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Aug 14 2018

FUJITSU IoT Solution INTELLIEDGE A700 Appliance and INTELLIEDGE G700 Gateway: Digital Transformation Meets Industry 4.0

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FUJITSU IoT Solution INTELLIEDGE A700 is a converged IoT Appliance enabling you to leverage massive amounts of data that gets generated at the edge of your enterprise. It is an integrated software and ruggedized hardware platform comprising of solutions that help you gather, process and analyze data that is constantly getting generated and is flowing from your operational technology (OT) systems to IT systems. Data flows such as these are instrumental in providing valuable insights that can help streamline processes and provide greater visibility on what is happening at the shop floor and how that data can be harnessed for greater efficiencies and overall optimization. – In addition to the INTELLIEDGE A700, the FUJITSU INTELLIEDGE G700 is a pure hardware offering that functions as a gateway device for companies that would like to run their own Industry 4.0, IIoT or IoT-based custom applications. The INTELLIEDGE G700 Gateway ships with latest Intel® Core® i processor series, FUJITSU industrial mainboards, solid state drive options and much more. It is also shock and dust proof to withstand a variety of extreme and challenging environments found in industrial and enterprise scenarios.

Digitalization of the enterprise is causing an overall ripple effect that has led to disruption across many processes and applications at all levels. Be it an industrial setting, or a supply chain scenario or a retail chain backdrop – only to name a few. This is especially true in the context of Industry 4.0, the next phase of industrial automation that will bring about the complete digitalization of production, shipping, distribution of goods and eventually retail experiences. In fact, this is already happening and will continue going forward.

Industry 4.0 and IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) have literally become buzzwords nowadays and are so prevalent that they risk being over-used and over-hyped. That said, it is inevitable for industries to acknowledge these shifts and trends in the marketplace if they want to stay and agile in a hypercompetitive business environment that is intent on disrupting existing ways of doing business.

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Fig. 1: The many stages of Industrial Revolution and how Industrial 4.0 has come about

Gathering Insights from the Company's Edge
However, in spite of these much-quoted advantages and possibilities, there are also many challenges to be met. One of the biggest is processing the vast volumes of data that is constantly streaming into IT systems from OT systems (for example PLCs, DCS, SCADA, sensors, industrial robots and actuators) spread all across the enterprise that are continuously generating this data. Another major challenge is making sense and use of this data where it typically accumulates – often referred-to as the "edge" of the company, meaning the areas where the physical world ends and the digital world begins.

While there is no exact place where this happens, one needs to realize that vast amounts of data are being generated every moment from 'things'. And this data needs to be processed further and consolidated before being sent back to the IT systems. While this may sound rather simple, you need to factor in the scale of the operation, the number of things, the volume of data that is being generated and whether or not these giga- and terabytes of data can be sent back to IT systems on premise or up to the cloud. Additionally, you have to also consider the location of your facilities and the limitations it can have on connectivity.

In any case, you need to get an overview and oversight of your operations and deep insights that can be gleaned from what exactly is happening on the factory floor and how operations can be further optimized for greater efficiencies and savings. While this is typically applicable for manufacturing equipment, it can also be applied to retail, logistics, energy and facilities management and other processes that are ideal for disruption via digitalization – resulting in Industry 4.0 and IIoT-based usage scenarios. Taking this into account makes the industrial edge the focal point of solutions for data gathering and subsequent analysis. This is exactly where Fujitsu INTELLIEDGE comes into play.

Specialized Appliance for IoT Data Collection and Analysis
The INTELLIEDGE A700 Appliance (pictured at the top) is an integrated hardware and software platform that is pre-configured and manageable enabling you to run Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Data Filtering applications in a fast and secure manner. Based on an Intel® Core™ i7, the INTELLIEDGE A700 Appliance provides the necessary computing power required to run these applications in containers within several virtual machines for better security and scaling. The INTELLIEDGE A700 Appliance is a flexible offering that can be managed effectively by both the IT and OT organizations. The offering has an INTELLIEDGE CENTER that provides a dashboard for its overall management by IT personnel while also enabling OT systems users to perform shop floor management tasks through the OPC-UA client that is prevalent in the manufacturing context.

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Fig. 2: Fujitsu’s INTELLIEDGE concept allows existing cloud-based IT and OT systems to cooperate with customized IoT applications at the customer’s end

The INTELLIEDGE A700 Appliance also has a pre-installed Linux-based operating system that is lightweight and supports all necessary functions including a virtualization layer. Interfaces and supported communications options such as Modbus, Profibus, Profinet, MQTT, AMQP or OPC-UA ensuring connectivity to industrial equipment or the data gathering equipment that are typically a part of retail, logistics and similar operations.

Based on this connectivity, FUJITSU's INTELLIEDGE offering allows existing cloud-based IT and OT systems to cooperate with customized IoT applications at the customer's end, running in isolated sandboxes. This full separation helps to ensure zero disruption and a secure environment. Systems and BIOS security functions such as embedded security based on a TPM 2.0, boot sector virus protection or a write protect option for the flash EPROM as well as a certificate based pairing concept and efficient application and network management functions ensure a high level of reliability and security. Even in disaster scenarios, an integrated recovery solution allows automated recovery to the original state of the system. All of this is packaged in robust industrial-grade hardware, designed to operate in a variety of harsh conditions.

Pure Hardware Offering for Industry 4.0 and IIoT Scenarios
The INTELLIEDGE G700 Gateway is a pure hardware offering that comprises of a deep fin design for better cooling and is fanless for quiet operation. It has an internal power supply, provides solid state drive (SSD) options and FUJITSU industrial-grade mainboards that can handle extreme conditions found in an industrial setting. It is certified with an IP50 rating for ambient conditions that might involve shocks, vibration or operation in dusty environments. The INTELLIEDGE G700 Gateway is a future-ready and easily customizable edge computing device that can be expanded and configured to match and scale to every requirement in an Industry 4.0 and Industrial IoT context.

With both the INTELLIEDGE A700 Appliance and the INTELLIEDGE G700 Gateway, FUJITSU offers ready-to-run solutions for you to deploy your IoT applications without delays and thus successfully start your Industry 4.0 journey. The following video will show you how the FUJITSU IoT Solution INTELLIEDGE can help connect your OT and IT systems for better insights into enterprise data that is being generated at the edge of your company.

Video: The FUJITSU IoT Solution INTELLIEDGE™ Appliance and Gateway systems offer a scalable platform for a wide range of edge computing applications and scenarios in the Industry 4.0 and IIoT context

Salil Lawande

 

About the Author:

Salil Lawande

Global Product Marketing Manager, FUJITSU IoT Solution INTELLIEDGE

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