Edge computing in industrial manufacturing: Systematic approach to implementing sustainable edge architectures
Edge can be defined as a way either to bring the content closer to the customer or to bring the computing power closer to data sources. The second definition – bringing the computing power closer to data sources – revolutionized the Manufacturing industry. Though Edge computing is not new to the production floor, Manufacturing companies were traditionally relying on local data centers for the compute power than the edge. Since the data did not travel far from the production floor (only up to the local data center), companies did not have high latency issues and were never motivated to explore ways to shorten the system latency. IoT and Cloud expanded these imagination boundaries by bringing in advanced analytics possibilities. Advanced analytics capabilities require the data to travel far from the production floor and brought the system latency as a new challenge. Edge is now seen as a possible way to reduce the overall system latency. Though there is much literature on Edge computing and its advantages, Very little has been written on practical and systematic approaches to avoid the common pitfalls encountered in implementing Edge. This article discusses the advantages of Edge Computing in Manufacturing companies, common pitfalls organizations expected to encounter in implementing Edge projects, and systematic approach to overcome those challenges and create sustainable edge architectures.