Remember just a few years ago, when everyone was talking about cloud computing? While cloud was consuming all the air in the room, few people were paying attention to another technology trend—one with the potential to transform industrial enterprises. I’m talking about edge computing.
The idea of placing computing resources at the network’s edge—at or near where production processes are occurring—is not a completely new idea. Industrial control has relied on distributed computers to control manufacturing machines and processes for decades. But as manufacturers come under increasing competitive pressure, the need to optimize their efficiency, productivity and quality has become a matter of survival. This imperative requirement is driving companies across the industrial spectrum to look at how pushing intelligence out to the edge can help them gain a competitive advantage.