86th NAMUR Annual General Meeting on November 23 and 24, 2023 in Düsseldorf/Neuss

from 2023-07-07

NAMUR goes green: Schneider Electric to sponsor 2023 NAMUR General Meeting

Tech company Schneider Electric has put sustainability and energy efficiency at the top of the agenda of the NAMUR General Meeting, which takes place on 23rd and 24th November 2023 at Dorint Hotel Düsseldorf/Neuss. Multivendor automation systems are another key topic at the most important user event in the industry.

This year’s NAMUR General Meeting will be sponsored by tech experts Schneider Electric. The product range of the French technology group, which employs about 4,700 staff in Germany alone, runs the gamut of digitally connected process automation systems: from field devices to controls, distributed control systems, safety systems, and software solutions. The portfolio of brands includes names such as Foxboro, Triconex, ProLeiT and AVEVA. As the sponsor, Schneider’s contribution to the most important industry event for users is not merely financial, but mainly a contribution in terms of contents. One of the focus topics will be non-proprietary automation systems and their impact on more energy-efficient and flexible plant operations. The agenda also includes a broad range of workshops that cast light on central aspects of process automation such as process efficiency, cyber security and sustainability. In the context of AVEVA PI (formerly known as OSIsoft PI), handling large volumes of data in a smart and profitable way will be another focus topic. Apart from the head of the European process automation division at Schneider Electric, Jessica Bethune, AVEVA CEO Caspar Herzberg and Dr Barbara Frei, head of the industrial automation business, are expected to deliver keynotes. In keeping with the IIoT-driven portfolio of integrated solutions offered by Schneider, the motto of this year’s General Meeting is: “Open Automation and Digitalization for Sustainability and Efficiency.”

Sustainability and efficiency as priority topics
With Schneider Electric, the NAMUR General Meeting has found a sponsor who has developed solutions driven by sustainability and climate protection for over 15 years now. The tech company with over 128,000 employees worldwide had already made it its mission to enable its customers to run their business sustainably and in line with climate policy targets long before the current energy crisis hit. In 2022, Schneider Electric was awarded the independent German Sustainability Award. At the same time, it achieved record sales amounting to 34 billion euros. International rating agencies such as S&P or Moody’s have listed the company as one of the top ESG performers.

“We were one of the early adopters in terms of sustainable operations and have been running our operations that way for many years,” says Dr Barbara Frei, Executive Vice President at Schneider Electric and in charge of the global industrial business. “Based on our own experience, we are more convinced than ever that it would be a fundamental mistake to think of sustainability as costly burden on businesses. On the contrary: Sustainability is the entrepreneurial response to the challenges of our time. This is the perspective we want to open up to the attendants of the NAMUR General Meeting this year. How can we establish sustainability as a guiding business principle in the various sectors of the process industry? Doing so doesn’t necessarily mean turning our business completely inside out. Rather, it’s about taking a smarter approach to everything we do, increasing the efficiency of all our operational and production processes.”

Schneider Electric and the process industry
With its Foxboro, Triconex, AVEVA and ProLeiT brands, Schneider Electric has a broad portfolio of technologies to offer to the process industry. Apart from the whole range of measuring, protection and control equipment, the tech group also offers programmable logic controllers and distributed control systems through, for instance, its group company ProLeiT. The Ecostruxure Triconex safety system is the market leader in the process industry. The portfolio is rounded off with vendor-neutral software solutions that enable the contextualized and controller-independent evaluation of data for the purposes of predictive maintenance and process optimization. Topics such as artificial intelligence, digital twins and an industrial metaverse already play a major role for the French group today. Many renowned players in the process industry are customers of Schneider Electric. Among them, for example, the German company Henkel, which was able to make part of its detergent production even more energy-efficient with the help of software solutions from the tech-company.

The manufacturer opts for non-proprietary solutions
When it comes to process automation, a subject that is at the heart of NAMUR, there is something that truly sets Schneider Electric apart. The tech company’s approach to automation technology is strictly manufacturer-neutral and based on the requirements of the IEC 61499 standard. In contrast to the classic approach based on IEC 61131, this is aimed at treating software and hardware as independent units and enabling software objects to be reusable across different hardware, making the issues with proprietary systems a thing of the past. In addition, Schneider Electric is a member of the non-profit organization UniversalAutomation.Org, which has provided a basis for a manufacturer-independent approach to automation with its vendor-neutral Runtime Execution Engine. If and to which extent this approach aligns with the NAMUR Open Architecture (NOA) as an approach to automation will be one of the topics discussed during the workshop sessions at the General Meeting. Barbara Frei underlines how important this multivendor automation approach to automation is to Schneider Electric:
“The value of IoT technologies for more efficient and sustainable industrial plant operations is thwarted when automation relies on proprietary systems. We believe that Universal Automation adds enormous value, especially in plants that require a high degree of flexibility in terms of production and use of resources.”
To learn more about the multivendor approach to automation, watch the documentary video „Neue Wege für die Automatisierung“ (German with automatically generated English subtitles).

General Meeting puts the spotlight on sustainability
NAMUR’s annual General Meeting will take place at the Dorint Hotel in Neuss on 23rd and 24th November this year and is expected to attract about 650 executives and experts from the process automation industry. NAMUR President Dr Felix Hanisch welcomes Schneider Electric’s suggestion to make sustainability the focus topic of the meeting as it reflects the challenges the industry is currently faced with: “A mindset and operations driven by sustainability are basically a must in the industry today. There is no other way for us to reach the 1.5-degree climate goal. Digital IoT technologies play a crucial role in this. They are enablers for new production methods and business models that are more climate friendly, economically viable and future-proof. Schneider Electric is a standard-setting supplier in the field, and my hope is that they will provide important impulses that highlight ways to sustainable and responsible corporate action using the right technologies.”

More information on Schneider Electric is available here:

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