Siemens Leverages IBM’s Edge Computing To Bring IoT To Industrial Buildings
The number of building IoT solutions has grown rapidly in the past few years, but certain industries have been slower to pursue adoption. Notably, industrial firms have been hesitant to implement cloud-based IoT solutions. Their operations produce vast amounts of data, which require rapid analysis and response. As an IBM Institute for Business Value study highlighted, a single manufacturing plant can produce in excess of 2,200 terabytes of data in a month, but typically only 1% of this is used for real-time analysis. This is because with cloud-based solutions, it is costly and difficult to transfer this volume of data, and latency issues are introduced as communication with the cloud takes place, which prevents timely responses. This does, however, present an opportunity for edge computing, and vendors are adapting to meet this emerging market demand.
In February 2021, Siemens announced a new collaboration with IBM, leveraging the Red Hat OpenShift hybrid cloud platform for its MindSphere SaaS offering. MindSphere, an industrial IoT software platform that provides advanced analytics capabilities for manufacturing sites, can now be run on-site, for faster data processing. This enables firms to tap into their vast quantities of data and exploit this for real-time responses to events at the edge, circumventing the latency issues presented by cloud-only solutions. Customers can also retain tighter data control, as they no longer need to exchange data with the cloud for analysis, helping them better meet their regulatory and data privacy requirements. Users can still reap the benefits of the cloud, where the same MindSphere solution can be run for support and update services, as well as providing an enterprise view of all the sites in an organisation. This collaboration also enables MindSphere customers to tap into IBM’s consulting expertise where necessary.
MindSphere users are set to benefit from the best of both edge and cloud computing; rapid analytics and insights at the edge, to optimise their factory and plant operations, can be combined with remote enterprise-level control through the cloud. Edge computing, bolstered by advancements in 5G, is set to grow and empower new verticals to adopt IoT-enabled solutions. Other vendors are also beginning to act; in October 2020, Schneider Electric teamed up with Accu-Tech and EdgePresence to deploy edge data centres in the US. Verizon has partnered with AWS to bring computing and storage capabilities to the edge via 5G, enabling users to develop applications for use cases that demand fast responses and low latencies, such as in manufacturing or healthcare settings.
To learn more about edge computing capabilities in the building IoT space, please see Verdantix Strategic Focus: The Future Of The BMS In The Age Of IoT.