Edge Computing
in Manufacturing

Edge Computing
in Manufacturing

Edge computing:
vital for many Industry 4.0 applications and more

Today’s smart factories and other digitalized companies are already generating huge quantities of data, a trend that is only set to increase. This offers great opportunities to use new value-creation models, provided that the data is recorded, stored, processed, and intelligently evaluated whenever and wherever it is created. Only then can the transformation from producer to manufacturing service provider be successful.

Real-time capability:
basis for IoT and new business models

Today’s large data producers are machines and plants with their sensors, such as production lines in the manufacturing industry. Low latency (short delay times) is essential in many areas, such as asset tracking for optimizing logistics in manufacturing, especially when it comes to real-time-capable innovations. If data has to cover very long distances to central data centers first, this often results in high latency, preventing innovations.

Conventional centralized data center approaches, including their architectures, are reaching their limits. They will not always be able to process the high volumes of data within the required latency, i.e. the required short delay and response times (latency) will not be ensured.

With edge computing, the data is processed at the point of origin (the edge). This allows the data to be processed without major delays. Real-time-relevant data is collected and analyzed on the edge, and the major findings from this are forwarded for further processing. This results in scalable cascaded data selection and load balancing for the systems involved.

As the amount of data is growing exponentially, thanks to additional sensor technology in particular, there is also an increasing demand for edge-computing solutions.


The data is yours –
you decide what happens to it

The creation of value through data is a major advantage of edge-computing solutions.
Another benefit is data sovereignty: Your data remains on site, you retain full control,
and can decide yourself whether and for what purposes your data will be sent
to external systems or supply chain partners.


Edge computing in industrial manufacturing

Why is edge computing particularly suited for smart factories?

The manufacturing and production requirements of cloud solutions are very different from those of typical cloud services. On the one hand, the volumes of data in factories are very high; on the other hand, short latency is essential, for example in terms of real-time analysis or real-time control of machines. Mere cloud solutions are not able to ensure the transmission and response times required for the evaluation, analysis, and transmission of these amounts of data.

Edge computing, by contrast, is perfect for these smart-factory applications. It offers fast processing of the data at the point of origin (edge), and reduces data throughput and thus bandwidth requirements in the network, thereby avoiding bottlenecks.

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„Edge computing is already considered
an essential key technology for IoT and
Industry 4.0 applications as well as for
autonomous driving for the automotive
industry, and this is only the beginning.”

Dr. Sebastian Ritz
Managing Director of German Edge Cloud GmbH & Co. KG.


Edge cloud in the ecosystem

Edge computing as a key component of an ecosystem

Industrial companies need both data autonomy and to be connected with the world. The prerequisite for this is a stable, secure, and highly available IT infrastructure.

Anyone who wants to be free to decide what data they process and provide to third parties on the one hand and to transform the steadily growing amount of data into added value in a timely, effective, and useful manner on the other, needs data processing and analysis at the point of origin – the edge.

Edge cloud solutions offer maximum interoperability and allow for homogeneous integration into a steadily growing digital ecosystem, as currently implemented throughout Europe with GAIA-X (a project for setting up an efficient, competitive, secure, and trustworthy data infrastructure for Europe), for example.

Edge computing solutions complement existing public cloud services, with the advantages of full data sovereignty and real-time capability. Through defined interfaces, edge cloud systems can be connected with public clouds. The edge cloud can be used both for hybrid cloud and multi cloud solutions, offering the best of both worlds: data sovereignty, real-time capability, and networking with other clouds.


Edge computing and 5G 

Edge computing is crucial to the success of 5G

Data processing through edge computing ensures maximum speed and a high level of security. Speed also defines the new mobile communication standard 5G. 5G will be up to 100 times faster than today’s LTE. This allows for downloads with a speed of 10 gigabits per second. The move toward 5G is essential if full advantage of AI-based architectures and solutions is to be taken.

5G edge computing heralds a paradigm shift. This technology offers potential for AI technologies, deep learning, etc. that cannot be exploited otherwise.

Data transmission at these bandwidths as well as the associated faster service deployment to gain additional insights are currently not possible with any other method than with 5G edge computing.


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