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Emerson’s unveils new industrial edge-computing software for manufacturers

Emerson has unveiled the PACEdge industrial edge platform designed to help manufacturers accelerate digital transformation projects by enabling users to quickly create and scale up performance-improving applications.

Emerson says the PACEdge platform simplifies application development by bringing together today’s leading open-source tools into a flexible, integrated and secure platform for utilising machine data and analytics.

The PACEdge release coincides with the launch of Emerson’s new PACSystems RXi2-BP edge computer, a small form-factor industrial PC that enables high-performance analytics to be run close to the machine.

The PACEdge platform helps users securely collect, analyse, store and serve up machine data near the source or across enterprise systems.

End users can easily build and deploy applications for a wide range of uses, including monitoring energy, machinery health and productivity.

Emerson’s modular, pre-configured development packages containerise applications to allow developers to start in a pilot environment with a few units, and then quickly scale to hundreds or thousands of units – without expensive network and server infrastructures or worrying about inconsistencies among operating environments.

Derek Thomas, vice-president of marketing and strategy for Emerson’s machine automation solutions business, says: “Many of today’s edge solutions offer limited connectivity and toolsets, making it difficult to extend across assets, machines or plants.

“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.”

Using modern IIoT protocols such as OPC UA, MQTT and REST, the PACEdge 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.

With drag-and-drop programming and embedded web interfaces and visualisation, users can use this information to quickly create applications and dashboards to analyse and view operational data, such as overall equipment effectiveness, compressed air usage, energy consumption, acceleration and vibration and other sensor data.

Advanced applications can combine these outputs with external data sources (that is, weather, public utility rates) and machine learning algorithms to drive better asset health and performance by detecting potential failures sooner.

Operators in the field have immediate access to diagnostic and production information, allowing them to make better decisions faster.

The RXi2-BP edge computer uses patented temperature management technologies to enable the small form-factor industrial PC to achieve optimum performance in difficult-to-access industrial locations without being limited by internal temperatures.

Emerson’s enhanced industrial edge portfolio, which now includes PACEdge, PACSystems RX3i Edge Controllers, RXi2 Edge Computers and Movicon.NExT HMI and SCADA software, is helping customers digitally transform their industrial manufacturing operations from the machine level to the plant.

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