Make It Sustainable, Make It for Life: Insights from Hannover Messe

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Industrial sustainability was top of mind at one of the world’s largest trade fairs.

Industrial sustainability is urgent. The twin disruptors of the pandemic and the climate change crisis have shown that industrial enterprises need to improve eco-efficiency and agility at all levels – not only for the sustainability of the planet but also for the sustainability of the businesses themselves.

About 40% of emissions are produced by industrial companies[1], particularly in heavy industries. To reach the world’s sustainability goals industries must help drive the change. The good news is that industrial sustainability is near the top or at the very top of the agenda for most industrial enterprises.

A recent survey by Omdia found that “the focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives is at an all-time high, with concerns around environmental sustainability at the forefront, and that leading industrial companies* have made commitments and pledges to develop a more sustainable business”.

In their Innovation Talk at Hannover Messe, Niels Wessel (Offer Manager, Industrial Automation, DACH, Schneider Electric), and Karim Helal (Scrum Master, Switch SVI, Schneider Electric), explored the next generation digital and electric technologies and solutions that are helping smart manufacturing and process industries make a difference for our future.

Schneider Electric team at the booth of the innovation talk about industrial sustainability in Hannover Messe, 2022.

Integrating energy and automation drives sustainability

Industry is a primary user of energy and there is constant pressure to reduce costs, optimize operations, and reduce carbon footprint.

With digitalization also at the forefront in industries, it’s now possible to converge operations – at the enterprise, site, and asset level – and integrate process automation and power management throughout the complete lifecycle of a plant. This integration of energy and automation with software is a catalyst for increased operational resilience, efficiency, sustainability, and responsible profitability.

With our customers and partners, including AVEVA, Schneider Electric developed EcoStruxure Power & Process to digitally unify power and process systems, data, and design to generate improvements across the full lifecycle of industrial operations. Reduced energy use, lower CAPEX, decreased unplanned downtime, and increased profitability are all on the cards when you implement EcoStruxure Power & Process.

Indeed, the largest refinery in Argentina reduced the footprint of its installation by between 20 and 40 percent by integrating their power and process systems. This also helped the company comply with evolving regulatory requirements and address environmental concerns.

Software is essential to realizing the full promise of Industry 4.0

Digitalization through easy to implement software is one of the most effective ways to increase the sustainability and resilience of industrial operations. Complex, manual data gathering tasks can be automated to provide valuable insights into operations.

In the Schneider Electric Smart Factory in Batam, Indonesia, operators were previously using paper to track quantity, quality, and waste, and then manually calculating their efficiency. This was not 10 years ago; it was three years ago. How many more manufacturers are still working like this?

Implementing AVEVA’s Discrete Lean Management to enable digital tracking per line increased operational efficiency by 12% and employee engagement by 5%.

The same smart factory is using EcoStruxure Machine Advisor for maintenance, quality, and shop floor management and to benchmark the best machine performance across the region. This results in better operational efficiency, better quality products, and reduced waste.

Software is also the easiest way to see where and how energy is used and wasted. With EcoStruxure Resource Advisor the site in Indonesia has been able to achieve energy savings of around 21%.

Two key things that these software packages have in common is that they are:

  1. Specific in purpose, with in-built expertise for running the shop floor, optimizing machines, or better energy management
  2. Open and vendor agnostic.

Working to common, open standards to ensure interoperability and seamless connection is a fundamental shift from the proprietary operating models used in industry today. But interoperability is essential to deliver the process, energy and resource optimization that will ensure a sustainable future.

Safety, efficiency, and sustainability services increase resiliency

At Schneider Electric, we see sustainable performance through our unique combination of “ambition + action.” At Hannover Messe, we explored four examples where our customers advanced their energy and sustainability strategies through Schneider Electric services and sustainability framework:

  • ArcelorMittal Belval adopted a “green modernization” approach to save 170 equivalent metric tonnes of CO2 and 26 metric tonnes of materials while reducing downtime up to 10%.
  • LafargeHolcim Morocco implemented digital service capabilities to increase worker safety and optimize their maintenance costs.
  • Nescafe Mexico now relies on the expertise of our Connected Service Hub to avoid costly and unplanned stoppages.
  • Danone Evian upgraded its bottling facility to reduce its energy consumption by 34% and was certified “carbon neutral” by Carbon Trust.

Co-innovation achieves efficiency and sustainability at scale

Today’s world is open – no single company can do everything. Collaboration is an important factor of success in today’s digital world. At Hannover Messe, we demonstrated how we innovate with our many partners for a more sustainable future. Two of these partners, who work with us on Schneider Electric Exchange to solve energy management & automation challenges through co-innovation, are:

  • Senseye – an expert in predictive asset management and analytics based on AI and machine learning, who demonstrated how they can collect data and turn it into actional insights for our customers to optimize maintenance, reduce downtime, and increase productivity.
  • Stratus Technologies – an expert in high availability and high redundancy critical edge applications showed how ProLeiT and AVEVA software solutions for critical industrial processes are embedded into their ftServer, which protects these installations from compute related failures.

Cybersecurity across the digital ecosystem

We can’t talk about resilience and industrial sustainability without cybersecurity. Managing cybersecurity threats is a commitment to maintaining and improving the skills and experience of your people, the effectiveness of your processes, and the strength of the technology employed to protect your business. Providing secure applications is vital to ensuring trust in the digital ecosystem.

Cybersecurity is an enabler of digital transformation, but it needs to be applied in the context of the operational technology that runs industrial and commercial businesses.

Innovating for a better world

Each solution we showcased at Hannover Messe 2022 is a step forward for our vision to transform today’s industrial world into one that’s open, sustainable, data-driven, and efficient.

Find all available industrial sustainability resources from our participation in the event here.

More blogs about Hannover Messe 2022 below:

[1] IPCC Working Group

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