The Future of Manufacturing

5 proven benefits of digital transformation

“When digital transformation is done right, it’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.”

– George Westerman (MIT principal research scientist and author of Leading Digital: Turning Technology Into Business Transformation)

There is no doubt that when technology is carefully aligned with business and environmental goals, the productivity gains and cost savings are compelling. Energy management and industrial automation are at the heart of this transformation. Across all sectors and geographies, digital technology is creating new business models and enhancing customer experience.

However, many companies have yet to fully understand how digital strategies can transform their businesses. Here are five proven benefits of digital transformation in action.


Taking performance to the edge and beyond

Greater efficiency can be achieved through integrated and connected technologies such as sensors, app-based controls, analytics, edge computing and smart machinery. Collectively, they provide intelligent automation and data insights that have a big impact on overall performance.

Hotel highs and lows

Le Meridien luxury hotel in Goa wanted to improve customer experience by enhancing lighting and climate control, while also reducing energy consumption. The aim was to minimize complexity and create a smarter and more sustainable business.

Using Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxureTM, the hotel has improved building operation, power monitoring, and guest room management. EcoStruxure connects the hotel’s systems and enables big data sets to be analyzed at the edge, reducing energy consumption by up to 12%.


Maximizing output, minimizing waste

Digital technology enables businesses to do more with less. From IoT-enabled tracking to automated production lines, data analytics to predictive maintenance, businesses can achieve greater yield with less energy and fewer materials and workers.

Coffee boost for Indonesia

The impact of automation on productivity and labor is epitomized by Berto Coffee Roaster, Indonesia’s leading producer of coffee roasting machines. To boost machine productivity and operator efficiency, the company focused on the industrial internet of things (IIoT).

Berto Coffee chose Schneider Electric’s comprehensive machine-based EcoStruxure solution that included detailed analytics, operator and machine advisory services — which allows tracking and monitoring of their roasting machines worldwide. Remote diagnostics enabled the company’s employees to speed up maintenance time by 50% and reduce maintenance costs by 20%.


Meeting the carbon challenge

Intelligent platforms with fully digitized energy management and automation systems allow businesses to monitor sustainability targets, spot energy waste and dramatically cut emissions. With the right digital strategy, companies can erase up to 50% of their carbon footprints. Being sustainable not only protects the environment, it also strengthens customer loyalty and brand image, increases shareholder value, and delivers substantial operational savings.

Carrefour Egypt cuts consumption

As a leading mass retailer, Carrefour Egypt must adopt sustainable practices and be careful to monitor its energy use and environmental impact. In Egypt, Carrefour was keen to optimize energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions.

To achieve this goal, Schneider provided an EcoStruxure platform that included analytics to identify energy saving opportunities, as well as connected products, edge control and performance reports. The result was an energy saving of 7% and hence a better carbon footprint. Carrefour Egypt, can now monitor its energy use and asset availability around the clock.

Return on investment

Realizing the value of digital transformation

Many businesses avoid digital upgrades because they believe there will be no return on investment, or that the payback will take too long. This is a mistake. When it comes to energy management and automation, the average payback period for digital investments has shown to be approximately five years.

Electricity gets smart

Like all utility companies, the French electricity company SICAE wanted to optimize its power supply and create the most efficient grid possible.

SICAE chose EcoStruxure’s Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) as the foundation for its smart grid. This provided a single tool for supervision, optimized grid management, simulation, effective scheduling of engineering work, incident management, and traceability. The implementation achieved a four-year payback, and because ADMS is also a planning tool, it will help SICAE make the right investment decisions.


Protecting the workforce while boosting efficiency

Safety must never be an afterthought in any industrial, mining or manufacturing setting. Robotics can replace human intervention in dangerous situations, while artificial intelligence, augmented/virtual reality, and big data can provide greater control and minimize risks. From training through to factory-floor and hazardous mining operations, digital technology can educate and protect the workforce.

Made in China

Baosteel operates the largest steel-producing enterprise in China. While upgrading its digital capability, it also wanted to address safety and meet tighter standards.

Using EcoStruxure Plant as the core architecture, Baosteel transformed its energy management and automation processes. Thanks to the new digital platform, Baosteel’s 1580 smart hot-rolling workshop has been automated, with 98% of its crane operations now unmanned, enhancing safety and labour efficiency.

The butterfly effect

When businesses digitize both energy management and automation, the two work together to achieve even greater value. The goal is to see the many possibilities and to plan wisely. With the right commitment and focus, digital strategies can transform every industry and sector — and the benefits are never-ending. That’s the power of the butterfly effect.

This page was paid for by Schneider Electric. The editorial staff of CNBC had no role in the creation of this page.