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Schneider Electric Opens the Door to Universal Automation: Get a Glimpse

June 22, 2022
A free 12-month engineering software license is available for innovators to explore the benefits of universal automation and IEC61499-based solutions.

Open automation isn't open enough for Schneider Electric.

Which is why it launched Universal Automation Discovery Packs, a program in the U.S. that calls on innovators—from OEMs to end-users—to explore the benefits of universal automation themselves through free licenses.

“Today’s industry is changing faster than ever before, requiring both new solutions that offer greater flexibility and higher productivity, and a skilled workforce familiar with those solutions able to implement them,” said Kaishi Zhang, Global Director, Product Management at Schneider Electric.

According to Schneider, universal automation is a disruptive technology based on the IEC61499 standard for interoperability and portability that decouples hardware and software by addressing one of the industry’s largest challenges to innovation—single-vendor lock-in.

Schneider is offering users to test out this new technology before its commercialized, allowing users to better understand how the platform can support different organizational goals and improve operational efficiency.

“Through this program, we are fostering digital innovation and creativity in the next wave of the industrial automation workforce by providing access to the latest universal automation platform and tools to get them started, encouraging them to take the next step in driving the industry of the future forward.”

Universal Automation Discovery Packs are for non-commercial use, enabling innovators to experience the benefits while testing the interoperability and portability of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Automation Expert system with compatible 3rd-party hardware.

The plug-and-produce automation software and components are available on both Microsoft and Linux-based machines and are based on IEC61499, an industry standard that defines high-level system design language for distributed Industrial Control Systems (ICS).

Schneider believes that the adoption of an IEC61499-based automation layer common across vendors has unlimited potential for modernization across industries.

The implementation of a common distributed control runtime across hardware and software platforms represents a new approach to designing, building, operating, and maintaining industrial automation systems—offering a unique technology mix that defines a new category of integrated automation systems.

EcoStruxure Automation Expert—the world’s first universal automation solution—is an ideal platform for Industry 4.0 solutions, providing excellent reusability, scalability, and architectural flexibility.

Schneider Electric will offer Universal Automation Discovery Packs users one free engineering license and an unlimited number of runtime licenses valid for 12 months, with no purchase required (for U.S. customers only).

You can follow this link to sign up for Universal Automation.