Edge Computing and the New Smart Industry

A new trend promises to revolutionize the industry as we know it: edge computing. We had so gotten used to talking about Cloud computing that it’s difficult to imagine effective alternative solutions. However, to meet the new needs of manufacturing we must think differently.

Keep reading to discover how edge computing can help making the industrial process more efficient.

What is edge computing and how does it work?

What is edge computing? This technology consists in processing data near the network edge. It is a distributed and open architecture that can process production data in a decentralized way. The information is processed by the same devices or local servers, instead of being sent to the data center.

Since data are processed in real time and without latency, edge computing allows to speed up data flow in the system. That is why this technology has gained popularity as a solution for IoT infrastructures and in sectors that require timely responses and greater device autonomy.

Benefits of edge computing in industry

The main benefits of edge computing for industry and manufacturing are:

Less latency in the system

Sending large data streams to a remote Cloud data center entails longer latency, which can be often difficult to predict. Edge computing, on the other hand, allows to minimize data latency.

Greater security against cyber attacks

We have already talked about the growing threat to cybersecurity. Vulnerability to hacker attacks is one of the main risks associated with digitalization and Cloud platforms. An edge computing architecture reduces this danger, as a large part of sensitive information is processed in the edge of the network (“at the edge”) instead of being sent to the Cloud.

Big Data less big

Since data have already been processed locally, or at the source of the data itself, the volumes of information sent to the data center are much smaller. This also saves bandwidth.

Save 2019: ESA edge computing solution

Edge computing was one of the main focuses of Save 2019, the convention dedicated to industrial automation and instrumentation. In particular, on October 24 the event “Edge computing and its benefits for the industry” took place with many insights on this technology.

ESA took this opportunity to present the case study of its edge computing solution created for a client in collaboration with Synesis. The client in question is a dyehouse that needed to manage consumption, water exchangers and pump control in a more immediate and efficient way. ESA designed a system of HMI panels installed on each line that send data to a local database instead of a Cloud. Subsequently, Synesis developed analytics initiatives to process and study data.

This solution demonstrate how edge computing can allow easier and more cost-effective data management.