Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, has helped Dow Corning, a global leader in 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%. 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 delivers Innovation At Every Level across connected products, edge control and apps, analytics and services. The EcoStruxure architecture enables scalable design and operation of connected systems with best-in-class cybersecurity built in at every layer.
Faster upgrades, faster time to profit
“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.”
Working in tandem, Schneider Electric experts helped upgrade Dow Corning’s existing Foxboro I/A Series control system to the EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS in phases, ensuring continuous, transparent 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 percent, 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.”
Value-focused IIoT reduces costs, increases productivity
Dow Corning upgraded to the EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS with an eye toward speeding project execution and reducing engineering, operating and inventory costs. Additionally, through the project management, cabinet design, factory acceptance testing, start-up and additional modernization services Schneider Electric is providing, Dow Corning expects productivity to increase as well.
“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,” said Hany Fouda, vice president, Process Automation offer management, Schneider Electric. “Schneider Electric’s value-focused IIoT systems and solutions change all that. By helping Dow Corning preserve existing infrastructure while modernizing to the EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS, we believe they are now even better able to control and avoid potential risks to the safety, efficiency, reliability and profitability of their operations. We look forward to continuing to help them convert their industrial automation systems and solutions into the profit engine of their business.”
Please visit the Schneider Electric website to learn more about Dow Corning’s upgrade to EcoStruxure Foxboro DCS and to download the success story.