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Schneider Electric, Intel, Red Hat jointly unveil next-gen open automation infrastructure

Schneider Electric, Intel, Red Hat jointly unveil next-gen open automation infrastructure

Schneider Electric, an energy management and automation solution company, has joined forces with technology giants Intel and Red Hat to unveil the Distributed Control Node (DCN) software framework. The collaboration marks a milestone in advancing industrial control systems towards a more efficient and adaptable future.

The newly introduced DCN framework, an extension of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Automation Expert, represents a shift towards a software-defined solution that emphasizes plug-and-produce functionality.

In a bid to advance industrial control systems towards a more efficient and adaptable future, the innovation aims to empower industrial enterprises to streamline their operations, ensure quality standards, simplify complexities, and optimize costs.

In alignment with the objectives of the Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF), dedicated to promoting interoperability and portability, the collaborative efforts of Schneider Electric, Intel, and Red Hat aim to pave the way for the next generation of industrial control systems.

Nathalie Marcotte, senior vice president of process automation at Schneider Electric, highlighted the culmination of two years of co-innovation, emphasizing the importance of the DCN framework in fostering an open automation approach. Marcotte underlined its significance in enabling industrial businesses to evolve and innovate according to their unique requirements.

The integration of Red Hat Device Edge into the DCN software, along with Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform and Red Hat OpenShift at the compute layer for DCN deployments, reflects Schneider Electric’s commitment to leveraging modern technology for industrial advancement, according to the company.

Red Hat is committed to helping manufacturers implement autonomous operations on the shop floor,” adds Francis Chow, vice president and general manager of in-vehicle operating system and edge at Red Hat.

“By working closely with our partners like Schneider Electric and Intel, we can help build scalable, software-defined factories and operations capable of advanced automation and interoperability by utilizing a consistent platform approach. We’re excited about this collaboration, and this is only the beginning. By taking these steps now, we can help set the industrial sector up to explore all the possibilities AI, edge computing and more have to offer.”

The DCN framework comprises two primary components: the advanced computer platform (ACP) and the DCN units. The ACP serves as the control workload supervisor, offering content control, automation capabilities, virtualization, and monitoring functionalities. On the other hand, the DCN units, equipped with Intel Atom x6400E series processors, are low-power industrial systems dedicated to running controls, designed to manage workloads of mixed-criticality.

“Open and interconnected commercial solutions will help usher in the transition from fixed function proprietary devices to flexible and dynamic software-based infrastructures,” says Christine Boles, vice president of Intel’s network and edge group and general manager for federal and industrial solutions.

“Intel has a long history of driving open system approaches across its ecosystem. This collaboration with Schneider Electric and Red Hat to develop a software-defined control system showcasing next-generation distributed control nodes built on general purpose compute and operating systems brings about this transition to the industrial sector.”

Read more:

Schneider Electric integrates Hailo-8 processor in its industrial automation solutions

Red Hat takes on low-resource challenges with Device Edge platform

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