The development of modern technologies changes our lives in many spheres on a daily basis, and perhaps the most visible changes are in the way we do business. New solutions and business models and implemented and constantly improved for years now, and Dejan Markovic, the Country General Manager for Serbia and Montenegro at Schneider Electric, reveals what makes a solution smart and how new technologies help us save resources and presents us with the best practical examples in the world, but also in Serbia.
eKapija: Schneider Electric has created EcoStruxure solutions. Tell us more about it.
– Our EcoStruxure platform is based on the Internet of Things (IoT) technology and acts as a basis for management, governance, automation and optimization of systems, locally or in a cloud. It unifies all three levels, data collection, control and analytics, and when it's implemented that way, it gives the best results. It can be used to collect large amounts of data from technological processes, to control and manage the processes and the consumption of energy sources, as well as to analyze all the data collected from the processes.
eKapija: Who are EcoStruxure solutions meant for?
– Six “specialist” architectures have been developed, in line with the fields of application. There are Building Plant, Machine, Grid, IT and Power EcoStruxure solutions. They can be used to improve business solutions in all segments – from office buildings, through hotels, schools, football stadiums, to hospitals, we also offer solutions in agriculture. The reach of our solutions is expanding year after year.
eKapija: What are the advantages of using these solutions? Which benefits does the use of EcoStruxure solutions bring to the economy, the industry and individual users?
– When we divide the benefits into three categories – large expenditures, operating expenditures and sustainability and operability, and then sum up all the data, we see that energy savings range from 20% to as much as 80%.
eKapija: Are smart solutions always favorable solutions?
– A survey carried out by Schneider Electric using a sample of 230 large projects which have implemented our solutions in 41 countries in the past five years shows that an investment in digital transformation pays off in three years on average. All these numbers point to the fact that smart solutions are also favorable, and that digitization is necessary and cost-effective.
eKapija: How much is saved by implementing EcoStruxure solutions in all business segments?
– Thanks to digital transformation, savings for early adopters amount to up to 70%, whereas the percentage for those who get connected later on drops and is around 30%. These are the statistics, but it really is never late to join the digitization process, as it brings unequivocal benefits to users in all spheres.
eKapija: Can factories survive today without using smart solutions? How do they help improve the business operations?
– Of course, factories can survive, but can't win against time, competition and demands of the market.
eKapija: Can the need for increased consumption be met through smart factories?
– Increasing productivity is certainly one of the aspects of enhancing one's business with the help of technology. For example, at the New Belgium brewery in Colorado, they've managed to increase their beer packing productivity by installing new software. Before they implemented these innovations, they were the eighth biggest brewery in America, and their business had increased considerably, but that increase was not accompanies by an increased packing rate. They solved this by upgrading the software platform, which increased the efficiency of business by 45% to as much as 65%. This proves that Schneider Electric's solutions are not meant only for large, multinational companies, but for all those who want to do business more successfully.
eKapija: What other smart solutions of Schneider Electric have shown to be the most popular with users? Give us some of the best practical examples.
– Thanks to the EcoStruxure platform, we now have the Edge building in Amsterdam, which produces more energy than it spends, and the surplus energy is returned to the public system, which is an incredible achievement in the era when we're all aware that electrical energy is a resource we need to save. In Serbia, for example, EcoStruxure solutions have been implemented by factories Immi in Nis and Drenik in Belgrade, the Nikola Tesla Airport, hotels Hilton and Sheraton, as well as the Green Heart GTC office building. Other prominent examples of successful global implementation of digital transformation worldwide are Hotel Hilton Garden Inn in Dubai, the Tottenham football stadium, the Penn Medicine hospital in Pennsylvania... The company SOMIC, a leading producer of the quickest and most compact machines for packaging coffee capsules has had its production accelerated by 50%, whereas its energy savings amount to 40%, all thanks to the digitization they've carried out at their facilities.
eKapija: What is the secret of your success in this field? What does a solution need to feature in order to be considered “smart”?
– A smart solution is any solution that enhances the operations, accelerates the processes and increases the savings and the income, which is achieved by picking the most adequate solution for each individual case. Today, we have solutions for each industry branch and each business segment.
eKapija: What are your company's plans for the upcoming period?
– Schneider Electric has been present in Serbia for more than 17 years and this global leader in energy management and automation implements its successful model in our country as well. We bring technology which reshapes the industry and transforms cities and this trend will continue in the future. Our plan is to justify our leading position in the years ahead. It also obliges us to secure the line of quality for our users with continuity and without exception.