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Water and Wastewater Operations to Manage Full Automation Lifecycle with EcoStruxure Automation Expert Version 21.2 from Schneider Electric

Rueil-Malmaison, France

12/10/2021

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  • New version of world’s first software-centric industrial automation system available
  • Helps safeguard fresh water; supports sustainability
  • Seamlessly connects to engineering software, including from AVEVA

Schneider Electric, the World’s Most Sustainable Corporation in 2021 as ranked by Corporate Knights and the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, today announced version 21.2 of EcoStruxure™ Automation Expert, further enhancing the capabilities of the world’s first software-centric universal automation system.

Following previous success with its implementation across the consumer-packaged goods and logistics sectors, the new release will focus on helping future-proof water and wastewater (WWW) plant operations worldwide.

Water and wastewater plants that implement EcoStruxure Automation Expert will now have complete lifecycle management, seamless integration of IT/OT services and improved system diagnostics for their automation systems. The solution also enables close integration with the AVEVA portfolio, further extending capabilities and options to add or modify as future needs arise.

EcoStruxure Automation Expert v21.2 is the next in an ongoing series of updates and enhancements that Schneider Electrics delivers to the market at least twice a year.

“By ensuring the digital continuity and seamless integration with AVEVA portfolio, we’ll greatly increase our efficiency with EcoStruxure Automation Expert,” said Raphael Digard, Project Manager at Armony System.  “And by removing the dependency between the software application and the hardware platform it runs on, we can quickly and simply modify or upgrade the systems. This is critical for us, to stay on top of our wastewater treatment plant customers need going forward. EcoStruxure Automation Expert really is a game changer.”

Water and wastewater sustainability

Water and wastewater enterprises have recognised that the industry’s business model needs to become more circular, resilient, and sustainable. The water industry currently consumes 7% of the world’s energy, directly contributing around 1% of industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for Europe and anywhere from 3-10% of the global total.

Today, only 3% of the water on earth is said to be "fresh" water. Only 0.5-1% of the earth's fresh water is available - not locked in ice caps, atmosphere, or soil. Yet it is often used in an unsustainable manner, which is a crucial issue for the future.

Driven by the need to ensure water quality and realising that water is becoming an increasingly precious resource, the sector has begun to embrace and accelerate its digitization journey. Schneider Electric believe that this is the right time to make significant enhancements and progress in the sector by embracing universal automation to drive the next level of sustainable water operations.

Future-proof flexibility

With a life span of 25-35 years, water and wastewater plants typically remain with one automation provider throughout their whole project lifecycle, leaving them with outdated and rigid operations. Introducing EcoStruxure Automation Expert allows the automation software to be separated from the hardware, providing freedom for WWW enterprises to beak their dependency on proprietary hardware suppliers.

EcoStruxure™ Automation Expert will provide a single platform that evolves with time for water and wastewater subsegments, including:

  • Treatment infrastructures: water treatment and wastewater treatment plants, desalination plants, industrial wastewater
  • Network infrastructures: water and wastewater networks
  • Water resources: distributed systems such as irrigation systems

“The 21.2 release of EcoStruxure Automation Expert is a big step forward for water and wastewater automation,” said Fabrice Jadot, Senior Vice President, Next Generation Automation, Schneider Electric: “With digitization and sustainability at the industry’s core, we’re proud to deliver a cutting-edge solution that saves valuable time and money in the long term. While we know it won’t solve all the challenges that the sector is facing, it will help our customers drive towards 100% engineering efficiency and be ready for 100% operational effectiveness to accommodate ever changing market dynamics.”

Technology transforming industries of the future

New enhancements in EcoStruxure Automation Expert V21.2 include:

  1. Enhanced lifecycle management: from designing and building water and wastewater plants to improving operation and maintenance, EcoStruxure Automation Expert offers seamless connection to engineering software, including AVEVA, so new designs or changes to existing ones can be validated virtually prior to implementation, reducing errors, saving time and money. This asset centric approach allows for automatic deployment of process elements (with e.g., their control, supervisory, mechanical, electric and control designs) enabling process assets to be managed digitally across their entire lifecycle.   
  2. Improved device integration and out of the box application libraries: a continued drive for open, universal automation platforms has led to a streamlined licence model and the introduction of a native visualization solution with EcoStruxure Automation Expert HMI now available on cost effective local panels.
  3. Complete digital solution from end point to the cloud: A seamless integration of IT systems with OT systems boosts security, longevity and ensures customers have a solution that evolves with time
  4. Expanded language support: French, German and Italian language options are now available for the interface.

Embracing universal automation

Schneider Electric believes the time is right for a bold move in industrial automation and is calling on industrial users, vendors, OEMs, systems integrators and EPCs across industry to embrace universal automation.

Universal automation is the world of plug and produce automation software components based on the IEC61499 standard that solve specific customer problems in a proven way. Adoption of an IEC61499-based standardized automation layer, common across vendors, will provide limitless opportunities for growth and modernization across industry.

With the launch of EcoStruxure Automation Expert 21.2, Schneider Electric further extends the capabilities of existing IEC61131-based systems and enables an app-store-like model for automation software components. As the more universal automation solutions become available, Schneider Electric believes other vendors will adopt universal automation, and end users will begin to demand it from their automation suppliers and ecosystem.

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