Just as you begin to understand how cloud computing technology benefits your warehouse, the next big advancement comes along. “Edge computing” is here, and if you find yourself struggling to understand what this new technology is and what it means for your enterprise, you’re not alone.
Here are the basics.
What is edge computing?
Edge computing does not replace cloud computing. Rather, it works in conjunction with it. Any time-sensitive cloud analytics are pushed out to edge devices where real-time data is quickly gathered and analyzed, so it can be immediately accessed and applied.
Think of it like this: The cloud is for big-picture analytics and warehouse data storage, and the edge is for fast insight about what is happening in real-time within your facility. In a nutshell, edge computing refers to data processing power at the edge of a network instead of holding that processing power in a cloud or a central data warehouse.
What does this mean for your warehouse?
- There is now more localized access to the data and insight you need. Edge computing streamlines the flow of traffic from IoT devices and delivers real-time local data analysis, without lost time in the cloud.
- Edge-computing power can tell you things like what areas in your warehouse are most prone to accidents and pinpoint this to an exact aisle/intersection.
- Edge analytics can determine which operator or lift-truck will deliver optimum productivity and advise managers how to leverage this data when job scheduling.
- Edge computing through a telematics platform allows for better overall remote management. Diagnostic capabilities are enhanced by real-time monitoringof equipment on the warehouse floor. Alerts and dashboards serve to avoid incorrect use or care of equipment.
- You would still use the cloud for processing big data, which is not as time-sensitive, to manage sudden problems or daily challenges in your facility.
Use your competitive edge: The big picture
With the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and the advent of new technologies, edge computing is letting industries across the supply chain increase the speed in which actionable insight is received. Time is money.
Because of this, efficiencies can be vastly improved, including:
- Edge computing enables manufacturers to turn vast amounts of data into insightful and actionable information by utilizing insight connected within the enterprise’s network, like temperature sensor readings or alarms.
- Advanced diagnostic tools allow remote service personnel to do all of the things an onsite person can do. This means preventing issues proactively, fixing potential issues before they occur.
- Quality of service increases because IoT gateways increase the effectiveness of limited bandwidth challenges.
You know that the sooner data is analyzed after collection, the better, so the speed of cloud computing can sometimes impact efficiency and daily proactive management. This is where telematics software and edge computing will improve KPIs and day-to-day problem-solving abilities across your facility. They break through the cloud and shine a light on what you need to know to respond in real time.