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Schneider’s EcoStruxure Plant Lean Management Aims to Revolutionize Lean Manufacturing 

Schneider’s EcoStruxure Plant Lean Management Aims to Revolutionize Lean Manufacturing 
This Q&A provides insights into Schneider's EcoStruxure Plant Lean Management solution based on the AVEVA™. This solution promises to reshape lean manufacturing practices. (Credit: Schneider Electric)

We met Silke Bucher, Director of Digital Transformation at Schneider during Hannover Messe Press Preview last month. She shared insights into the innovative EcoStruxure Plant Lean Management, which the company will introduce at Hannover Messe this year, and how it is redefining lean manufacturing with IoT solutions and cloud-based efficiency.

This Q&A provides insights into Schneider’s EcoStruxure Plant Lean Management solution based on the AVEVA™. This solution promises to reshape lean manufacturing practices with its innovative IoT-driven approach and cloud-based efficiency.

What you are showcasing for this edition of Hannover Messe?

Silke Bucher: “We’re showcasing topics revolving around digital transformation, electrification, and software-centric automation, with a strong emphasis on sustainability and energy management integration.

We prioritize flat operational efficiency, which encompasses productivity enhancements across plants and supply chain operations, alongside robust asset performance management. Our focus lies in supporting our customers by optimizing asset maintenance, minimizing downtime, and mitigating failures. This includes integrating energy management and sustainability initiatives and in the context of the climate crisis. We also address cybersecurity concerns, aligning with IT/OT best practices.

Our commitment extends to our own operations, with over 200 factories under our purview. We spearhead smart projects to establish industry standards, not only for our internal processes but also for the benefit of our customers and partners. As these standards evolve, they translate into offerings tailored to enhance efficiency and lean management practices in the supply chain. The idea is to create mutual value for all stakeholders involved.

We are excited to unveil our latest initiative, our EcoStruxure Plant Lean Management for the first time at the fair. This solution represents a significant step forward in optimizing plant operations and lean management practices.”

What is the EcoStruxure Plant Lean Management you’re introducing?

Silke Bucher: “It is an IoT-driven solution that digitizes the lean manufacturing SIM (Short Interval Management) process, facilitating short-interval management meeting cycles. It is designed as an application, and it can be implemented in single or multiple sites, even across hundreds of locations. It utilizes the AVIVA Data Hub, an IoT open platform, that we showcased last year at the fair.” 

How does it streamline lean manufacturing processes?

Silke Bucher: “In a typical lean management process, the operator begins by assessing key performance indicators (KPIs) at their workstation, checking for alarms, stops, or missing components hindering production. Traditionally, reporting failures or issues involves cumbersome, non-digital tools. This often results in time-consuming data collection and reporting processes. With our IoT solution, however, data collection is streamlined. It offers a 25% time savings compared to manual methods. This optimization ensures quicker response times and improved efficiency throughout the manufacturing process. 

The advantage of our system is also its integration with cloud-based operations. This enables real-time access to data for all stakeholders, facilitating quicker issue resolution and feedback. For example, we have observed a threefold increase in issue resolution speed and feedback delivery.” 

What other benefits does this solution offer to users?

Silke Bucher: “Apart from efficiency gains, it fosters employee engagement and empowerment. Employees are not only empowered to address failures and issues but they are also encouraged to contribute ideas for process enhancement directly. This transparency ensures that every operator is actively engaged in driving improvements, thereby boosting motivation and productivity efficiency across the board. This system is deployed across all our plants. It is already benefiting our workforce of 70,000 employees.”

How scalable is the EcoStruxure Plant Lean Management?

Silke Bucher: “It offers a flexible architecture adaptable to diverse manufacturing environments. It seamlessly integrates data from diverse sources, including different PLCs. It is also ideal for both greenfield and brownfield implementations. Its scalability ensures easy deployment and quick results across different plants.”

When can businesses expect it to be available?

Silke Bucher: “The solution is not currently on the market. We’ll be showcasing it for the first time at Hannover Messe. This is where we will demonstrate its potential to revolutionize lean manufacturing practices.”

Schneider Electric will be present at Hannover Messe, Hall 11, Stand C52.