In terms of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) implementations, the manufacturing industry is leading the way. The data available through IIoT implementations allows the industry to continuously improve operations to remain competitive.
The manufacturing sector stores more data than any other, using internal intranets to turn it into actionable information to improve operations for decades. The IIoT creates new opportunities to collect much more data, which can be used along with existing data to further improve operations, creating smarter manufacturing plants and facilities as a result. However, there will be some challenges along the way.
The first challenge is converting manual data collection activities to automatic data collection. This entails installing instruments (the “things” in the IIoT) and connecting them to systems for display, analysis and other purposes, in order to measure variables previously collected manually.
The second challenge is processing the raw data collected by instruments for use in real-time control of the machine or process, and in viewing and analysis via the IIoT.
Real-time controllers are an expensive way to add new data points associated with the IIoT and smart manufacturing applications. Collecting and processing data at the edge is a better option, providing a gateway to smarter manufacturing.
To enable and ease IIOT implementation and make manufacturing plants and facilities smarter and more productive, edge computing systems must be:
- Ruggedized, as they are often deployed in the harsh and remote environments typically found in manufacturing plants.
- Simple to deploy, use and manage.
- Self-protecting to keep applications up and running, and cyber secure.
- Able to operate autonomously to self-diagnose and repair itself, with little or no human intervention required.
Prepare Your Organization for the Edge
Whether you’re in manufacturing or another sector, it’s important to explore the practical applications of edge computing, ranging from cloud offloading to smart home and city, as well as collaborative edge, and discover challenges and opportunities in the field.
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Fryer, John. (31 Oct 2018). Edge Computing Enables IIoT Implementations. Manufacturing.net.