Schneider Electric has developed a virtual factory to rapidly build and scale new offerings in areas such as predictive maintenance, asset monitoring and energy optimisation.
Developed in partnership with Accenture, the Schneider Electric Digital Services Factory aims to reduce the time between product ideation and market launch from three years to less than eight months.
Staffed with professionals from Schneider Electric and Accenture, the Digital Factory gathers data from the millions of connected assets across Schneider Electric’s infrastructure and customer sites to speed the development of new industrial IoT services.
The collaboration is part of a five-year contract that Schneider Electric awarded to Accenture in January 2016 to support the ongoing roll-out of Industrial internet of things (IoT)-enabled solutions and digital services.
The Digital Factory provides a range of services, including generating and incubating new ideas, designing and testing potential offerings, and deploying and scaling solutions, as well as providing the analytics and IoT capabilities.
“We are driving the digitisation of our businesses, and the Digital Factory will significantly speed up our efforts,” said Cyril Perducat, executive vice president of IoT & Digital Transformation at Schneider Electric. “With new capabilities like analytics, design thinking, rapid service prototyping and iteration, we are now able to bring new services to market much, much faster.”
Accenture research shows that while industrial manufacturers believe that digital technologies are vital for their future, they risk losing market share and profits because their levels of digital adoption and their ability to innovate is low. Two-thirds of industrial companies that Accenture surveyed said they are feeling the impact of digital disruption, but half of them are not yet comprehensively investing in this area as part of their overall business strategy.
“Schneider Electric is aiming to cut the time from product ideation to market by 80 per cent,” said Karim Chaabouni, a managing director in Accenture’s Industrial practice. “They want to deliver innovation at every level – from connected products to network edge control to analytics, apps and services. With Accenture’s help and the new factory, they will be able to that.”
The Schneider Electric Digital Services Factory is part of Schneider Electric’s programs around the recently launched IoT-enabled, open and interoperable system architecture and platform called “EcoStruxure,” which leverages technologies including the IoT, cloud, analytics, mobile and state-of-the-art cyber security to deliver added value around safety, reliability, efficiency, sustainability and connectivity to Schneider Electric’s clients.