Operations & Management
Dow Corning’s EcoStruxure DCS upgrade enables faster time to profit
March 13, 2018 by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Mar. 13, 2018 – Schneider Electric has helped Dow Corning, a global provider of silicon-based technology, upgrade its distributed control systems.
Modernizing its existing Foxboro I/A Series control system to the new EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS is expected to help Dow Corning’s Carrollton, Kentucky, plant reduce its capital expenditure by 50 per cent. And because the project was completed ahead of schedule, Dow Corning was able to gain two extra days of production and revenue.
EcoStruxure is Schneider Electric’s IoT-enabled, open and interoperable system architecture and platform that strives to deliver innovation across connected products, edge control and apps, analytics and services. Schneider describes the EcoStruxure architecture as enabling scalable design and operation of connected systems with cybersecurity built in at every layer.
“We worked closely with Schneider Electric to develop a strong action plan that enabled us to modernize our distributed control system and take better advantage of new, value-focused technology solutions,” said Chris Wolfschlag, project manager, Dow Corning. “This was a difficult project because we only had one week to perform the upgrade, but by working as a team with Schneider Electric, we were able to complete the project much sooner than anticipated. Bringing the system back online faster gave us two full days of extra production, which positively impacted our bottom-line performance.”
Schneider Electric experts helped upgrade Dow Corning’s existing Foxboro I/A Series control system to the EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS in phases, enabling continuous operations. The team retained much of the DCS infrastructure, including its human-machine interface, field wiring and documentation, which prevented any need for a complete system shutdown or any halt to production. This plug-and-play approach helped Dow Corning reduce its capital expenditure by approximately 50 per cent, as well as complete the upgrade in less than a week.
“Modernizing to the EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS helps us improve how we control the efficiency, reliability and safety of our operations, in real time,” said Wolfschlag. “Because it gives us better visibility into the financial and business performance of our operations, we are better able to evaluate how our decisions and actions impact our overall operational profitability.”
“As the speed of business increases, many industrial assets are being pushed closer to their thresholds of reliability and safety, decreasing throughput and negatively affecting operational profitability,” added Hany Fouda, vice president, Process Automation offer management, Schneider Electric.