Aveva outlines its technology plans

With Schneider Electric recently announcing the acquisition of Aveva (which already owns a sizable stake in the company), many current and potential users may be wondering what the future holds for the company. Aveva executives sought to clarify this at the Aveva World 2022 event in San Francisco. (See details about the acquisition.)

Aveva CEO Peter Herweck.Aveva CEO Peter Herweck.Aveva CEO Peter Herweck said Aveva will continue to operate as an independent company under the Schneider Electric umbrella. “Aveva will be a privately owned company of a large public company.” He added that Schneider Electric is Aveva’s “biggest customer today” and that much of Aveva’s software is already part of Schneider Electric’s technology offerings.

Aveva’s stated goal is to integrate its technology into an end-to-end, AI-infused engineering and operations software, all accessible through a single panel, and the mission is to achieve this broad-based integration.

Rob McGreevy, Aveva’s Chief Product Officer, explains Aveva’s ongoing work to realize this vision.

“We will continue to provide a modular rather than a single approach, aiming to create an open, vendor-neutral environment to deliver industrial software platforms,” he said, explaining that 30-40% of the data goes into Aveva’s engineering and Operational software comes from “other companies’ products”. The PI System (acquired by Aveva from OSIsoft in 2020) is a leader in this regard. The same goes for Wonderware InTouch HMI/SCADA (Aveva acquired Schneider Electric in 2018 through a merger with Schneider Electric, which has owned Wonderware since it acquired Invensys in 2014).

Aveva is essentially merging different user interfaces to connect systems from the edge to the enterprise, McGreevy said. Based on this approach, Aveva plans to release “the first-ever coordinated HMI/SCADA release in 2023,” McGreevy said, by integrating the Aveva Historian and PI systems into the cloud-based Aveva Data Hub. “This takes the HMI concept and applies it to the enterprise.”

To optimize equipment assets and operational processes, McGreevy said the upcoming combined system will be able to schedule work based on data-driven performance plans and asset maintenance forecasts. This will involve the integration of Aveva’s AI analytics and PI systems to connect operational processes and analytics, he said.

Thailand SCG chemical plant. Source: SCG Chemicals Business.Thailand SCG chemical plant. Source: SCG Chemicals Business.McGreevy points out that Thai petrochemical company SCG can now save 40% in maintenance costs after digitizing its equipment and process data by applying the PI system, to illustrate what is possible for industrial companies employing these combined technologies. “SCG achieved a 9x return on investment (ROI) in 6 months using predictive analytics, mobile operator technology, unified operations center and PI system,” he said.

He added that Aveva’s vision is to create a connected community where users still own all their data but can securely share it with equipment suppliers, suppliers and customers. “Digitalizing this value chain—from design to operations—helps identify and minimize costs,” McGreevy said.

The ability to access digital twins of assets, processes, and sites provides users with the information they need to improve operations and maintenance, as well as training. With digital twins built on this coordinated data, engineering efficiency can increase by 30 percent, McGreevy added. “It’s not just about linking documents for access, it’s about providing additional information to staff; eg: Do you need a ladder to use the equipment [to perform the required maintenance]?

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