While the cloud delivers the ‘bigger picture’ of the Industrial Internet of Things, it is less suitable for supporting applications that demand a real-time response. Mitsubishi Electric’s solution is edge computing, where data from intelligent devices can be aggregated, filtered, pre-processed and analysed directly from within the automation platform, eliminating the lag and latency of the cloud and without the need for industrial hardware within the harsh production environment.
Information collected from the plant floor sensors, drives, PLCs, mechatronics systems and energy monitoring devices can be analysed within the Mitsubishi Electric C Controller and MES Interface solutions. Data can then be made immediately available to the processes that need it, and/or forwarded to higher-level enterprise systems for supply chain optimisation, improved production control and plant operation simulations.
Keeping time-critical information within the automation environment and pre-processing information needed by higher-level or cloud systems also reduces bandwidth requirements for the IT infrastructure, gives greater assurances of security, and removes issues of regional data handling and storage compliance regulations.