Accelerate Industry 4.0 with Modern Industrial PCs

Industry 4.0 will lead to the creation of smart factories, with machines that can communicate with each other. Backed by AI and insights from raw data, these machines could be empowered to configure production processes and make modifications in real-time to optimize operations. 


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Process control computers have long been vital in manufacturing and other industries. Machine vision, robot guidance, quality assurance, data collection and many other industrial processes depend on computers designed for harsh environments.

But many critical processes depend on aging industrial PCs (IPCs) that aren’t up to the tasks of today’s increasingly automated industrial world.

A seven-year-old IPC doesn’t have the chops to process advanced analytics, churn through images to detect defects in production, or run deep learning algorithms to predict machinery failures. Many critical processes run on Windows XP, which hasn’t been supported since 2014, or Windows 7, which ceased being supported earlier this year. Unpatchable software, hardware reliability issues, and growing cyberattacks are only part of the problem.

The strategic problem is that manufacturers can be left behind in the wave of Industry 4.0 innovation.

That is the focus of a new on-demand IoT Integrator webinar, Get Industrial with Intel IoT Solutions, featuring Adam Berniger, Senior Segment Marketing Manager, Industrial Services at Intel and Jeff Jackson, Senior Principal Engineer, Intel.

Industry 4.0 is Here

Today’s factories are smart, with machine-to-machine communication and automation speeding processes and ensuring product quality. Cameras and machine vision can help manufacturers spot defects before products leave the line. Sensors can collect data that can predict failures of critical machinery and issue real-time alerts that maintenance needs to happen proactively. Digital twin initiatives help product designers and engineers run simulations before any products are built.

As an IoT integrator, you can help manufacturing and industrial clients modernize their IPCs so they can leverage IoT and AI in their existing environment—without any manufacturing downtime. 

Why Modernize Industrial PCs?

Next-generation IPCs are ready for the demands of a modern environment. Powerful IPCs make it possible to consolidate traditional workloads with emerging applications like machine vision, AI or IoT.  Integrated GPUs can quickly process images and speed inferencing for deep learning applications. Modern IPCs are also better protected against cyber attacks and are easier to manage remotely. And, newer IPCs are designed to be easier to customize, and deliver a longer product life cycle than desktop PCs.

IoT integrators can choose from a broad variety of IPC form factors, applications and environments.  Mounting options include touch-screen panels, rack-mounted, or equipment-mounted. Intel-powered IPCs are available from ABB, Arrow, Avnet, Beckhoff, Dell, Kontron, Schneider Electric, and Siemens and others.

With IPCs powered by Intel® technology, computing choices span from Intel® Core™ processors to Intel® Xeon® processor D and  E families; IoT integrators can choose the best fit solution for their clients’ needs.

Deploying modern IPCs can help manufacturers close the well-known IPC security gap. Key applications may depend on IPCs running outdated operating systems. Intel’s security framework builds security into the platform, from the boot process through to encrypted data, keys, and credentials, and isolated trusted environments to help protect applications during runtime. 

Simplify and Accelerate IPC Modernization

Intel is helping IoT integrators take advantage of the market opportunity to refresh industrial PCs for Industry 4.0 usage.

Become familiar with migration tools to upgrade to the latest IPCs. Now, IoT integrators can take advantage of Intel’s new IPC loaner program. With no-cost loaner IPCs, Integrators can better understand their IPC options, and test different IPC brands and configurations. With hands-on experience, integrators are better able to recommend the best-fit solution to customers and accelerate time to market for new services.

Integrators can tap into the power of Intel’s distribution of the OpenVINO™ toolkit, a collection of software development kits, runtimes and libraries to optimize the performance of deep learning algorithms running on different hardware. And integrators can use Intel® DevCloud to prototype and test hardware and software to quickly vet the latest solutions for customers.

Integrators can also tap into Intel® IoT Solution Alliance, an ecosystem of proven solutions to guide integrators and their customers. Members of the IoT Solution Alliance also have co-marketing and co-sales opportunities with Intel.  

Pictures of ChannelCast speakers Melanie McMullen, Adam Berniger, and Jeff Jackson

Image credit: The Channel Company

With next-generation IPCs, OpenVINO and DevCloud, integrators can accelerate their time-to-market for new smart industry solutions.

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