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SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC BRINGS DIGITALIZATION AND AUTOMATION TO TURBOMACHINERY
TELL OUR READERS BRIEFLY ABOUT SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC.
Schneider’s technology, solutions and people are focused on efficient, resilient, and sustainable operations within the process and discrete automation industries. Our scope ranges from large, energy-intensive segments with our safety, control, and remote operations, all the way to the typical consumer with our at-home smart devices in power management and security. Schneider embraces digitization and circular economy standards to tackle decarbonization and ensure energy is accessible for all.
WHAT DOES SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC DO THAT RELATES TO TURBOMACHINERY?
Schneider solutions for turbomachinery control (TMC) address and protect the high-risk processes that if not monitored, can mean loss of production or life. We provide prime movers (like gas turbines, steam turbines, hydro, motors), driven equipment (compressors of all types, generators, blowers), auxiliaries and subsystems that are part of the turbomachinery train (lube oil, seal oil, AVR, etc.), mechanical retrofits, safety, and extensive data analysis. Our services address the entire plant lifecycle, including front-end engineering design (FEED), TMC engineering assessments, or commissioning and startup support. Currently, Schneider Electric process automation technology enables: 1 TWH of power plants, 30% of global refineries, and more than 50% of global liquified natural gas (LNG) capacities.
WHAT IS THE COMPRESSOR PERFORMANCE MONITOR (CPM)?
Our CPM digital solution evaluates a compressor’s performance parameters and compares the value to a performance base line to determine the compressor deviation from an expected performance. These calculations allow for accurate estimations of financial loss. This can result in impactful metrics like wasted power or excessive carbon emissions where our experts consult customers on how to improve the efficiency and sustainability of their operation.
WHAT TRENDS HAVE YOU OBSERVED IN TURBOMACHINERY SOFTWARE AND CONTROLS?
We see our customers challenged with rapid advancements in technology, a generational shift in workforce, and stringent regulations, on top of the standard criticality of preventing equipment failures, reducing maintenance costs, reducing unscheduled shutdowns, and improving safety. This has driven new technologies into the turbomachinery industry, including big data analysis, industrial IoT, and remote services.
WHAT IS SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC DOING ON INDUSTRIAL SUSTAINABILITY?
Being recognized as Global 100 most sustainable companies in the world by Corporate Knights, sustainability is core to our company’s purpose and culture. It is integral to our full scope of solutions. We take a holistic approach to sustainability by focusing on the lifecycle of critical turbomachinery assets (in any segment or plant) and their impact to people, economics, and the environment. From robust mechanical retrofit solutions that allow online diagnostics, services and repairs avoiding machinery unscheduled trips that directly impacts the environment, people safety and the machine life span, to data analytics designed to reach asset excellence minimizing carbonization, fuel waste and optimizing power consumption. Also, through our relationship with AVEVA, we leverage digital twin applications to verify performance while avoiding risks to environment or people.
HOW ABOUT DIGITIZATION?
Schneider maps the digitization journey in four pillars: readiness, maintenance, performance, and optimization. The turbomachinery market has been conservative with digital solutions, but that is changing. We have solutions to help customers get ready to adopt digital technologies for process instrumentation, network architecture, automation needs, and control system evaluations. We cover reactive to prescriptive maintenance, focusing on data collection and predictive analytics. We have solutions targeted on compressor performance and remote troubleshooting to minimize support time and to enhance machine operation and performance. Lastly, we coordinate and integrate our portfolio to optimize operations and achieve asset excellence. For instance, CPM can define the best performance for an operation, while TMC Predictive Analytics can predict if the machine is strained; both can be done in a simulation environment. They provide insights, but greater value comes from our TMC experts that can interpret and inform on the actions to take to achieve operational goals. Collectively, these solutions can address the challenges of resource restraints or in-house expertise of what data they have captured at their facility.
WHERE IS AUTOMATION TAKING US?
We see a great opportunity in coordinated power and process systems, with the unified operation center being the driver of industrial automation. This architecture provides increased visibility, collaboration between teams, and clear asset performance management at an enterprise level – giving critical information that identifies outliers in a system. TMC assets are at the heart of operations and business planning. Understanding implications from things like unplanned downtime or these predictive failures through asset excellence based off digital tools can help customers potentially react in other areas of their value chain. This leads to improved operational resiliency, worker safety, and overall business value. As industries consider new greenfield projects, modelling power demands along with process systems becomes a key part of enabling this type of value down the road, protecting your investment and ensuring lifecycle performance is achieved. While turbomachinery is the heartbeat of operating assets, digital transformation unlocks collaboration between teams, and improves uptime and efficiency throughout a facility. For more information visit www.se.com ■