Smart Manufacturing has evolved over the past decade, fueled by access to real-time machine data to improve industrial processes. Connected assets and data volumes have grown exponentially, and Gartner expects 75% of that data to be processed outside the traditional data center or cloud by 2025.

Connecting the factory floor, or the edge, is the fast track to Smart Manufacturing adoption. The industrial edge powers use cases like asset-condition monitoring, OEE, vision systems, quality improvements, preventative maintenance, traceability and more. Machine data from the edge also powers advanced use cases in the cloud like artificial intelligence and machine learning. Cloud and enterprise applications are only as good as the edge data that feeds them.

No matter where an organization decides to focus their Smart Manufacturing initiatives, the first step is making sure all assets on the factory floor are connected to ensure the free flow of complete data across the enterprise. Getting the right edge data to the right people at the right time can mean the difference between never getting Smart Manufacturing initiatives off the ground and truly transforming a factory into an efficient, data-driven operation.

Smart Manufacturing Starts with Connecting the Edge

Basic data collection from a select few industrial machines does not meet the requirements for true Smart Manufacturing.  We see a common thread for our customers who are successfully enabling use cases at scale – they all start with connecting every machine and system at the edge for a complete data picture.

There are some common challenges organizations run into when working to connect the edge. A large variety of devices and protocols can make the process slow and complicated. In addition, finding a scalable solution that can be easily replicated to multiple production lines and sites is hard to come by.

Litmus Edge is an Industrial IoT Edge platform that offers rapid connectivity to all modern and legacy machines and industrial systems with just a few clicks. It doesn’t matter what protocol or which type of asset – PLC, CNC, SCADA, historian, sensor and more – Litmus Edge can connect and collect data. As demonstrated in our recent webinar, How to Collect and Visualize Data from OT Assets, users simply access a 250+ device driver library, add the assets with no coding required and watch the data come in.  The solution can scale quickly and easily to any number of lines and sites.

Collect Data First, then Gain Insights

Connecting the factory floor is only the first step.  Once all machines are connected, organizations need to expose the real value of the data – with insights that lead to quality and efficiency improvements.  It sounds obvious, but many manufacturers today have connected assets, yet they aren’t doing anything with the data. That’s because it takes more than a connection – an Industrial IoT Edge platform must normalize the data and present it in a way that anyone in the company can understand what is happening on the factory floor and act on the information.

Litmus Edge structures that data into a common format, stores it, and makes it available for immediate visualizations and analytics at the edge.  Organizations can activate on-premise use cases like asset condition monitoring without sending the data outside of the four walls of the factory.

Many customers want to activate on-premise use cases, but they also want to send the data to more advanced systems to build data models and activate machine learning. Litmus Edge comes with pre-built integration to all of the leading cloud and enterprise systems like Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google Cloud Platform, etc.  In just days organizations can connect to every asset, analyze the data at the edge, and send the necessary data to cloud and enterprise systems.

The benefit of connecting all machines at the edge lies in faster insights. When organizations can make use of the data at the asset, they can make changes and improvements on the fly with the greatest impact and zero latency.  The connected edge provides the ability to take immediate action to improve production, quality and operations – enabling rapid Smart Manufacturing adoption.

For more information on connecting your machines on the factory floor, watch the webinar replay, How to Collect and Visualize Data from OT Assets.