Computing infrastructure is an ever-changing landscape. Cloud computing has provided flexibility and been cost effective, but the rise of the Internet of Things and mobile computing have strained networks and led to the rise of edge computing. Edge computing enables processing of data closer to where it’s created, like on the production line, via sensors, motors or pumps, and reduces the need to transfer data to the cloud and back again.

The rise of edge computing capabilities, coupled with traditional industrial control system architectures, provides increased levels of customization. There is no hard and fast rule defining industrial edge computing; how much power or data processing is needed is based on the specific application or production process. Edge computing can be more efficient in some areas where cloud computing currently operates.

Depending on the organization, edge infrastructure can include various control and information layers of the production process. Edge can be defined as an extension of control activities or cloud activities, based on requirements for speed, volume and more, depending on use case and physical location.

LNS recently completed research on best practices for building an operational architecture to create a production environment that leverages people, process and technology in a scalable way. This white paper offers a closer look at edge computing and defines the evolution that is taking place in edge computing today while demonstrating how next-generation solutions can help industries execute on the new opportunities offered by the transformation of the edge.