Manufacturing involves so many moving parts that the volume of data to be collected and analyzed can be difficult to predict. If moving that data back and forth to the cloud bogs down performance, however, it means companies may not reap the full benefits of automation.
This could explain why the overall trends in edge computing were reflected in Automation World's 2021 Cloud & Edge survey. It showed, for instance, that the use of edge computing among manufacturers jumped from 43% to 55% since last year's survey. This was based on the need to enhance industrial firms' ability to both aggregate and analyze data, the report said.
Fifty-four percent of respondents said that processing data at the edge means manufacturers can improve production output, and 50% cited reduced downtime as another major benefit. And don't overlook edge artificial intelligence (AI) trends: edge is increasingly combined with AI and the IoT to optimize manufacturing operations.