runtime control systems are connected to field devices and collect data from them, analyse current conditions against goals and past performance, and make autonomous control decisions (or aid in operator decision-making) to improve process performance. At the heart of the edge control layer is the Modicon M580 Ethernet PAC (ePAC), the automation controller that uses open Ethernet standards to enable process efficiency, flexibility, and cybersecurity
  • Applications, Analytics, and Services: At the highest level of the EcoStruxure architecture, sophisticated problem solving and analysis is performed on an enterprise-wide basis to optimise business operations and maximise results. On this level, Schneider Electric provides an industry-leading portfolio of software and associated services, including: Advanced predictive analytics for process and equipment; leading-edge virtual and augmented reality for operators and maintenance personnel; energy/ process optimisation and simulation; and integrated operations, planning and supply chain management

"With EcoStruxure, Schneider Electric is redefining automation and power connectivity as well as adding an unprecedented layer of software applications and services to help our customers get the most of their assets. By bridging IT and OT, EcoStruxure enables them to maximise the value of data and translate it into actionable intelligence for better business decisions," added Moffitt.

Key areas of added value

EcoStruxure for Mining, Minerals and Metals provides added value in three key areas:

  • Digital supply chain: through solutions that integrate resource to market activities, inventory management, and operations and planning
  • Next generation workforce: by providing technologies that attract and empower the next generation of workers and facilitate knowledge transfer, collaboration, situational awareness, mobility and remote operations efficiency
  • Operational excellence: with solutions that stabilise process and optimise asset performance, reducing energy usage and achieving the highest level of performance and reliability

Moffitt concludes: "And to be clear, EcoStruxure is not just another architecture limited to asset performance analytics. It’s a complete set of digital technologies and applications that can improve the performance of the entire organisation, from people to operations to supply chain."