Hybrid computing systems in Industry 4.0

 

Rob Powell, Commercial Director Lantek Systems UK, explains how the future of Industry 4.0 will change how computer systems are structured.

There has been a considerable amount of publicity about the advantages of cloud computing and rightly so.

The advantages are clear as it removes the need to have skilled people to set up and run complex in-house computer networks and also takes away the need to invest in expensive equipment and continually reinvest to keep it up to date.

Furthermore, for software products it makes updating them much simpler. Rather like the updates to your laptop and phone, it all happens automatically. In the past engineers had to load up new versions themselves which inevitably led to a surge in support queries and downtime for the customer as misunderstandings and errors in the update process made it impossible to work.

Now, there is a move towards a hybrid approach which uses Edge technology, where some of the processes take place locally yet it still sends the processed data to the cloud. One of the drivers for this change is the new possibilities created by communication protocols such as UMATI for machinery.

UMATI, is a common communication protocol for transferring data which is being developed and rolled out for CNC machines to work with software that manages and implements processes such as MES. UMATI and other IoT systems can also connect any machine or piece of equipment in the factory via IIoT devices, which is where Edge technology becomes important. The main difference about this data, is the volume being generated as it is automatically coming from IIoT devices on the machine rather than from human input. Trying to send all this to the cloud with all the other data from MES, accounting, stock control etc., will result in unacceptable lag in response times and overloaded bandwidth.

The objective of Edge technology is to process the data from these IIoT devices locally and then to send the aggregated results in batches up to the cloud. There, it is combined with other cloud data already being processed to produce useful information to optimize the operation of the factory.

The potential of being able to extract vast amounts of data from sensors has massive implications in the factory for improving efficiency, reliability, customer service and, delivery and quality performance and hence profitability.

 

About Lantek

Lantek is a multinational that is leading the digital transformation of companies in the sheet metal and metal industry. With its patented smart manufacturing software, it enables factories to be connected, turning them into Smart Factories. It rounds off its range of services with CAD, CAM, MES, and ERP solutions for companies that manufacture metal parts from sheet metal, tubes, and profiles using any cutting technology ( laser, plasma, oxycut, waterjet, shearing, and punching).

Founded in 1986 in the Basque Country (Spain), one of the main European hubs of machine tool development, Lantek enables the integration of sheet metal and metal processing technologies using the most advanced manufacturing management software. The company is currently the outstanding leader in its sector thanks to its capacity for innovation and commitment to internationalization. With more than 23,700 customers in over 100 countries and 20 offices in 14 countries, it has an extensive network of distributors with an international presence. In 2019, its international business contributed to 86% of its revenue.

For more information, visit: www.lanteksms.com 

For more information
LANTEK - Diana Sánchez Tel. +34 945 771 700    Email Contact

Lantek Systems Ltd. Rob Powell, Commercial Director. +44 (0)1684 342345 rob.powell@lantek.com




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