IT in Manufacturing


Siemens Industrial Edge takes cloud processing benefits to the field

February 2020 IT in Manufacturing

With Industrial Edge, Siemens offers users the opportunity to close the gap between conventional local and cloud-based data processing, depending on individual requirements. With edge computing, large volumes of data can be processed locally almost in real time. Siemens provides users with a broad spectrum of applications for this, including data processing, data visualisation via web server, data transmission to the Cloud or IT infrastructure and fast innovation cycles for app development. In addition, storage and transmission costs are reduced for users because large volumes of data are preprocessed, and only relevant data is then transmitted to a cloud or IT infrastructure. Siemens Industrial Edge supports cloud transmission protocols for Mindsphere, the open, cloud-based operating system from Siemens as well as Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT). This makes data transmission secure and effective.

Via the Edge Management System, users can install software apps from the Edge App Store of the backend system, e.g. Mindsphere, on the desired Edge devices. Edge devices are equipped with Edge Runtime software, which guarantees connectivity both for data capture from the connected automation and for Edge Management and which features a driver toolbox for accessing device functions. Edge Runtime software also ensures a protected app environment for executing functions on Edge devices. Edge apps for Siemens Industrial Edge are provided both by Siemens and by third-party providers. It is also possible for users to develop their own Edge apps tailored to their individual requirements.

Siemens Industrial Edge: management, devices and apps

Siemens Industrial Edge comprises the Industrial Edge Management System, Edge devices and Edge apps. The management system can be used to manage all connected Edge devices centrally and to monitor their condition. In addition, Edge apps are always distributed to Industrial Edge devices efficiently and securely in the latest version. Applications can be installed on Edge devices regardless of the machine operating state without adverse effects. Apps for Siemens Industrial Edge can be provided both by Siemens and by third-party providers. This means that users and machine builders also have the opportunity to develop their own applications, which are tailored to the individual requirements of their machines.

With the acquisition of US startup Pixeom, Siemens has obtained components for Edge Runtime for apps as well as for Device Management as part of the Siemens Industrial Edge ecosystem. The technology developed by Pixeom based on the Docker IT standard offers open interfaces e.g. for connection to the Mindsphere App Store, for the management of third-party hardware and for the creation of apps by Siemens customers. Apps are offered via a marketplace in Mindsphere, while the operating system of Siemens Industrial Edge is integrated in a universal security concept. This enables the stable operation of one or more apps in parallel and also ensures a protected software environment for the execution of applications on Edge devices.

Maximum flexibility and productivity across the entire plant life cycle

Industrial Edge with Simatic offers Siemens users a platform that can meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. Automation components such as Simatic controllers are additionally supported by Edge devices, enabling larger volumes of plant data to be processed profitably and providing vital information for the continuous improvement of productivity. At the same time, new applications such as condition monitoring or predictive maintenance are gaining ground in conventional automation technology. Furthermore, Edge computing offers a previously unattainable level of flexibility: plants can be kept up to date at all times via functional, feedback-free updates even for the plant life cycles expected in automation. Siemens users are supported in application development with frameworks and access to integrated connectivity with the world of automation.

Stable processes and increased productivity for machine tools

For machine tools, Industrial Edge with Sinumerik provides a machine-based platform for software apps, which captures, preprocesses and analyses high-frequency data from the machine tool. In addition, complex tool paths can be calculated, and non-productive times or work area monitoring can be optimised. With Sinumerik Edge, Siemens enables machine tool users to improve workpiece and process quality, to increase machine availability and to further optimise machine processes.

For more information contact Jennifer Naidoo, Siemens Digital Industries, +27 11 652 2795, jennifer.naidoo@siemens.com, www.siemens.co.za


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