Director System Architecture, Schneider Electric Automation GmbH
André Uhl has been working for Schneider Electric since 2005, starting as a Manager for Application Function Blocks. In 2011 he became responsible for the Machine Automation R&D team managing different sites in Germany, France, China and India.
In 2016 he joined the CTO office of the Business Unit Industry and was managing cross transversal Innovation projects for Discrete and Process Automation. Since January 2018 he serves as Director System Architecture to define future IIoT automation architectures.
Before joining Schneider Electric, Uhl held several roles in the automation domain.
Diploma in Electronical Engineering with focus on Automation.
Edge-powered Distributed Control Architectures
Today's automation architectures heavily rely on cyclic, proprietary and independent PLC-centric applications.
The speaker makes the case that this presents a real barrier to meeting the ambitious Industrie 4.0 objectives where a much tighter integration is required between Operations Technology running on edge computing infrastructure and the real-time automation applications. The speaker argues that next generation automation systems based on the IEC 61499 standard will be much better suited than current technologies. The event-driven nature of the IEC 61499 modelling language, its ability to distribute a real-time automation application across multiple resources (from low-level field devices up to modern edge computing platforms), and its IT-like nature (objects, hardware abstraction, etc.) make it ideally suited to implement cost-effective Industry 4.0 IT-integrated automation architectures.
While classic PLCs with direct I/O connectivity are still essential in this scenario, powerful Edge Computing devices become a vital element of automation architectures.
With their ability to act as host for containerized runtime environments they help to realize a dynamically scalable architecture that can adapt to changing workloads.