Food & Hotel Vietnam is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC’s registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726

Universal automation – The digital “key” for the F&B ecosystem


Universal automation can remove many technological barriers, allowing automation systems to be built on open data architectures, which are expected to help F&B businesses digitize production processes, expand production scale and increase competition.

What is universal automation?

In previous automation, the software used for programming was often compatible with one or more certain hardware. Changing the hardware design (e.g. of a PLC or I/O) will result in the need to calibrate or even reprogram the entire application. This increases unnecessary engineering costs, up to $30 billion in maintenance per year, according to ARC Group; lengthens the time to design new applications or machines, reducing the efficiency of the production process.

For an industry that requires a high degree of automation like F&B, for decades, companies have been working with a closed and isolated automation system. Choosing only one solution provider will limit the business owner’s choice of hardware suppliers in the future. The closed and discrete ecosystem with many constraints, although still suitable to meet current needs, is revealing many limitations when businesses want to expand production and potentially lag behind in the future.

Universal automation is expected to help F&B businesses digitize production processes, expand scale and increase competition (Photo: Schneider Electric).

To contribute to solving the above challenge, new automation trends have begun to appear, the most prominent being “universal automation”. According to the World Economic Forum, universal automation can radically remove many inherent constraints and technological barriers, allowing automation systems to be built on open data architectures. This industrial automation system is software-centric, the hardware easily compatible with next-generation innovations throughout the entire lifecycle.

With flexibility, the new automation vision is suitable for today’s business context, especially when consumers’ tastes change rapidly, products need to be continuously improved, and systems must respond in a timely manner. Accordingly, universal automation is expected to be the key that opens the door for the next generation of F&B businesses to digitize production processes, scale up and increase competition.

In the future of digitization with open software systems, programming on the new platform will allow engineers to install more solutions, from any vendor, onto existing lines faster.

Industry 4.0 requires standardized software

Universal automation based on the IEC 61499 standard, allowing software applications to be designed independently of the hardware platform, has now attracted more than 40 leading technology corporations to join and work together, according to UniversalAutomation.Org. This is the right time for F&B businesses to innovate with automation. End users, machine builders, system integrators, and application developers, etc. can now innovate and create flexibly, boosting efficiency and productivity.

One of today’s active “game changers” is Schneider Electric, a global expert in energy management and automation. Schneider Electric has developed and released new solutions based on the IEC 61499 standard to drive the open ecosystem.

Schneider Electric released new solutions based on the IEC 61499 standard to guide the open ecosystem (Image: Schneider Electric).

The software-centric industrial automation solution – EcoStruxure Automation Expert has contributed to many benefits when it comes to reducing the time to program automated machinery systems and putting machines into production faster – more efficiently, addressing specific challenges at a lower cost.

“Enterprises can choose to add automation and power distribution components from Schneider Electric as a single supplier, or from other hardware partners in the universal automation ecosystem. By separating If you separate the hardware from the software, it’s much simpler to change or upgrade the controller,” said a Schneider Electric representative.

According to Schneider Electric, tests show that EcoStruxure Automation Expert saves 68% of new program design hours, increasing project technical and operational efficiency by 3-4 times compared to some existing systems. This data was published by Schneider Electric in the report “Quantitative Comparison of Industrial Automation Systems”.

“If converted, the benefits could be worth several billion US dollars annually over the life of the plant. Therefore, F&B businesses need to rethink and treat software as a reusable and long-lived asset, embrace new trends, to bring opportunities in this changing world of industrial automation”, shared Schneider Electric representative.

In addition, when combined with solutions in the F&B-specific EcoStruxure architecture with more than 20 comprehensive solutions spanning 3 layers: connected products, edge and application control, analytics and services, businesses can reduce energy costs by 20-30%, increase efficiency and flexibility by up to 25%, to meet the diverse and timely needs of F&B end users.

Source: Dan Tri

Share this post

Must Read


You may be interested in

Starbucks and a decade-long struggle to conquer Vietnamese consumers
By the end of 2022, the number of Starbucks stores in Vietnam has not reached 100 units,...
The company recommended not imposing a separate consumption tax on sugary beverages.
Businesses argue that sugary drinks are not related to obesity, so they recommend not including...
Having spent over 270 million USD to acquire Phuc Long, Masan only gained a meager profit of 38 billion VND from it.
Although spending billions of Vietnamese dong to own up to 85% of the shares of Phuc Long, the tea...
Vietnam Airlines resumes cooperation with Air France from March 26th
Nguyen Tien Hoang, head of Vietnam Airlines’ branches in France and Europe, said he would...
Fruit, vegetable exports rise 17.8%
Durians are sold at a market in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Hong ChauVietnam’s fruit...
Opportunities to boost export of processed foodstuff to Asia -Pacific, African markets
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) hosted a conference with Vietnamese trade representative...
Kido establishes a subsidiary to produce fish sauce, wants every kitchen shelf to have more seasoning powder, soy sauce, fish sauce from Kido
Kido contributed 196 billion VND to TA Foods and Spices, equivalent to 98% ownership. This is a...
The battle of Thais in the Vietnamese energy drink market: “Golden bull” Red Bull fights “Green buffalo” Carabao
In the energy drink market, if Red Bull is a powerful old “Golden Bull”, Carabao is...

Subscribe to Our eNewsletters