The complexity of industrial operations, coupled with the tremendous volume of data generated each day in industry, means that some level of computing capacity is required close to the data source. For many decades, this has typically been the role of local control systems, programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and programmable automation controllers (PACs).

However, the ‘industrial edge’ — systems designed to compute and handle data on the factory floor and closer to the point of data generation — is continually evolving. This evolution brings with it new opportunities for more efficient data processing and improved plant-level operations with minimal operating costs and data bottlenecks.