Industry Cloud in Manufacturing: A shift towards cloud and edge computing

WHY and WHAT CHANGE IN MANUFACTURING HAPPENS?

During the pandemic the manufacturing industry experienced an increasing shift towards cloud and edge computing to build more resilient organizations, too. Obviously, customers are requesting flexibility with regards to Hyperscalers while on the other hand they request protection and further enhancement of their investments. A hybrid approach – cloud and edge computing – can be an ideal combination for Industry Cloud.

HOW CLOUD AND EDGE COMPUTING CREATES VALUE?

Customers are deciding to collaboratively work in open and flexible ecosystem – hence, they need solutions that can be well orchestrated, even if the various bricks are coming from different vendors. Those bricks can run either on the edge or in the cloud. As an example see the diagram below, it is possible to efficiently connect machines and assets and integrate the resulting data to higher-level systems.

Figure 1: Solution reference architecture, exemplary mapping based on selected components based on Open Industry 4.0: https://openindustry4.com/

HOW TECHNOLGY CONTRIBUTED?

Partners and SAP can be members of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance. Both can contribute with its solutions in the corresponding reference architecture. It is an open architecture that allows and motivates to seamlessly integrate solutions in both: the cloud and the edge.

In bidirectional data flows, it is able to transfer data and information – such as production order numbers or material numbers. In turn, edge components can send information about produced quantities and machine status in near real-time.

Kyma Runtime can act as a foundation. In addition, Microsoft Azure is used as the technology stack and Azure ARC for the deployment of the cloud services (Azure ARC simplifies governance and management by delivering a consistent multi-cloud and on-premises management platform).

Many of SAP customers across industries are looking for an acceleration of their cloud roadmaps. At the same time, they are looking for the next level to successfully differentiate in the future. With open innovation platforms this can be achieved – hyperscaler agnostic and integrated.

WHAT WORKS WELL? WHERE ARE CHALLENGES?

A bit of a challenge are the Kyma settings (Kubernetes based), which are fully administrated by SAP. On the one hand this is a restriction in terms of flexibility, because it is only able to manage it on Kubernetes namespaces. But on the other hand, it is also a safety guarantee plus an effort benefit for cloud operations teams in charge.

Feel free to join the Industry Cloud Journey on the partner portal Industry Cloud space.

If you are interested in more about Industry Cloud check out the Industry Cloud Community page.

And finally, have you collected experience in this area? … share it with the community.

Bye then.

Alexander Waeldin

Chief Business Architect | Industry Cloud Program