In today’s digital transformation age, disruptive technologies have completely revolutionized almost every industry. The manufacturing sector is no exception and has not escaped this change. Today, manufacturers seek real-time insights into their operations from data generated across the production environment. This can help reduce downtime, improve product quality, surge factory output and meet other business-driven goals. In this regard, edge intelligence has the potential to revolutionize the manufacturing industry, making it smarter and efficient.
With the recent propagation of mobile computing and the internet of things, billions of mobile and smart IoT devices are connected to the Internet, creating zillions of Bytes of data at the network edge. And to gather these chunks of data, there is a need to push the AI frontiers to the network edge to fully unleash the capabilities of the edge big data. However, to meet this demand, edge computing, an emerging paradigm for computing tasks and services, has been extensively proved as a promising solution. That resulted in a new inter-disciplinary process, edge intelligence, which is started to gain a huge amount of interest.
The process has already begun helping in pipeline safety, smart metering, fleet management and warehouse management to improve safety and efficiency, while delivering cost savings and enhanced user experiences.
Transforming Manufacturing with Edge Intelligence
Manufacturers now are leveraging innovative edge solutions for their operations that can automate data collection and move processing and analytics closer to the origin of the data. These smart manufacturing solutions enable intelligent systems to take abrupt actions to optimize everything, from machinery performance and equipment maintenance to supply chains, logistics and factory security.
Moreover, edge intelligence assists manufacturing companies to smartly process vast datasets that are generated by the sensors and convert it into actionable data. These data then can be utilized in minimizing commissioning time and accidents on site. Most importantly, the edge device sensors can process the data right at the source, instead of sending them to the cloud.
This process makes it possible for the sensors to allow real-time actions and incredibly constructive in such situations where even a delay of a few milliseconds can cause grave impairment.
As pipeline safety is a primary concern for Oil and Gas manufacturers, IoT and edge computing solutions can be helpful here, addressing a diverse number of challenges like the volatility of oil prices, pipeline safety, workers’ safety in the unsafe environment, remote assets monitoring, among others. Industry researches suggest that the vast number of manufacturers have updated or are updating their operations with these solutions to glean, process and assess data.
While the technologies offer real-time availability of updated information about the items’ location and nearest available asset or equipment like a forklift, the order-picking process can be improved eventually. According to reports, nearly 39,000 workers are seriously injured, while 85 lose their lives in forklift accidents every year. This does not only put operators in danger, but also people working near forklifts. So, the use of edge intelligence can also assist here, making the warehouse safer.