Advanced Edge Data Center Concepts for the Smart Factories of the Future
Across industries, factories are evolving into "smart factories" as process automation increases. As a result of this trend, immense amounts of data are being generated and advancing digitalization is fueling that. This creates new challenges for production control as well as demands on IT infrastructures and thus the entire data center industry. Powerful and fail-safe IT infrastructures are needed for the smart factories of Industry 4.0 and 5.0, which ensure that data is processed with short latency times. Edge computing, i.e. on-site data processing, offers companies numerous advantages. After all, the worst case scenario would be an IT failure that results in a loss of production or even a standstill and thus extreme economic losses. With the right IT infrastructure, this danger can be avoided, knows Jörgen Venot, Head of Product Sales (DATA CENTER GROUP, DCG).
Industrial production and the data center industry are in a constant process of transformation. Functioning networking for complex IoT applications poses new challenges. This is because large amounts of data must be collected and analyzed in real time. "As a result of Industry 4.0 developments, the edge data center is proving to be a sustainable and particularly future-proof solution," emphasizes Venot. The DCG data center expert observes an increasing demand for new decentralized approaches across all industries: "The demand for local edge data center solutions is constantly increasing. On-premises data sovereignty is the optimal solution for more and more companies. It also gives them full data control in-house. The data can also be processed quickly where it is needed. This offers considerable potential for the smart factories of Industry 4.0 and 5.0."
The current study "Data Centers in Germany," which was recently conducted by Borderstep Institute on behalf of the Bitkom, Germany’s digital association, also shows the trend that edge data centers will gain considerable importance. According to the results of the study, experts expect edge data centers to develop strongly, especially for the automotive industry (keyword: autonomous driving) and energy supply management. They enable low latency, for example, also for networked manufacturing, real-time machine occupancy and control, and 5 G connectivity technologies, the experts said. "We at DCG are following this development and are prepared for the ever-changing challenges of the IT market," Venot emphasizes. "We accompany national and international customers worldwide."
Edge computing offers numerous advantages for small and large companies of the future: data, decision and action latencies are extremely reduced by the decentralized approach. This allows new application options while maintaining a high level of data security. Edge data centers are therefore a secure and sustainable solution for all companies that want to work just-in-time and evaluate their data on-site. DCG can already look back on numerous successfully implemented large projects worldwide e.g., in the fields of robotics, engineering and the automotive industry, which underline how system-relevant decentralized edge solutions are for the high availability of smart factories.
One element of DGG's solution approach is the DC-IT Safe from its subsidiary RZproducts. The Micro Data Center is compact and can be set up autonomously. It adapts to all conditions, is modularly expandable, protects data even under the most difficult conditions and is suitable for companies with decentralized structures across all industries. The DC-IT Container, the robust container construction of RZproducts, which is available as a permanent solution (indoor and outdoor) or as a flexible interim solution, is also suitable for setting up edge infrastructures. It provides reliable IT infrastructure protection for smart factories that want to process and use their data directly at the production site.
And data usage on premises as well as the operation of edge computing is scalable upwards: all the way to a full-scale data center. Depending on the size and area of application, on-site data usage must be controlled across multiple server racks. On-site IT security rooms or a data center as a stand-alone building on the production site are suitable for this purpose.
Whether for the area of machine learning and AI or digital process control: DCG consultants can support you in finding the right solution for the smart factory. Because from consulting to planning to professional implementation of solutions and services, the Group covers the entire spectrum of the value chain around the security of IT infrastructures on site. Jörgen Venot: "We offer standard solutions, but we also have the technical know-how in-house and can easily manufacture custom solutions. We differentiate ourselves through our master engineering and have the necessary skills to conceptualize the IT infrastructure in terms of design and then implement it to fit perfectly. At the same time, we also have expertise in the area of compliance and can advise our customers in a targeted manner. We know: Our customers' IT must be protected - no matter where - according to uniformly high standards. This means we are armed for the challenges of the future of industry - including the specific challenges of Industry 5.0."
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