Edge and Cloud in Smart Manufacturing: Strategic Guidance for Optimizing the Balance

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3Q 2018 | IN-5265


The Pendulum Swung


Much like how the pendulum that swung from local production to outsourcing seems to have started to turn back slightly, the pendulum that swung from centralized computing with the original computers to distributed with Personal Computers (PCs) back to centralized with cloud seems to have swung back to distributed computing with edge intelligence and fog. This, of course, does not mean that edge intelligence will replace the cloud, but rather, it will augment it. Balancing edge and cloud computing holds the potential to fulfill the business case promised by the fourth industrial revolution and to optimize smart manufacturing solutions.

Cloud computing gained momentum in the first place because it provides greater value, more computing power for a lower cost than entirely on-premise computing. Edge computing further lowers the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by normalizing data for app integration and workload consolidation onto gateways or edge servers that can process streams of data from multiple devices from multiple manufacturers. This can ultimately increase the capacity for …

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