Schneider Electric announces process safety, security controller

The Tricon CX system is a controller designed to combine traditional process controls and safety with improved cyber security in a smaller footprint.
By Bob Vavra, Content Manager, CFE Media April 28, 2015

The Tricon CX system by Schneider Electric is a controller designed to combine traditional process controls and safety with improved cyber security in a smaller footprint. Courtesy: Schneider ElectricCalling it their "most exciting announcement in 15 years," Schneider Electric officials unveiled the Tricon CX system. It is designed to provide safety and controls for process industries such as oil and gas and pharmaceuticals. The announcement, made at the company’s Global Automation Conference in Dallas on Tuesday, April 28, focuses not just on safety systems, but also cyber security threats and other operational challenges.

"This is a milestone week for us," said Gary Freberger, president of Schneider Electric’s industrial automation division. "One of our themes has been around supporting big ideas. The Schneider Electric automation business has been on a path around how we change this business. Some parts of our business are challenged, but other parts can take advantage of what’s happening in the market today and help our customer take advantage of what’s happening in the market today."

At a press briefing ahead of the formal announcement Tuesday, Mike Chmilewski, vice president of the Foxboro and Triconex solutions business, said the new Tricon product was about, "Not just lowering the cost of ownership, but also the value of ownership."

The Tricon CX has a smaller footprint than its predecessors. It’s 50% smaller, 67% lighter, and uses less energy than past models. Besides the improved monitoring, control, and productivity tools, the Tricon CX is also upgradable online. "Our customers told us, ‘Don’t make us take a safety system down. We want safety systems without fail,’" said Chmilewski.

One of the key areas of emphasis for process industries has been system security, and Schneider Electric officials said the new Tricon CX addresses that issue as well.

"Safety and security have always been a top concern for our industrial clients, but now new threats, such as cyber-attack, have challenged the traditional approaches they have taken to protect and secure their people, property, communities and the environment," Chmilewski said in a press releases announcement Tuesday. "With more performance and capability, it can help clients maximize productivity, reliability and security while minimizing risks and the likelihood of business interruption."

– Bob Vavra is content manager, Plant Engineering, CFE Media, bvavra@cfemedia.com 

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