Edge computing - for smart IoT solutions

Edge computing - for smart IoT solutions

PLCnext Control for edge computing combines the robustness of proven industrial PCs with the open PLCnext Technology ecosystem, thus providing the ability to develop intelligent IoT edge solutions. By processing large volumes of data close to the source, the application can respond more quickly and flexibly. Benefit from preinstalled software and consistent graphical interfaces enabling the easy and comprehensive creation of IoT applications.

More information

The advantages of edge computing

  • Edge computing makes it possible to optimally process and evaluate growing volumes of data.
  • The company’s entire value chain can be optimized through edge computing.
  • Reduced latency times compared to common cloud solutions.
  • Intelligent edge computing makes it possible to realize familiar concepts such as Industry 4.0 or the IoT for the first time.
  • Execution of new cloud-based applications and services through smart edge devices.

Optimization of the entire value chain

The trend toward digitalization includes both opportunities and risks for the industry, because digitalization requires high computing power and storage capacity. Industrial cloud computing allows companies to process and assess the growing amount of data and then use this to optimize the entire value added chain.

When cloud computing is mentioned, it is assumed that there is a connection to the cloud via the Internet. In many applications, however, data must be collected, checked, and fed back into the process in very short cycles. In such a scenario, a public cloud solution would not be suitable, if only because of the Internet latency times. Edge computing is therefore increasingly being used for such smart applications.

Person working with cloud computing on a tablet

The perfect complement to edge computing: cloud computing

Edge computing brings intelligence close to the machine and thus close to the data source. Through these intelligent systems, the familiar concepts of Industry 4.0 and also the Internet of Things (IoT) can be realized. There are numerous fields of application: for example, data collection and aggregation, data (pre)processing and analysis, and the use of artificial intelligence like predictive maintenance, as well as machine-to-machine communication and communication with higher-level systems like a cloud connection. All of this is done while taking data protection and data security into account, as well as the latency time in information processing, data transfer rates, and the costs of computing power and storage space.

Edge computing is a concept that involves a decentralized computing infrastructure of networked devices that is located close to the data source while being integrated into the company’s IT architecture. Edge devices can execute new applications, including cloud-based applications and services. Edge computing does not replace cloud computing, though. Instead, it complements it. The edge and the cloud thus have a partnership in which the distribution of tasks between the two solutions can differ according to application.

Establishment of edge computing between IT and OT

PLCnext Technology: the basis for smart edge computing

Phoenix Contact has a connectivity DNA that is ideally suited to the application of near-machine edge computing. In this field, Phoenix Contact provides products for secure cloud communication and data processing at the edge. One example is the PLCnext Technology control platform, the ideal basis for smart edge computing in the production environment. It contributes an entire ecosystem that includes robust hardware, engineering and configuration software, an industrial app store for PLCnext Technology software related, and a community for procuring information and sharing expertise. Due to the openness of PLCnext Technology, any customer application can be integrated.

Based on PLCnext Technology and used as an edge device, the PLCnext Control for edge computing connects the robustness of proven industrial PCs with the open PLCnext Technology ecosystem, thus providing the ability to develop intelligent IoT edge solutions.