The manufacturing sector has been observing tectonic shifts in their processes. The industry is leveraging technologies like cloud computing, nanotechnology, Internet of Things (IoT), and many other technological tools to speed-up their processes with precision, and efficiency.
In manufacturing warehouses, barcode scans have replaced the printed component lists for product assembly. The barcode scanner helps to locate any product or parts in the warehouse quickly. IoT sensors that are used in the manufacturing devices collect data. This data helps in the analysis of the functioning of a device. The analytics tools provide data-driven algorithms to improve safety and productivity. The manufacturing industry is contemplating edge computing over legacy systems to deliver increased speeds and efficient processes.
Let’s delve into the benefits of edge computing for manufacturing industry:
Speed and resiliency: Network latency and slow broadband connections to cloud-based data centers can cause bottlenecks and suboptimal performances. The production facilities need efficient on-premises edge computing resources to process IoT data and maintain production pace. A manufacturing unit cannot stop production in case of a poor internet connection so they need sensors that can provide insights in real-time. Edge computing can integrate with cloud environments to create a hybrid edge-cloud infrastructure to ensure production continues even if the cloud services disappear for some time.
Security and Compliance: data breaches are a major cause of concern for companies. Data transfer between multiple sites can put the data security of a company at stake. Global manufacturers also suffer from different compliances across countries. For companies that have multiple sites, virtualized edge computing devices can strengthen disaster recovery strategies by replicating data at each site over a private and secure network. An edge-cloud hybrid environment can simplify the compliance issues by providing a homogenous environment at both ends.
Cost Effective: Many manufacturing companies have resisted adopting a full-scale IoT solution as it included a higher cost because of the network bandwidth, data storage, and processing power. Edge computing provides cost-effective solutions for IoT adoption and deployment. Edge computing tools provide a standard platform for running applications as virtual machines without a traditional data center.
Many companies are expected to adopt edge computing in the near future for its efficient features like ease of use, tooling, and low latency. Edge computing can provide a streamlined IT solution for the manufacturing sector if it is used with the right applications and hardware.