CONNECT 2016: Schneider Electric Automation Conference opens in New Orleans

Schneider Electric opened its CONNECT 2016 conference today, with the ultimate goal of helping attendees to innovate at every level by connecting them with the right people and right technologies. The event takes place at the New Orleans Marriott from Tuesday, May 24 to Thursday, May 26.

For Schneider Electric, CONNECT is more than just a name: it is a mission statement that demonstrates the company’s resolve to connect attendees with the best subject matter experts, the best process automation and safety technologies on the market, and the best sources of real-world experiences.

The conference focuses on providing and highlighting providing connected products that drive better intelligence, local control that improves operations and the apps, analytics and services needed to spur IT-OT integration. The company calls this Innovation at Every Level, which encourages an open, collaborative approach to create value from the “shop floor to the top floor.” The conference will focus on connected products, solutions and services that make operations safer, more reliable and more efficient.

The primary focus of the gathering is to connecting attendees with the right people and right technology. Sessions tracks and presentations include automation lifecycle management, technology outlook and planning, practical approaches to achieving more efficient maintenance operations, and adopting a cyber security standard of compliance.

One suggested path to adapt to the new market demands and maximize efficiencies and profits encourages a new approach with specific characteristics:

  • Reduce customization, rely on standard solutions
  • Push customization to the software, use standard hardware
  • Eliminate the need for project specifications
  • Eliminate the need for the infrastructure to support customized solutions
  • Reduce complexity, simplify design
  • Reduce component count and number of divergent systems
  • Take advantage of installed system capacity
  • Reduce and simplify interfaces
  • Eliminate, simplify or automate processes
  • Mitigate effects of dependencies
  • Reduce generated documentation
  • Take managed risks, accept some compromises
  • Develop and enable trust with suppliers and contractors.

A point was made during Tuesday morning’s opening session that these characteristics should not be limited to automation.

Gary Freburger, president of Schneider Electric Process Automation, welcomed the delegates Tuesday morning. “It is so exciting to be in this business right now. We are at the forefront of the fundamental changes in how the business is working. The market has recognized a need for improvements. Technology makes things possible that weren’t before. We are lucky to be in this business because we are going to change how the market works for the next two generations. 

“Our part in that process involves innovation, and we have to do things differently at every level, every engagement, technology and product. It is important to be well-connected with what we are bringing to the market.”

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