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Edge platform helps manufacturers to develop analytics

20 May, 2021

Emerson has announced an industrial edge platform designed to help manufacturers accelerate their digital transformation projects. The PACEdge platform simplifies application development by bringing together open-source tools in a flexible, integrated and secure platform for machine data and analytics.

Emerson has also launched a compact industrial edge PC that can run high-performance analytics close to machines. The PACSystems RXi2-BP edge computer uses patented temperature management technologies to optimise performance in hard-to-access locations without being limited by internal temperatures.

The PACEdge platform helps users to collect, analyse, store and serve machine data close to the source or across enterprise systems. Users can build and deploy applications for uses such as monitoring machine health, productivity and energy.

Pre-configured modular development packages “containerise” applications, allowing developers to start in a pilot environment, and then to scale to hundreds or thousands of implementations without expensive network and server infrastructures, or having to worry about inconsistencies between operating environments.

“Many of today’s edge solutions offer limited connectivity and toolsets, making it difficult to extend across assets, machines or plants,” explains Derek Thomas, vice-president of marketing and strategy in Emerson’s machine automation business. “The PACEdge platform provides a complete solution that enables manufacturers to start right at the machine with the connectivity and flexibility needed to scale up as they progress on their digital transformation journeys.”

Emerson’s fluid and measurement motion control business is using its PACEdge platform to generate dashboards that monitor variables such as energy consumption

Using IIoT protocols such as OPC UA, MQTT and REST, the platform provides access to data from industrial control systems and field devices, as well as IT systems and cloud services for plant or enterprise data aggregation. Using drag-and-drop techniques and embedded Web interfaces and visualisation, applications and dashboards can be created to analyse and view operating data, such as energy consumption, OEE (overall equipment effectiveness), compressed air usage, and sensor data including acceleration and vibration.

Applications can combine these outputs with external data – such as weather reports and utility tariffs – and machine-learning algorithms to improve asset health and performance by detecting possible failures earlier. Operators have access to diagnostic and production information, allowing them to make better decisions faster.

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