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Digital transformation creates massive savings for Australian businesses, Schneider Electric report shows
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Digital transformation creates massive savings for Australian businesses, Schneider Electric report shows

Brisbane, Australia. July 31stSchneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, has today released its 2019 Transformation Benefits Report that uncovers the financial value of digital transformation for Australian businesses. 

The Digital Transformation Benefits Report is the first of its kind to offer up concrete evidence of the power of digitization across the spectrum of global commerce. This evidence takes the form of 330 data points developed from a sample repository of 230 customer projects Schneider Electric completed in the last five years across 41 countries. In addition, the report features stories from 34 customers, providing overviews of the goals they started with, the challenges they faced, the solutions they chose, and the results they saw.

At the core of this report are 12 key business benefits of digital transformation. These benefits are divided into three categories, each essential to effective marketplace competition: capital expenditure (CapEx), operational expenditure (OpEx), as well as sustainability, speed, and performance. The Report focuses on four key tenets of the Australian economy — buildings, data centers, industry, and infrastructure — all undergoing transformations that will fundamentally change the way people will live, work, and play.

The report demonstrates the power of digital transformation in energy management and automation: when businesses digitize both energy management and automation, the two work in concert to drive even greater, unprecedented, value.

“Digital transformation is the only way of delivering consistency and efficiency across a company. Technologies such as the Internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence and big data analytics are making companies more efficient and innovative, boosting their competitive advantage,” said Gareth O’Reilly, Country President at Schneider Electric. “This report indicates that many businesses and organizations need a trusted authority to manage this complexity to unlock the full potential of digital transformation.”

Significant CapEx and OpEx savings 

The evidence presented by the report puts to rest concerns in the market that digital transformation is an expensive Capital Expenditure proposition involving new systems and difficult integration into existing processes. The customer projects studied in the report demonstrate the opposite. 

The study shows that digitization of engineering processes, for instance, can save businesses and organizations an average of 35% in CapEx costs and time optimization. Further, commissioning costs of new systems and assets can be reduced by an average of 29%.

The study also reveals that digitization, by harnessing IoT, can result in significant savings in Operational Expenditure – leading to step change improvements in efficiency, reliability, safety, and sustainability. Businesses and organizations report an average savings of 24% in energy consumption, as a result of digitization. 

“In Industrial applications, digital transformation allows businesses to do more with less — more yield with less energy, fewer materials, and fewer labor hours,” Neil Smith, VP of Industry at Schneider Electric. “Increased productivity, up to 50%, results from energy management and automation efficiencies across the value chain, from IoT-enabled tracking to automated production lines.”

Software as a short-term solution for water-shortage

One industry set to feel the benefits of digital transformation is agriculture

Agriculture accounts for nearly 70 percent of the world’s water consumption. By 2050, it is predicted that water demand will need to increase by 55 percent to support the food requirements of our growing global population.

WaterForce, a leader in sustainable water solutions, wanted to address the growing demand for water with a sophisticated but easy-to-use, cloud-based water management solution that leveraged the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to monitor and control geographically isolated assets. To meet this increasing need for effective irrigation, WaterForce developed SCADAfarm – an integrated automation and information management platform built on EcoStruxure Industry and Microsoft Azure technologies.

“Built on Azure IoT, Schneider Electric allows us to collect and analyse the data needed to deliver the insights our customers require to stay competitive,” said Ron McFetridge, Director, WaterForce.

The implementation of SCADAfarm has increased control and visibility over operations, with farmers reporting up to 50% energy savings in the first season. To allow farmers to optimise the amount of water used, weather forecasts are integrated to enable on-the-fly adjustments to the irrigators. Remote monitoring functionalities also mean that farmers save significant time that would otherwise be used to travel and inspect assets on site.

Digital key to infrastructure future

East of Melbourne in Victoria’s greenbelt, the EastLink freeway connects around 250,000 vehicles each day to the Eastern, Monash, Frankston and Peninsula Link freeways. It is the largest privately-operated freeway network in Victoria and features a 1.6km twin tunnel.

The EastLink freeway tunnels run beneath the environmentally sensitive Mullum Mullum Valley. As such, ventilation of vehicle emissions in the area requires special attention. With tunnels and stacks controlled in a traditional way, fans are always operating at full speed, and resulted in an inefficient use of electricity and high operating noise levels. This continuous operation also causes unnecessary wear and tear on components.

To address the energy usage and noise issues, Schneider Electric worked with EastLink to create Australia’s first on demand ventilation system, a more efficient self-regulating or closed loop variable speed operation. At the top layer of the EcoStruxure solution is a SCADA control system that allows EastLink to monitor how the ventilation systems are running and pinpoint exactly where energy savings occur.

“This collaboration between Schneider Electric and EastLink has led to Australia’s first on demand ventilation system. This project is an example of infrastructure that will help make our roads safer and more efficient.” Doug Spencer-Roy, Corporate Affairs & Marketing Manager at EastLink. 

Overall, through Schneider Electric’s Ecostruxure solution, there is a 70% reduction in energy usage and a significant reduction in noise levels for Eastlink.

The full report can be found here.

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