Brace Yourself—Here Comes Another IoT Platform

IoT Platforms are all the rage. All God’s children need a platform, it seems. Most larger companies have a platform. Oh, and all promise it’s “open” to everyone’s connections. Then there is open source—check out Dell, the Linux Foundation, and others who have developed the EdgeX Foundry.

Now we have an Asian developed one—mostly Japanese along with Taiwan-based Advantech—called the Edgecross Consortium. Edgecross evidently refers to a focus on edge computing and cross vendor.

I received the first notice from Advantech who announced it has partnered with Mitsubishi Electric, Omron, NEC, IBM Japan, and Oracle Japan to establish the “Edgecross Consortium” to overcome boundaries between companies and industries in order to realize collaboration between factory automation and IT. The objective is to create new value centered on edge computing.

The Consortium news release states, “In this way, it will contribute to the promotion of IoT, for which demand is increasing on a global scale, as well as Society 5.0, proposed by the Japanese government, and activities of Connected Industries, which tie in to Society 5.0.”

Initial activities of the Consortium will begin with the development of specifications for the Edgecross open software platform and promoting its dissemination for edge computing from Japan to harmonize with FA and IT. This initial work will include providing avenues for supporting companies to cooperate and collaborate beyond the framework of companies and industries. The Consortium will aim to expand applications for various industries in addition to initiating activities in the global arena in the future.

I should note here that in America and Europe, we generally refer to bringing OT and IT together (rather than FA).

The date of founding is scheduled for November 29, 2017, and an exhibition is planned at the System Control Fair 2017, to be held on the same day.

Overview of Edgecross

An open software platform of edge computing area from Japan built by consortium members beyond the boundaries of companies and industries to realize collaboration with FA and IT.

Features

Real-time diagnosis and feedback

Realizing real-time feedback to the production site by analyzing and diagnosing the data at location close to the production sites

Creating models from production sites

Data can be easily utilized by people or by applications by layering and abstracting the Big data of the production sites

Utilization of various applications in the edge computing area

IT applications can be easily applied to FA application

Applications may be selected from an extensive lineup depending on the situation

System construction completed in the edge computing area are available

Collecting all types of data at the production site

Enable data collection from all equipment and devices regardless of vendor or network

Smooth coordination with FA and IT systems

Realizing supply chain and engineering chain optimization by seamless data coordination with IT systems including the cloud

Operates on industrial PCs

Mountable on various manufacturer’s industrial PCs (IPCs)

Here are a couple of executive quotes about the news.

“Partnering with leading global companies in accelerating our global business in Industry 4.0 is Advantech’s key strategy,” stated Allan Yang, CTO of Advantech. “Advantech joined the Mitsubishi [email protected] Alliance this April to foster business opportunities for smart manufacturing in Asia through co-marketing and co-exhibition. Joining the Edgecross Consortium is our next big step to expand global collaboration and business in Industry 4.0. We are very proud to be a part of Edgecross Consortium with these leading global companies; we are looking forward to collaborating with consortium members to develop Industry 4.0 products and solutions to enhance our customer experience.”

Yoshikazu Miyata, Executive Officer and Group President of Factory Automation Systems at Mitsubishi Electric, gave the following statement regarding the new partnership, “The consortium welcomes Advantech as a key member. We are happy to work with Advantech, a worldwide leading innovator for Edge computing and IoT solutions. We are looking forward to co-creating with Advantech to provide innovative IoT solutions to customers.”

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