INDUSTRIAL EDGE COMPUTING

BRIEF INTRODUCTION:
IoT devices generate sensitive information about company operations and customers and transmit the data using specialised protocols to local Edge Gateways (also known as Field Agents or Field Gateway), and then over the internet. In the industrial space, IoT brings connectivity to buildings, assets, and critical infrastructure that have traditionally not been connected. An enterprise Edge should incorporate security components to ensure device attestation, network connectivity, software upgrades, authentication, identity and access management, data loss prevention and maybe local pre-processing and filtration of data.

Based on our insights and experiences within development of embedded systems and Automation Systems (also called Operational Technology (OT)), we can interface locally to existing systems, e.g. MES, Scada, Historians, PLCs and various sensors, or we can establish an entirely new Edge solution including development of electronics with our partners.

Here follows a few Edge categories and questions from Glaze Business Innovation and Development Framework that we recommend to examine when designing the Edge and back-end Data Collection integration.

FURTHER ELABORATION:

The challenge is not to measure data and make the data available for a cloud solution. Almost every sensor has means of delivering Cloud data. Almost any sensor manufacturer offers data collection as part of the service.

The challenge is to measure data persistently and reliably. To do this with the required data quality. And to deliver data to the Cloud in a form that is cost effective, flexible and tolerant against transmission problems while having full ownership of data.

At Glaze, we have a background with Embedded Devices and OT development, and we know the importance of having a stable system that has a short time to market. All too often, Embedded Systems or OT are over engineered and build on technology that is outdated even before the system is launched. On the other hand, it is our experience, that it is important to handle all relevant exceptions. Typically, 80% of the software in an Embedded System is exception handling. If actual real-life exceptions are not handled properly, the system fails.

That is why we recommend to

  • Use standard mature components where possible
  • Establish proof of concept of system functionality and business case early
  • Maintain flexibility by using standard interfaces

Using standard components, makes it possible to have a working prototype of the system early on. This almost always proves to be a good decision, as it reveals the system or business case short comes. At Glaze we have experience with a wide range of OT and device vendors with standard interfaces, that will most likely fit your purpose. We also recommend using standard Edge Gateways, that has all normal interfaces built-in – MQTT, IO-Link, Modbus, OPC UA Server, Profibus, CANbus, DeviceNet, EtherCAT etc.

MORE INFORMATION:

Partner, Flemming von Holck, flemming.von.holck@glaze.dk, +45 30 66 30 61