Sep 21, 2020

Schneider Electric’s Lexington Smart Factory Earns Fourth Industrial Revolution Advanced Lighthouse Designation by World Economic Forum

Lexington is the third Smart Factory designated as an Advanced Lighthouse and the first End-to-End Lighthouse representing a milestone in Schneider Electric’s digital transformation

By PR Newswire

BOSTON, Sept. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and industrial automation, today announced that its Smart Factory in Lexington, Kentucky has earned the distinction of 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) Advanced Lighthouse by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The Lexington site is the third Schneider Electric factory to receive this honor for success in adopting 4IR technologies at scale with demonstrated benefits to date. Schneider Electric’s factory in Batam, Indonesia site was selected in 2019 and the site in Le Vaudreuil, France was selected in 2018. Two additional sites, Showcase-Monterrey, Mexico and Wuhan, China, have also been designated as Developing Lighthouse facilities.

The more than 60-year old Lexington facility was the first of Schneider Electric’s U.S. plants to become a Smart Factory showcase site. Exemplifying “brownfield” innovation, it integrates Schneider Electric’s IIoT-based EcoStruxure solutions, providing the latest in digital tools, including augmented reality, remote monitoring and predictive maintenance, to drive energy efficiency, sustainability and overall cost savings, while offering increasing agility and resiliency within the operation.

“Manufacturing organizations around the world are facing new challenges arising from the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn, combined with the ever-growing threat of climate change,” said Annette Clayton, president and CEO of Schneider Electric, North America. “Schneider Electric is proof of IIoT’s power to positively impact the bottom line and further sustainability goals. Being part of the global Lighthouse network allows us to share our knowledge and collaborate with industry peers to bring about greater sustainability and resilience for organizations so that we can recover and thrive amidst periods of adversity.”

The Lexington facility has deployed a digital energy management strategy leveraging Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connectivity, Edge-based descriptive analytics and Cloud-based predictive analytics to drive efficiencies across their operation. At the connected products layer, EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor has enhanced operational insight and reduced equipment downtime by 20 percent.  Residing at the edge, EcoStruxure Power Monitoring Expert utilizes connected meters and sensors to create powerful visualizations and descriptive analytics of energy consumption by machines and processes. Cloud-based EcoStruxure Resource Advisor pulls granular plant data and provides a platform for energy management at a global level offering predictive insights to energy costing trends and spend patterns that allow users to optimize their energy costs.

The Lexington plant continues to drive efficiencies within the operation setting new benchmarks for that Smart Factory: 

  • Monitoring and analyzing energy usage has driven an energy savings of 3.4 percent year-over-year, contributing to $6.6 million in regional savings since 2012 
  • Leveraging AVEVA’s Discrete Lean Management software has reduced unplanned machine downtime by nearly 6 percent through increased visibility into operations; additionally, paperwork has also been eliminated by 90 percent 
  • Optimizing with EcoStruxure Power and Buildings has driven a 26% energy reduction, a 78% CO2 reduction in conjunction with renewable energy credits (RECs) and a 20% water use reduction

Smart Factory and Tailored Sustainable Connected 4.0 Supply Chain Programs

The Lexington Plant is a part of Schneider Electric’s global initiative to digitally transform its factories and distribution centers. This Smart Supply Chain encompasses nearly 300 factories and logistics centers in more than 40 countries employing approximately 86,000 people and utilizes the same IIoT solutions it offers to customers. These facilities are core to the company’s Tailored Sustainable Connected Supply Chain 4.0 program, which creates a customized, sustainable, and end-to-end connected supply chain across the Plan, Procurement, Make, Customer and Sustain domains.

Schneider Electric was recently ranked #1 in the Europe Top 15 of the 2020 Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 and #4 in its worldwide compilation. In addition, Gartner designated Schneider Electric Global Supply Chain as the Business Win of the Year and best in show Supply Chain Breakthrough of the Year with Smart Logistics.

Image via PR Newswire

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