How does Edge Computing empower your staff to get better results?
If you look at a typical plant or facility, you’ll see a lot of traditional control and automation architectures where individual software is installed in stand-alone computers or servers – software like HMI/SCADA, Historian, batching, MES, APM, and other advanced applications. Over time, these become siloed and difficult to maintain. There are typically no redundancy capabilities, and extending your operations using remote mobile devices becomes very difficult.
With the advent of digital transformation projects and digitalization efforts, we’ve seen the rise of the use of Edge Computing platforms in automation and control because of two key capabilities: workload consolidation and operational resilience.
With Edge Computing, you can consolidate multiple physical assets into a single, more advanced, virtualized Edge Computer or server. Fewer devices deployed means fewer devices to maintain and operate, less panel space and wiring required, and the availability of all your software assets in a single redundant and industrially hardened Edge device. Plus, one device makes it easier to implement solutions in industries requiring GMP, validation, and regulation.
Your software is only as good as the platform it runs on. Your mission-critical applications need a platform that prevents unplanned downtime. You need an Edge platform that provides redundancy and is easy to implement – a ruggedized Edge platform you can install in harsh environments (temperature, vibration, humidity, Class I Division 2), a platform you can install in a control panel together with the PLCs, drives, and other control equipment, and a platform that helps secure your control infrastructure from cyber-attack.
An architecture based on Edge Computing platforms…
- Provides local control and monitoring at the machine or process area
- Consolidates multiple solutions and connects with your plant control architecture and cloud
- Operates in remote and hazardous environments
- Improves resiliency and downtime prevention
It’s all about empowerment
Edge Computing also allows you to extend operations using remote mobile devices. This is key in that it enables you to empower your staff and get better results. But how does Edge Computing help in all this? Let’s find out.
Edge Computing platforms have built-in virtualization making it easy to install and run a Remote Desktop Server (RDS) that enables users to use their automation and control software as interactive sessions on a remote computer or mobile device over a network connection.
Create complex digitalization projects
Let’s look at some of the advantages of using RDS with thin clients for your automation and control architectures.
- You can break free from the control room, command center, and control panel confines and use your mobile devices for automation and control
- Your staff is empowered with easy access to any component of your operations and maintenance wherever they are and whatever device they want to use
- Digital Transformation and digitalization call for Edge-based architecture, instead of the traditional automation and control configuration based on multiple computers and servers.
- Workload consolidation with operational resilience is a game changer. It allows you to consolidate your software assets into a single redundant and downtime-proof device.
- It’s all about empowerment! RDS with thin clients enable organizations to extend operations and maintenance beyond the traditional confines of the control room and panel. This allows you to empower your staff and allows you to get better results.
And yes, Edge Computing platforms help make this possible.