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Fast and decentralized data processing thanks to Edge-Computing

Edge Computing

Industrial cloud solutions are becoming increasingly important. But without powerful computing power directly on the shop floor, the real-time requirements of data acquisition directly at the machine are almost impossible to solve. This paradigm shift is becoming an indispensable key technology for the Internet of Things (IoT).

Fast and decentralized data processing

Today, revenue on the U.S. market is projected to reach nine billion U.S. dollars by 2024. Capital spending on edge computing devices and infrastructure will reach a whopping $146 billion by 2028, according to a Statista study. Some industries, such as financial services and manufacturing, are already using edge computing extensively in their day-to-day operations, and countries like China are embracing the potential of the new technology with full conviction. Are you also ready for fast and decentralized data processing? We will be happy to accompany you on your way.

How edge computing works

Edge computing refers to the opposite of the cloud.  Instead of having a distant data center, the data is processed physically close to the devices that generate the data. This shortens response times (latency), which means accelerated functions, especially for applications that use real-time data. Decentralized data processing at the edge of the network is the main feature. Hence the name: edge, derived from the application area at the end of the data stream, where users actually consume the information.

That’s why edge computing relies on decentralized processing of data. Local data processing can also save cloud storage space and sensitive data remains on the company premises and does not end up in the cloud, which minimizes potential security vulnerabilities.

Designed as a necessary complement to the IoT (Internet of Things), edge computing can be used in many ways: from an IoT sensor on a plant to a smartphone to a microwave. Among other things, edge devices are also called edge gateways within the edge computing infrastructure.

Edge computing as an indispensable key technology: Why edge computing?

Edge computing systems distinguish between “disposable” data (data characterized by minimal or no potential for later reuse) and “critical”/“hypercritical” data. Here, the edge system serves as a hyper-responsive intermediary layer between the cyber-physical systems on the one hand and the data center on the other.

In view of the immense flood of data, the system prioritizes data when archiving, i.e., only reusable data is saved. This avoids bottlenecks in data transfer to the edge of the network, minimizes network load and enables real-time work. Accordingly, after the initial analysis, raw data is deleted and only the derived insights are forwarded to the server.

Edge computing forms the link between the core data centers and the IoT sensor technology of the end devices. It offloads conventional computing systems and guarantees smooth functionality of cognitive systems and other latency-sensitive applications.

The advantages of edge computing

  • Central advantage of edge computing: data backup and real-time processing.
  • Since central data centers are not required, potential sources of error can be avoided.
  • Improved security, as encrypted data is processed close to the network and does not have to leave the premises to do so.
  • The system performs virus detection and intercepts corrupted data and fends off hacker attacks.
  • The volume of data tobe transmitted is significantly reduced, as well as the associated data exchange and transmission distance, thus reducing transmission costs and waiting times.
  • The overall service quality is improved.
  • Real-time requirementson the Internet of Things are better supported than in cloud-only use, for example.
  • The edge data center immediately evaluates the transmitted data and selects what is forwarded to the core data center. Of course, this can also cause important information to be lost, which is why precise programming is necessary.
  • By means of this data aggregation not only memory space is saved, but also a smooth process in real time is guaranteed.
  • Data from IoT-enabled devices enables continuous monitoring ofand intervention in various functions in real time.
  • Autonomous and semi-autonomous IoT devices can also communicate with each other via edge computing, and the real-time transmission of data from the core data center can be used for augmented reality applications.
  • The ability to visualize extends the scalability of the application, which means that the number of edge devices on the network can be easily increased.

Edge vs. cloud

Data processing

Types of data

Latency

Usage

Edge computing

Decentralized at the edge of the network

Time-critical data

Low (small distance between user and application)

Locally or as pre-processing for the cloud

Cloud computing

Centrally on cloud/server

No real-time data

High (long distance between user and application)

General Internet connection necessary


The definition of data

The first step towards a complex cloud IT solution close to the shop floor is to clearly define the data. Here, it is important to use automation expertise to capture the data. Signal shapes, processing speeds, infrastructure, IT security – there are many technical details to consider before meaningful information ends up in the cloud. In the second step, it is essential to use the data, gain insights and initiate improvements in the actual process. This requires interdisciplinary expertise from the fields of factory planning, logistics or process engineering.  At Leadec A&E, we offer you this unique combination of automation, production IT and engineering to create added value from your data.

 

Edge computing is an application equal and complementary to purely working in the cloud. Edge computing already plays a central role in the networking of production resources in Industry 4.0 and in connection with information and communication technology. Edge computing is already indispensable in many areas. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us. We will advise you and develop an edge computing solution tailored to your needs.


Leadec Automation & Engineering GmbH

 

Meitnerstraße 11
70563 Stuttgart

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