Intel, Schneider Advance Manufacturing Automation

Schneider Electric and Intel Corporation have agreed to collaborate to further drive industrial advancements. Particularly, the partnership will extend Schneider’s EcoStruxure Automation Expert by creating an Intel processor-based Distributed Control Node (DCN) framework.

By combining the performance, security, and deployment capabilities of Intel Edge Controls for Industrial (ECI) technology with EcoStruxure Automation Expert, the DCN framework can simplify and speed the development of software defined control systems.

In addition, the DCN will enable EcoStruxure Automation Expert to scale faster and further in process industries. These include energy and chemicals, mining, water/wastewater, pharmaceuticals, and hybrid markets.

Image credit: Intel Corporation

Propels IIoT

This DCN development will conform to Universal Automation, an organization that manages the implementation of a shared source runtime following IEC61499 standard. Incidentally, EcoStruxure Automation Expert represents the first of a new era of automation software based on this shared runtime.

Advances in machine learning, real-time analytics, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) hold massive promise for industrial enterprises and manufacturers. However, the industry has suffered from the lack of a future-proof solution to keep systems running at optimal performance.

A fundament feature of EcoStruxure Automation Expert is the ability to decouple software from hardware. Specifically, this allows hardware upgrade to improve system performance while the application remains the same. Thus, protecting the customers intellectual property and investments. The joint effort between Schneider Electric and Intel illustrates the industry’s transition from fixed-function hardware to software-defined, flexible, plug and produce solutions that deliver customers greater operational effectiveness.

Natalie Marcotte, SVP and President, Process Automation, Schneider Electric said collaboration is imperative to fully realize the potential of next-generation industries. “This collaboration with Intel greatly enhances the capabilities of EcoStruxure Automation Expert, enabling the platform to scale faster and further. To create a new wave of innovation, we must work with all parties to create a more modular software-defined industry.”

Meanwhile, Christine Boles, VP, Network & Edge Group, General Manager, Industrial Solutions Division, Intel Corporation, said software-defined systems that bring together OT and IT are the future of process automation.