Following Schneider Electric’s recent acquisition of Invensys, we’re moving quickly to harmonize our offers. In January when we made the official announcement, we said that we expected many benefits and synergies from this deal. One of the first that I can share is our positioning in the Distributed Control System (DCS) market.
Even before this acquisition was finalized, I heard much speculation about our DCS offers – Schneider Electric’s PlantStruxure PES and the Foxboro Evo process automation system from Invensys. Are they complementary? Do they work together? Will one cannibalize the other? These questions came from customers, partners, our own employees and many others in the industrial market.
Following deep analysis of both our offers and their positioning in the market, it is quite clear that the combined portfolio of Schneider Electric and Invensys process automation offers are highly complementary. Together we cover the breadth and depth of the process automation market – from discrete, through to hybrid and then on to continuous process applications. In this blog I will focus on hybrid and continuous processes, where the combination of both companies will bring some exciting opportunities for our customers.
Clarifying our positioning
The Foxboro Evo process automation system from Invensys is very applicable to industries that are highly automation intensive. Generally, I mean applications like (but not limited to) petroleum refining, petrochemical manufacturing, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and super critical fossil power generation. These industries, and others like them, may require large amounts of advanced process control, have the need to integrate with numerous critical or custom applications that may or may not be in real time (like refinery planning and scheduling), and contain control mechanisms that are based on complex algorithms. The Foxboro brand is well known and well respected in these automation intensive industries, and will continue to be positioned as the optimum DCS for customers requiring strong continuous process capabilities.
In another part of the DCS market, customer needs are more focused on flexibility and openness, with these types of hybrid applications requiring a mix of process, sequential, manufacturing and assembly functions. Often found in (but again not limited to) segments like mining, cement, food & beverage, water & wastewater, subcritical fossil power generation and hydroelectric power generation, these solutions provide integrated behaviour, with the overall consistency of a control system application. Since its inception, we have positioned PlantStruxure PES in this way – it combines the best of PLC/SCADA (like openness) with the best of traditional DCS (like system integration) to form an innovative and energy-aware DCS.
Focusing on customer needs
Thanks to the Foxboro Evo process automation system and PlantStruxure PES, Schneider Electric is now very broadly covering the DCS market – with capabilities to deliver the functions and benefits of hybrid and continuous processes. For our customers, we know that their applications are all different – with unique preferences and requirements which are influenced by many things including past buying behavior and their current configuration. Together, we can deliver stronger local and global execution capabilities and our complementary offers in the DCS market will allow us to provide a scalable and comprehensive portfolio to deliver solutions tailored to those specific requirements and meet the most challenging needs in this ever changing environment.
In summary, both our Schneider Electric and Invensys customers stand to significantly benefit from our combined process automation offers, and Schneider Electric will continue to be strongly committed to developing best-in-class products, new systems and applications, and innovative technologies.
How are you using Foxboro Evo DCS or PlantStruxure PES to meet your DCS needs? We’re always looking for case studies and I’d love to hear from you.