Automation is improving the overall productivity of discrete manufacturing plants and facilities, delivering a range of goods from automobiles and electronics to furniture and toys to countless other items. The complexity of coordinating personnel, work procedures, material handling, and automated equipment, all while meeting production goals, makes increasing digitalization and use
of data across the enterprise and in production essential.
Perhaps most important is the ability to put the control engineer, line worker, and design engineer in the middle of this critical data to derive actionable insights and provide real-time decision support. The constantly growing capabilities of digital technologies are creating more opportunities for discrete manufacturers to drive increasingly reliable and more efficient operations.
Smart manufacturing encapsulates the use of sensors and entire systems that have become more intelligent, with increased networking and vast amounts of available data.
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industry 4.0, and digital transformation are a few of the principal trends describing the ubiquity of devices and the increased connectivity to those data sources in the manufacturing environment. Add in advanced analytics and discrete manufacturers can capture crucial insights that inform users on how to improve operational efficiency and reliability.
First, manufacturers need to capture critical operational data reliably and process it locally without latency in the face of bandwidth constraints. This is driving the need to deploy computing power— Edge Computing—into environments close to critical equipment and processes, such as the factory floor or on a machine or production line.
Whether the need is to improve the intelligence of a single machine, a production line, an entire factory, or enterprise operations, resilient and future-proof Edge Computing infrastructure is essential for discrete manufacturing companies. Edge Computing is a foundation for pursuing smart manufacturing or digital factory initiatives. In this context, Edge Computing platforms must be engineered to provide the highest level of reliability, easy manageability, and operational lifespan that manufacturing environments require.
This whitepaper discusses the challenges discrete manufacturers face when implementing smart manufacturing and how simple, protected, and autonomous Edge Computing platforms are a requisite to solving production challenges, accelerating digitalization, and establishing reliable infrastructure that supports Industry 4.0 software and applications.
For more than 40 years, Stratus has provided reliable and redundant computing systems and expert
services to complex and constrained operational environments, enabling partners and customers to
securely and remotely turn production data into actionable intelligence so they can run operations safely, reliably, and efficiently.