Canadian Manufacturing

Schneider Electric and Aramco to collaborate on automation test bed

Companies will jointly assess and validate next-generation open and interoperable technologies

October 29, 2020  by CM Staff

Saudi Schneider Electric Innovation and Research Center (PHOTO: Schneider Electric Canada Inc.)

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Schneider Electric and Aramco announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on assessing emerging technologies based on the Open-Process Automation Standard (O-PAS).

Testing will take place at a new built-for-purpose test bed in the Saudi Schneider Electric Innovation and Research Center in Dhahran Techno Valley, Saudi Arabia.

The new facility will test systems for multi-vendor interoperability, cybersecurity and advanced functionality, such as artificial intelligence and advanced analytics, in real-world applications. Technologies from Schneider Electric as well as other automation vendors will be assessed on how well various solutions work together to produce the high value expected for next-generation industrial automation.

“Schneider Electric has a long history of innovation and driving open industrial automation,” said Nathalie Marcotte, president, Process Automation, Schneider Electric, in a prepared statement. “Standards like O-PAS and IEC 61499 will ensure systems are interoperable, portable, scalable, future proof and intrinsically cybersecure. Emerging automation technologies based on these standards promise to improve uptime, add agility, enhance cybersecurity and enable new operational models at a much-reduced total cost of ownership.”

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The collaboration will allow Aramco to enhance its local capacity, technical knowledge and digital readiness for Industry 4.0 operational models supported by Schneider Electric’s global expertise and network.

“We are pleased to leverage Schneider Electric’s deep domain expertise to explore next-generation industrial automation architectures,” said Ahmad Al Sa’adi, senior vice-president, Technical Services, Aramco. “Interoperable and portable systems will give us greater freedom to select and integrate the best in class technologies we need to bring step change advancements in our operations and future-proof our industrial automation system.”

Under the agreement, Schneider Electric and Aramco will jointly define areas of technical collaboration to assess and validate multiple emerging technologies and their benefits, explore real world applications and develop a prototype system.


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