IT system can help industry to stay competitive

An image of George Senzere secure power solutions architect at Schneider Electric

EDGE COMPUTING To truly leverage these technologies requires the implementation of bespoke IT systems and edge computing architecture is the best choice

15th April 2022

By: Anna Moross



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Edge computing can provide the automotive assembly industry in Africa with a competitive edge, through industry’s effectively implementing the latest technologies, says energy management and automation company Schneider Electric secure power solutions architect George Senzere.

The adoption of the latest technologies, such as data analytics, digital twins, artificial intelligence and autonomous robotics, is increasing in the automotive industry as it drives increased productivity, reliability and better-informed decisions while reducing production costs throughout the entire assembly process, he adds.

Manufacturers need to have a handle on production costs to ensure that they are optimising production lines and all production processes to stay competitive; however, this requires the implementation of the latest innovative technologies.

Senzere says to truly leverage these technologies requires the implementation of bespoke IT systems and edge computing architecture is the best choice.

While cloud computing has been the norm, there is a shift away from it. This, Senzere notes, is because “edge computing brings computer storage and analytics closer to where the content is created and used, and allows for real-time processing and decision-making by eliminating cloud latency”.

Moreover, edge computing can be used to process time-sensitive data, located closer to the data source, thereby making it the more ideal computing architecture.

“For example, if an automotive manufacturer wishes to manage its inventory more efficiently, the latest production methodologies, such as just-in-time (JIT) technology, edge computing could be of great help, enabling the manufacturer to keep a finger on the pulse of the numerous component suppliers and at the same time providing real-time component use information on the production lines.”

This production methodology links the assembly lines with suppliers to ensure that the required component parts are delivered to the assembly only when they are needed, explains Senzere.

“As inventory on site is used, this technology tracks changes in inventory, and provides an accurate depiction of what the manufacturer requires to its suppliers.”

The methodologies and technologies, such as JIT coupled with intelligent Internet of Things devices, used in this regard require computing on site, as the data is being generated on the assembly lines.

To achieve that, automotive manufacturers need to bring the network capacity and capability closer to the lines and “this is where edge computing comes in”, says Senzere.

He emphasises that, for the automotive industry to grow and stay competitive in Africa, it requires “cutting-edge” technology.

“However, using such technology requires a lot of data analysis close to where it has been generated and using edge computing will, in turn, help the automotive industry meet its business objectives and ensure efficient decision-making,” concludes Senzere.

Edited by Zandile Mavuso
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Features



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