01 March 2018

Rittal helps firms join the fourth industrial revolution

Rittal reckons it has come up with the solution for companies who use machine-to-machine (M2M) communications to streamline manufacturing and therefore need real-time capabilities.

The company explains that sensors and actuators deployed in smart production systems continuously relay information on the status of processes and infrastructure. It says this forms the basis for innovative services, such as alerts, predictive maintenance, and machine self-optimisation, delivered by the company’s IT department in real-time.

But Rittal adds that in order to make this possible, and to rapidly respond to events and anomalies, low latency between production and IT infrastructure is critical. According to the firm, a remote cloud data centre is unable to support these scenarios.

But with the advent of edge computing, Rittal has developed the Edge Data Centre which it describes as a turnkey, pre-configured solution based on standardised infrastructure. According to the company, its hardware can be implemented “rapidly and cost-efficiently”, paving the way for Industry 4.0 applications.

The data centre comprises two Rittal TS IT racks along with corresponding modules for climate control, power distribution, UPS, fire suppression, monitoring and secure access. The firm says the units are available in various output classes and can be easily combined for rapid deployment. To safeguard critical components from heat, dust and dirt in industrial environments, the data centre can be implemented in a self-contained high-availability room.

“Combined with the as-a-service offering that we jointly provide with iNNOVO Cloud, the Edge Data Centre is a complete, one-stop solution for enterprises of all sizes,” says Clive Partridge, Rittal’s technical manager for IT infrastructure.

As well as its IT-as-a-service platform provided by iNNOVO Cloud, Rittal says it also offers private-cloud data centres in shipping containers. It says the containers are fully equipped with all key active components, such as servers, network connectivity and storage for immediate use.


SAS sets up IoT division

Data analytics specialist SAS has created a new global division dedicated to IoT. The company says it will offer strategic industry expertise in manufacturing, energy and utilities, government, retail, insurance and healthcare.

SAS claims the IoT division will develop new partnerships and expand existing ones to bring together “best-in-class technology and expertise”. For example in 2017, the company teamed up with Cisco to unveil their joint Edge-to-Enterprise IoT Analytics Platform. This is said to bring together all the hardware and software needed to analyse IoT data so customers do not need to build a platform from scratch.

SAS adds that it brings similar benefits to customers through long-standing partnerships with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Intel.

The central technology for the new IoT division is Event Stream Processing, SAS’ software that is designed to analyse high-velocity data while it’s still moving so that action can be taken immediately. 

“The value of the IoT is in the information it produces about the world around us,” says Peter Pugh-Jones, head of technology, SAS UK and Ireland.

“SAS’s new IoT division will provide companies with thetools and capabilities they need to analyse and understand that data. With SAS they’ll be able to use the IoT to help make more intelligent decisions, introduce stronger AI and add value everywhere from production to supply chain to marketing and beyond.”

Jason Mann, who was previously SAS’ director of product management for industry solutions and IoT, will lead the new division as vice president of IoT.