Industrial Edge for production machines and plants

Make better use of machine data – easily, flexibly, and integrated into your industrial automation system.
At a glance

Integrating Industrial Edge into your automation system

Industrial Edge helps optimize your machine and plant availability and performance, and lets you get even more out of your existing data. It also enables machine builders to develop new service strategies and business models.

Industrial Edge on the shop floor

The interactive graphic illustrates the structure of the open Edge Computing platform. Using data at shop floor level gives you more transparency regarding machine performance and condition, enabling you to make the right decisions to optimize your shop floor.

We can provide you with many ready-to-use applications for data collection, storage, analysis, and display, so you can turn machine data into measurable success, whether for rapid process data analyses or for maintenance optimization.

 

Using Industrial Edge, you can integrate apps into your shop floor landscape more easily than ever before. You have the flexible option of deciding whether to keep your machine data on-site and local, or to process it further in your company-based or a public Cloud infrastructure.

 

When it comes to machine and plant construction, Edge Computing also helps you keep an eye on your machines and give you, as the plant operator, even better data-driven services.

All about Industrial Edge for machine builders and plant engineers

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Use cases

Industrial Edge for production machines in practical use

Discover the many different possible uses for Industrial Edge and the resulting benefits for plant operators and machine builders.

Analyze performance data for machines from multiple vendors

How do you determine which machines and lines perform less well than others? Comparing performance data on demand can be a real challenge, especially in existing systems with machines from multiple vendors and containing older components.

Machine transparency you can retrofit

Using Industrial Edge you can extract additional machine and plant data with minimal effort, with production systems still running and without compromising the process, in order to identify parameters you can use to optimize more poorly performing machines.

 

For one of our customers, our Edge solution analyzes cycle times on a production line to identify potentials for optimization in individual machines or process stages. Cycle times are extracted by connected controllers (both Siemens and third-party vendors) using integrated connectivity, with no impact on the system and no need to adapt the PLC program. The Data Service Edge app structures and saves the data and displays it via a dashboard created using Performance Insight. In this way you can analyze the relevant KPIs and improve transparency across the plant.

Benefits of Industrial Edge:

  • Fast and easy to retrofit to existing systems
  • Plant employees with no specific IT expertise can display data
  • Easy to expand using Docker and highly scalable thanks to Edge Management

Apps, platform services, and devices used

SIMATIC S7 Connector

Industrial Edge provides integrated connectivity to all kinds of controllers, regardless of the vendor. Using the SIMATIC S7 Connector, you can conveniently connect controllers from Siemens (S7-300, S7-400, S7-1500) and third parties via the S7 protocol and OPC UA in order to analyze data on the Edge device using Edge applications.

Ethernet/IP Connector

Integrated driver for communicating with Allen-Bradley and other controllers via Ethernet/IP. Ideal as one of the connectors for equipping non-uniform production plants with Edge Computing, regardless of vendor.

Industrial Edge Databus

Industrial Edge Databus is an MQTT-based, device-internal data bus for sharing data flows between different Edge applications and Edge connectors. By standardizing app interfaces using Industrial Edge Databus, you can run apps agnostically in a range of production environments, regardless of whether the data is collected using OPC UA, SIMATIC S7, Modbus TCP, or other protocols.

DataService Edge app

You can use the DataService Edge app to structure and store machine data. This is useful for organizing machine data points (grouping tags/variables), e.g. a motor status word, and to define variables (e.g. the status of a photoelectric barrier) and connect them with operating data sources via an S7 Connector. Variables and archive tags, including configuration, can be stored in a database. App developers can use the Data Service API in the Data Service DevKit to read and write data.

Performance Insight Edge App

Performance Insight can help you achieve your objectives by monitoring the key machine performance indicators. Machine conditions are displayed using a range of visualization options depending on the user’s requirements.

Use data for innovative business models

New technologies open up competitive advantages for innovative machine builders. In the after-sales area in particular, there are opportunities to develop novel business models and service strategies.

Competitive advantages for machine builders

Production downtimes caused by unscheduled maintenance work, high energy consumption thanks to inefficient components, maintenance work that’s hard to plan: This is where machine builders can apply innovative concepts based on Industrial Edge.

 

By evaluating usage data it’s possible to recognize impending outages in good time and perform the necessary maintenance work by remote. Or at least schedule it for timeframes in which machine downtime will cause fewer problems. Even if there is no imminent outage, heavily worn components can increase energy consumption, e.g. as a result of leakage or friction. This can be identified by comparing against other machines or historical data. The data can be transmitted from the local Edge device to the Cloud for the purpose.

Improve service with your own Edge app

Industrial Edge gives Schmalz, a component manufacturer, the opportunity to expand its own range of services. The goal is to improve customer satisfaction by making Schmalz’s machines more productive. The company’s customers can analyze their machine data locally via an HMI, or access it via an Edge app designed especially by Schmalz.

To meet the specific requirements, Schmalz developed two apps of its own. One is available to system operators to give them more transparency regarding the machines in their plant. And Schmalz uses the other itself to be able to offer its customers better service.

