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The Next-generation IIoT Gateway Solutions Transforming Manufacturing

Smart manufacturing and digital transformation, coupled with edge intelligence, are enabling manufacturers to increase productivity, reduce downtime, and improve the quality of their products. A key factor in the success of this transformation is the deployment of intelligent edge-computing solutions that can bridge the gap between the operation technology (OT) and the information technology (IT) worlds by providing a number of benefits.

Reduced Latency
Manufacturers are expected to be more responsive to customer needs by providing customized products and services on a global scale. In addition, time-sensitive applications need immediate processing of data collected from a variety of devices to be able to take timely corrective actions and facilitate quick decision-making. Edge intelligence can facilitate quick decision-making at the field sites as opposed to sending all the data from the edge to the cloud for processing.

Independent Remote Operations
An edge-computing platform enables remote locations to reduce downtime and operate independently when the central system is inaccessible. For example, if there is a network outage and connectivity to the cloud system is lost, field sites can use local computing power to process and analyze data. Processed data can then be sent to the cloud for long-term storage when the connection is restored.

Data Security
Sending sensitive operational data from the edge to the cloud puts the data and edge devices at risk. Multiple levels of security need to be put in place to ensure that the data is securely transferred from the edge device to the cloud. Processing data at the edge helps prevent data breaches and enables faster responses.

Reduced Data-transfer Costs
Transferring large volumes of data from the edge of the network to a cloud server can be prohibitively expensive. Furthermore, the cost of transferring this data on a daily basis could lead to unsustainable communication costs in the long run.

Manufacturers are looking for optimized computing solutions for their industrial automation applications to intelligently process large volumes of data received from the sensors and field monitors so that only critical data or a summary of the data is send to the cloud. Compact-sized, ruggedized industrial Arm-based computers, designed for low power consumption, are at the heart of these solutions and make edge-side computing more reliable and cost-effective.

The Benefits of Using an Arm-based Linux IIoT Gateway Solution

Arm-based Linux IIoT Gateway solutions provide industrial-grade security, manageability, performance, and reliability while still maintaining extensibility. They typically combine the hardware, OS, and software functions listed below to provide an optimized edge-computing solution for IIoT applications.

Longevity: Industrial products are usually in place for 10 to 15 years. To meet this requirement, Arm-based CPUs typically come with a minimum lifespan of 15 years. In addition, Arm’s commitment to long-term support and access to their future enhancements, make Arm-based solutions an ideal choice for industrial applications.

Low Power Consumption: Low-power processing is a requirement in many industries to ensure that the equipment does not overheat and pose a potential hazard. Fanless equipment is also preferred so as to mitigate the effects of dust in industrial environments. Arm® Cortex®-A processors are highly optimized for performance and power efficiency.

Scalability: Linux is eminently scalable and is able to run on a variety of platforms. The basic functionality of a Linux platform—command-line tools, configuration, and code—is compatible with any Linux-based device. This flexibility allows for easier upgrades and compatibility between different systems.

Enhanced Security: While manufacturers are reaping the benefits of digitization, they are also faced with data security risks and software-integrity issues. A Trusted Platform Module (TPM) can be deployed to guarantee the physical security of edge devices. In addition, Arm’s TrustZone can be used to create an isolated secure world, which can enhance security and maintain the integrity of edge-computing solutions.

Moxa’s Wireless-ready IIoT Gateway Solutions

Moxa’s UC Series IIoT Edge Gateways are industrial-grade, wireless-ready Arm-based computing platforms that are designed to operate reliably in a wide temperature range of -40 to 85°C. These gateways are built around the Arm® Cortex®-A processor and come with Moxa Industrial Linux (MIL) to address the need for extended lifecycles in computing systems for sectors such as solar and wind power, water and wastewater, oil and gas, transportation, and factory automation. Key benefits include:

  • Industrial-grade Linux
  • Low power consumption
  • Secure platform
  • Support for multiple interfaces and protocols
  • Easy connectivity from the edge to the cloud

To learn more about the benefits of using an Arm-based Linux IIoT Gateway solution in your IIoT system, download our white paper.

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