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At the intersection of IoT & CAD: why converged infrastructure is the solution for Industry 4.0?

As an exhibitor at Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial fair, starting on April 24th, I was interested to understand the big industry trends in 2017 covered in Hannover.  The Industry 4_0.jpgsite of the event lists the 6 largest trends for 2017 as:  Industry 4.0, Energy meets Industry, Smart Materials & Coatings, Cobots and Digital Twin. At first glance, it’s obvious that all these trends are in some way or form connect to digitalization.. When I looked even deeper, I could see that most of the trends require and focus onIoT and Big Data. Just 2 examples:

The main benefits of IoT are about increased productivity and optimization of the value chain, but also about improving the customer experience. To achieve this, suppliers need to improve their products and propose new services to help their customers differentiate. IoT and the Big Data infrastructure are the core technologies needed to move to Industry 4.0 and embrace other manufacturing trends which will be showcased at Hannover Messe. These technologies will provide  suppliers and vendors with a better insight on how products and services are being used, and even more important will build the baseline to 3D picture.jpgelaborate new services and optimize the ones already in place. Therefore, IoT cannot be looked at in isolation , but instead it (and the underlying Big Data framework) needs to cross the chasm and be fully integrated into CAD/PLM applications so that engineers and designers can adapt and improve the products and services based on the findings resulting from the IoT data. The first CAD/PLM vendors have already invested in IoT, i.e. ptc buying ThingWorx… and we’ll certainly see more soon.

But how should the appropriate IT infrastructure look like? On one hand, we have an IoT/Big Data framework which should be able to ingest and analyze huge amount of data and be able to scale since capacity for big data project are always difficult to predict. On the other hand, we need a platform which helps desig and engineernew products with the ability to render large 3D-graphics and remotely visualize these on any kind of desktop, from workstation to smartphone. These 2 application profiles are very disparate, and just a few infrastructures will be suited to run both apps concurrently.

FlexPod is such a solution that can ensure this. FlexPod is a converged infrastructure with compute, networking and storage, which grows with your requirements. You can scale up and out each component independently – something thatcustomers appreciate most. In addition to that, it can run reliably and performantly 2nd platform (as defined by IDC) applications, like PLM&CAD and 3rd platform applications, like Big Data and IoT. Running the two type of applications concurrently on 1 stack is certainly not mandatory, but very interesting for deployment with low budget or for a proof of concept.

To learn more about FlexPod and Big Data have a look at the Solution Brief FlexPod with Hadoop.

To learn more about FlexPod and remote visualization of 3D applications, look at Industry 4.0 Digital Workspace Solution Brief or come by at our booth: Hall 8, Booth C13 at Hannover Messe.

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Christian Lorentz
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