Benefits of Industrial Edge:

  • By analyzing machine usage data, your customers can avoid unscheduled downtimes
  • Identifying required maintenance work increases the time window in which you can perform necessary work
  • You can also use machine data to offer your customers additional services such as consulting or pay-by-output

Apps, platform services, and devices used

Schmalz Connect Edge app

This specially designed app, tailored to the customer’s needs, was implemented using Docker. It gathers component data via IO-Link and PROFINET, and uses an intelligent algorithm for data processing. That makes it possible to predict the time left before maintenance is next due, and the result is made available to system operators as a local visualization.

Schmalz Connect MindSphere app

Schmalz uses this application on Siemens MindSphere to analyze component data by remote and offer services to its customers, e.g. just-in-time spare part deliveries or monitoring of productivity/maintenance. All data from the customers’ vacuum components worldwide comes together here. This also enables Schmalz to compare the data and use some of it in its product development process for product optimization.

SIMATIC IPC227E

The Nanobox PC SIMATIC IPC227E is an extremely compact and flexible embedded industry PC. With its sealed metal enclosure, the IPC227E provides the highest industry functionality for flexible deployment in harsh conditions – and all this maintenance-free.

Avoid production outages with predictive maintenance

Unscheduled maintenance is poison for productivity: Whether the cause is wear and tear or contamination, sudden machine outages are expensive and should be avoided as much as possible. That’s why maintenance is often performed at short intervals, even when it shouldn’t even be necessary. But how can you do a better job of planning maintenance and avoiding unnecessary maintenance activities?

Industrial Edge takes AI applications to the shop floor

Artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible to predict when a component or a machine is likely to fail. Using data gathered using Industrial Edge, an appropriate anomaly recognition algorithm can calculate when an outage will happen, with accuracy of 12-36 hours in advance.

 

To train the AI, data is gathered locally by the Edge devices depending on the application, and transmitted to a Cloud infrastructure to perform the computing-intensive AI training process. The trained AI model can then be used as an Edge app on the Edge devices on the machines. In operation, the model is fed with all the machine data, including high-frequency data, to identify anomalies that indicate an impending failure.

Anomaly recognition prevents machine defects

A practical example of the combined use of Industrial Edge and Artificial Intelligence is the Siemens electronics plant in Amberg, where milling machines for PCBs in SIMATIC controllers regularly failed because the milling dust built up on the spindles, ultimately causing them to block. It was difficult to arrange the maintenance work efficiently, since the spindles sometimes became blocked after one month, and in other cases after six months.

 

Anomaly recognition made it possible to reduce these outages by 100 percent, resulting in annual savings of €120,000 across the 18 machines.

Benefits of Industrial Edge:

  • Better exploitation of new fields of application, e.g. to recognize anomalies or optimize quality
  • End-to-end support for AI workflows, data collection, cleaning, and integration in training environments, and model deployment and operation
  • Simpler AI workflows, e.g. by using our anomaly recognition app to identify anomalies in machine behavior with no expert IT knowledge

Apps, platform services, and devices used

SIMATIC S7 Connector

Industrial Edge provides integrated connectivity to all kinds of controllers, regardless of the vendor. Using the SIMATIC S7 Connector, you can conveniently connect controllers from Siemens (S7-300, 400, 1500) and third parties via the S7 protocol and OPC UA in order to analyze data on the Edge device using Edge applications.

Industrial Edge Cloud Connector

The Industrial Edge Cloud Connector enables integrated data sharing between Edge devices and the associated apps and Cloud infrastructures. Siemens MindSphere, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services are supported. Encryption ensures communication is secure at all times. A non-configurable ring buffer enables 10,000 data points to be stored if a connection is lost.

Visual Flow Creator

Visual Flow Creator is a browser-based workflow editor. Create your workflow to generate rules, define KPIs, and trigger actions, e.g. email messages if threshold values are exceeded.

Performance Insight

Make your machine more productive and identify potentials for improvement with a data display tailored to your needs, which can be perfectly retrofitted to existing systems. Proven expertise in SIMATIC automation is available with this app, either in MindSphere or Industrial Edge to suit your requirements.

SIMATIC IOT2050

SIMATIC IOT2050 (to be Edge-enabled in the future) is especially suitable for applications in which raw data is read in using digital inputs and outputs for direct analysis using apps on the Edge device.

Edge-Apps

Make an immediate start with Industrial Edge apps

In addition to your own Edge apps or those from partner entities, you can also use data from your machines right away with Industrial Edge apps, with no need to do your own programming.

Standard and individually developed apps

The range of ready-made apps includes data processing, visualization, and analysis, as well as connectivity for applications such as Condition Monitoring and predictive maintenance. Using the central Edge Management System, IT administrators can make these apps available to the shop floor, as well as running applications they have developed themselves.

Industrial Edge in an IT setting

Integrating Industrial Edge into existing IT and shop floor settings

Industrial Edge – the solution in detail

Industrial Edge is designed as an open system and is easy to integrate into existing IT and production environments. It makes many tasks easier, since it’s possible to automate what were previously manual stages. IT administrators can quickly and easily put shop floor requirements into action, and centrally manage and roll out updates and new apps. The necessary hardware, such as Edge devices and gateways, is industry-ready and can be used directly on the machine even in harsh environmental conditions.

Contact

Contact our experts

Industrial Edge has a huge range of applications. Our experts will be happy to help you get the most out of Edge Computing in your business. All you have to do is contact us.