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Schneider Electric to focus on Food and Beverage sector in Australia

Schneider Electric has identified the food and beverage industry in Australia as a major growth opportunity for 2011 and will increase its business focus and expand its team in the sector in coming months.

"Improving the efficiency of operations is crucial if food and beverage manufacturers are to remain profitable in what’s becoming an increasingly competitive market," Craig Roseman, newly appointed national segment manager, Food & Beverage, Schneider Electric Industry Business Australia told PACE.

[Pictured above: Schneider Electric’s Craig Roseman (L) and Carola Puusteli.]

Roseman explains: "Best practice begins by conducting a detailed audit into the efficiency of operations at all manufacturing sites so that inefficiencies, such as motors running unnecessarily when systems malfunction, can easily be identified.

"This insight is most valuable when fed into SCADA systems that present information in an easy-to-digest dashboard. It gives operations managers complete visibility of plant systems and isolates and identifies problems early on before they become plant-wide issues. Once armed with this insight manufacturers can start to automate and optimise processes."

Schneider Electric’s increased focus in Australia is part of the group’s wider strategy to strengthen expertise in this market internationally. It includes the global appointment of Carola Puusteli into a newly created role as vice president of Food and Beverage, based in France.

Schneider Electric believes that energy management is key to Australian food and beverage organisations remaining competitive.

Roseman explains: "In the food and beverage sector, rising consumer expectation is placing pressure on manufacturers to push sustainability higher up the business agenda."

At the same time, however, the food and beverage sector is trying to balance challenges such as falling profit margins, increasing compliance requirements, higher costs of raw materials and rising product complexity.

"Savvy manufacturers are addressing these challenges by adopting a strategic four-step approach to improve the efficiency of operations," notes Roseman.

"This involves measuring and analysing energy use, deploying efficient devices, automating and optimising performance and embracing a continuous program of monitoring and improving.
"Those that have followed this four-step process are able to ‘do more with less’ while at the same time achieve significant energy savings."

"Schneider Electric’s experience globally shows organisations in the food and beverage sector typically reduce energy consumption by 30 per cent simply by optimising the systems they have in place," adds Roseman.

Our model allows us to share technology and specialist process control knowledge with our partners, meeting the end-user’s expectation of a well-coordinated system," he notes.

"Our focus on the food and beverage segment will include the associated businesses which currently provide expertise or technology and where our customers expect a single solution provider approach."

Schneider Electric
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