What is Edge Computing?

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Written by Andy Ellis, Field Application Engineer – Automation & Renewables

In recent years, there has been a heavy focus on utilisation of the cloud. Using the cloud has revolutionised how people store and use their data. Everything from process data, calculated efficiency and quality for industry can be handled in the cloud.


Latency, bandwidth, security, or a lack of offline access can be problematic. To solve this problem, users need robust, secure and integrated on-premise infrastructure for edge computing. Edge computing is the practice of capturing, storing, processing and analysing data near the client where it is generated!

For Industry 4.0 use cases, connecting thousands of devices and datapoints directly to the cloud is not often feasible due to costs, privacy and network issues. Edge Computing provides:

  • Reduced Network Latency
  • Data Privacy and Security
  • Network Load Reduction
  • Computational Efficiency
  • Reduced Cloud Costs
  • Autonomy

To provide an edge solution industry has the following options:

Add a PC

Take advantage of power and off the shelf software to create and edge system  
Add a Single Board Computer (e.g. Raspbery Pi)
A cost effective, low power Linux based system which can be customised to your requirements  
Replace Current Control System
To take advantage of modern processing and communication the existing control system is replaced  
– Cost Prohibitive
– Communication with existing system
– Security and Maintenance time and costs can be higher  
– Reliability of Hardware
– Communication with existing system
– Limited hardware performance reduces adaptability  
– Expensive
– Time consuming
– Will it adapt to new requirements in the future?  

The solution? an Industrial PC.

Whether as a user interface or as an edge computer for the system, industrial computers are absolutely vital in industrial applications. They combine the computing power of modern processors with the robustness and reliability of industrial components.

Benefit from the advantages of our robust and configurable box PCs and panel PCs for collecting and processing, measuring, controlling, and visualising your data. Our mobile industrial PCs (IPCs) enable site-independent use in PC-based applications. Passive cooling, the use of components available over the long term, and a maintenance-friendly design maximise your system availability.

Phoenix Contact has a range of Edge solutions to meet all of the challenges provided by green or brownfield installations:

To find out more about the products above, visit the following links:

BL2 1500: Box PC – BL2 BPC 1541S-4/64-W10 – 1272688 | Phoenix Contact

EPC 1500: Box PC – EPC 1522 – 1185423 | Phoenix Contact

AXL F: Controller – AXC F 3152 – 1069208 | Phoenix Contact

For more information contact Andy on 07496 194288 or email aellis@phoenixcontact.com



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