The much-anticipated digital industrial transformation promises unprecedented levels efficiency and productivity that benefit from the absolute latest technological innovations. This will be achieved by leveraging previously untapped potential that will bring sustainable improvements to productivity and competitiveness.
A key enabler of the digital industrial transformation is cloud computing. This relies on the Industrial Internet of Things (Industrial IoT) and makes edge computing an indispensable part of the overall concept.
Edge computing is not an entirely new concept. It is an established method used to acquire, compress and aggregate large volumes of data as close as possible to its source using distributed devices – and then transform that data into actionable intelligence.
Locally installed edge controllers provide levels of availability, bandwidth and response times that cannot be achieved in the cloud without enormous costs.
Monitoring methods such as vibration measurement generate large volumes of data, which must be prepared and analyzed close to the process – either directly in the sensor or on the edge controller.
The ability to acquire and store process data strengthens the bonds between machines and their operators. Locally generated intelligence enables direct implementation of targeted corrective measures.
Industrial IoT requires communication between the company level (enterprise) and the production level (MES/MCS). While IT is normally responsible for business data, customer data and intellectual property, OT is responsible for the entire manufacturing process.