Event Edge

Empowering the Manufacturing Edge

Manufacturing has been affected by rapid changes in demand caused by the pandemic and geopolitical tensions. In a globally interconnected economy, manufacturing companies also have to contend with supply chain issues such as semiconductor and other shortages. Manufacturers need greater efficiencies in manufacturing and delivering products, increasing equipment and production uptime, and optimizing the supply chain.

Legacy technologies with a complex mix of aging on- and off-premises systems are in urgent need of upgrade. A patchwork of legacy technologies cobbled together to solve one-off problems prevents manufacturers from having holistic visibility into their existing processes. As a result, adding new operational capabilities or making changes to existing operations and devices takes considerable effort and time, and poses operational and security risks.

Manufacturing edge needs a platform approach

Vision of a converged manufacturing edge infrastructure

In the era of Industry 4.0, with Industry 5.0 on the horizon, new shopfloor and machine technologies drive significant volumes of data at the manufacturing edge. To truly leverage the benefits of real-time data availability, manufacturers have started to build AI/ML capabilities and improve process automation through AR/VR and additional robotics intelligence. Driving operational efficiencies with this data requires computing power close to edge so decisions can be made in real-time.

According to an IDC survey, 56% of manufacturing companies will kick off edge compute pilots in the next two years.  However, not all edge compute solutions are created equal. Manufacturers can transform operations at the edge with a software-defined approach powered by VMware Edge Compute Stack, a purpose-built solution for running VM and container-based workloads on the edge that supports real-time workloads (such as Virtual PLC).

Because VMware solutions are already in most data centers, manufacturers gain a seamless edge-to-cloud flexibility and therefore a freedom to choose where to orchestrate, analyze or store their data and run their factory applications.  VMware not only has a Gaia-X-compliant architecture, but also offers an agnostic platform from the manufacturing edge to multi-cloud environments that provides a solid, flexible, secure, and scalable foundation.

A software-defined approach to edge enables manufacturers to transform their operations in the following ways:

  • Sustainability: As one of the top ranking greenest large companies, VMware is committed to ESG goals. Tools such as Green Metrics, a vSphere capability to quantify and visualize energy and carbon at the host, container, and application layers, as well as across multi-cloud environments, help you reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Agility and flexibility: Rapidly implement new processes, and fix any issues during production immediately with real-time quality inspection.
  • Resiliency: Minimize production delays by rapidly shifting operations from one plant to another in case of downtime.
  • Security: Protect against intellectual property theft by securing your data with enhanced zero trust security.

Key edge use cases powered by VMware Edge Compute Stack for the smart manufacturer

Predictive maintenance  

Leveraging data from smart sensors connected to IoT platforms, proactively receive alerts about future maintenance needs and gain up to 40% reduction in maintenance costs and 50% reduction in total machine downtime.

Digital twins

With the creation of a digital twin, speed time to market with a new product, improve operations and reduce defects. Increase speed of critical processes by up to 30% and reduce rework.

Quality inspection

Using automated visual inspection tools, detect defects on production lines with better accuracy — especially the critical defects missed during manual inspection or sampling inspection — increasing product quality and yield.

Join VMware at Hannover Messe

See VMware Edge Compute Stack in action at Hannover Messe 2022 from May 30 – June 2. Check out our demos on robotics and AI with VMware partner Intel, and virtual programmable logic controllers (vPLCs) with software defined automation (SDA).

Learn more


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