Services Oriented Drives host Connectivity from Factory Floor to Boardroom

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This is the first in a series of blogs about Services Oriented Drives, the main purpose of which is to run a motor by controlling its speed where the performance of the application is based on performance and energy criteria stored in a database that connects to IT systems and to the Cloud, all in order to produce analytic monitoring and surveys for the operator.

When Schneider launched the Services Oriented Drives concept two years ago, it was looking to forge a way ahead in terms of technology and innovation. The architecture employs smart connected devices within an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) environment, a world first for Schneider. In addition to application and performance issues, Services Oriented Drives embraces customer business considerations in order to integrate the information from systems to provide remote control and complete asset performance management of the drive, motor and mechanical transmission.

IIoT encompases the convergence of IT and operational technology (OT) to provide greater efficiency, reduced operational cost, reduced energy consumption and reduced downtime. Enhanced data communications and cloud connectivity delivers better services and support to the operator through analytics and improved overall performance of the automation system. This also necessitates the development of cyber secure systems.

Drive connectivity is not new to the market, but what is new in Services Oriented Drives is embedded sensing capabilities in the drive, primarily based on electrical measurement parameters to provide an electrical signature that can be translated into operational measurements. Integrated intelligence improves asset performance, both in terms of operational automation performance and of energy performance.

On top of this is added an internet capability to connect transparently to the IT function, including Web Server, Ethernet and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. Embedded Ethernet provides IP address connectivity on Services Oriented Drives  through a choice of web browser running on smart phone, tablet or PC, subject obviously to security considerations.

Essentially, what Services Oriented Drives is providing is a web page designed by the customer. Within the context of IIoT, at the bottom layer are smart connected devices or machines, on top of which an Ethernet communications architecture is added based on busses, gateways and servers to relay information to the Cloud, where new software analytics in a Big Data environment provides services to the customer.

In a multiple drive pump environment for example, operators of Services Oriented Drives can adjust speed, functions and electrical parameters to maintain the most efficient application performance, while also monitoring non-electrical parameters like motor temperature, pump pressure and flow to ensure normal and safe pump operation.

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