Smart factories, or software-defined factories, are playing a crucial role in amplifying the speed at which manufacturers can innovate. By breaking down the barriers between IT and OT, manufacturers can embrace collaboration with new functionality and proactively strengthen and speed up operations, with the flexibility and intelligence to scale based on demand.
Red Hat, the open-source solutions provider, announced a new industrial edge platform designed in collaboration with Intel that is intended to provide a modern approach to building and operating industrial controls. By transforming the way manufacturers operate, scale and innovate with standard IT technologies delivered to the plant floor and real-time data insights, the platform is intended to enable industrial control system (ICS) vendors, system integrators (SIs) and manufacturers to automate previously manual industrial automation tasks, including system development, deployment and management, cybersecurity risk reduction, prescriptive and predictive maintenance improvements for factory agility, co-locating deterministic and non-deterministic workloads and reducing turnaround time.
The industrial edge platform is intended to provide a holistic solution that spans from real-time shop floor control and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) to full IT manageability - delivering greater customer choice for data gravity or edge-to-cloud style architectures and improved overall equipment efficiency (OEE). To continuously support this effort, Red Hat and Intel are working to integrate Intel-based platforms and Intel Edge Controls for Industrial (Intel ECI) with current and future versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, starting with collaboration in upstream Linux communities like the Fedora Project and CentOS Stream. This collaboration extends to bringing these controls and platforms to Red Hat Device Edge, Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, and Red Hat OpenShift.
The collaboration is intended to assist organizations in benefitting from:
Fully integrated real-time capabilities, from silicon to software, to support industrial automation for predictable performance.
Advanced management and network automation for system deployment and management without heavy handed resource usage, simplifying the industrial network creation and management using open standards-based tools.
Scalability and flexibility through a software-defined platform approach that facilitates more portable, scalable control and maximizes adaptability.
Uninterrupted operations supported by high-availability and redundancy attributes built-in with the platform;
Simplified AI workload integration with the ability to take an AI workload and run it next to a control workload, helping simplify hardware complexity, and enabling AI to improve product quality, system uptime, maintenance needs and more.
Enhanced cybersecurity posture by removing human error elements with automated patching and updates, an immutable operating system plane, and a platform built on hardened, production-tested components.
To underpin this platform, Red Hat - in collaboration with Intel - will deliver a real-time kernel that provides lower latency and reduced jitter, helping applications run repeatedly with greater reliability. This new industrial edge platform will be built on open standards and community-driven innovation, driven by thousands of developers globally, helping to drive more simplified integration with other hardware and software components. Additionally, core code transparency and a clear roadmap and release cycle help take the guesswork out of when new releases are available and their accompanying features.
Further information on ARC Advisory’s coverage of Digital Transformation at the Industrial IoT Edge, including industrial IoT edge software platforms, is available here.