Duplicate Engineering is Too Much Effort and Risk

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Today’s industrial control systems have an ever-increasing number of connected products that provide rich information to control system operators and management teams. Gaining access to all this information comes at a cost in terms of engineering and often projects take the decision to use tools to bulk generate the information from an external source.

While “generation” results in a single point of configuration during the project execution it generates issues once the project is complete. When new sensors are added and configured in the controller they need to have their configuration duplicated within the supervision to accurately display information to the operator and provide situational awareness.

The duplicate engineering encompasses many elements of configuration. The IP address of the controller is configured within the control engineering and again for the supervision communications. Function blocks can be added to the controller, but additional effort is required to select this option within the supervision. Moreover, interlock and failure conditions are defined in the controller while their descriptions are defined in the supervision.

End-users are doing things twice (or more) and spending extra time to update their control system while risking inconsistency in the event any action is forgotten.

In recognition of the waste and risk that this duplicated engineering creates, Schneider Electric is working to remove duplications within systems which integrate its Modicon PAC or Machine solutions it’s the System Platform supervision of its partner Aveva.

Once the code has been written in the controller, the goal is to have the same rich data with matching optional configuration immediately available in the supervision to inform the operator of the process status.

We are not there yet, but we are on our way with a number of offers focused on removing duplicate engineering.

  • Ecostruxure Control Expert – Modicon Communication Server connects your Modicon controllers directly to Aveva System platform and reduces engineering effort in creating high performance and cyber secure communications.
  • Ecostruxure Control Expert – Asset Link monitors your PAC or Machine controller program and generates or updates assets in System Platform which match the configuration in the controller ensuring options and data are automatically synchronised and system consistency is maintained
  • General Purpose Libraries provide a modular library which can reduce the engineering for your complete control system.

All these individual offers are available via Schneider Electric Exchange. So why waste your time doing things twice when once is already enough?

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