Empowering change: the critical role of edge computing

How smart transformation of the mining industry can overcome growing challenges.

Empowering change: the critical role of edge computing

How smart transformation of the mining industry can overcome growing challenges.

Bruno Fleisch
Bruno FleischHead of Compute, Europe, BT

Edge computing is the power behind many evolving technologies, making possible what was previously impossible or prohibitively expensive.

By bringing processing closer to the edge where the data is created, edge computing reduces latency and unlocks rapid analysis and real-time decision-making.

A booming technological frontier

It’s a technology that’s set to boom. It’s estimated that 75% of data will be processed outside a traditional data centre or cloud by 2025, compared to 10% today. Forward-thinking organisations are actively exploring what other industries have achieved with edge computing, and are drawing inspiration from them to spark transformation in their arenas.

Solving connectivity challenges

Edge computing can provide practical solutions to remote commercial locations lacking cloud connectivity, or where access to connectivity via satellite is limited and the cost of bandwidth is a barrier. It takes location out of the equation when an organisation is deciding what capabilities a site can have.

Taking data processing to the edge means oil rigs can analyse drilling data in real-time, ferries can run AI-powered algorithms to optimise fuel efficiency, mines can continually monitor health and safety compliance and wind turbines can adjust performance according to weather conditions.

Empowering IoT technologies

Keeping processing close to where the data is created delivers the ultra-low latency that’s particularly critical to the rapid analysis that IoT technologies need. An edge computing solution is an effective IoT platform, gathering data from sensors, rapidly processing it, and supplying results back to the monitored items as well as sending intelligent data ‘highlights’ to central data centres or clouds.

Edge computing makes it possible to manage production lines in real time, supports lidar and video sensors to optimise the routes of forklifts and automated guided vehicles. It enables the live tracking of supply chain consignments, and underpins the augmented reality headsets that bring the central expertise to remote environments.

Integrating AI into operations

Ultra-low latency and real-time processing opens the door to the integration of AI and robotics into your operations. AI capabilities at the edge deliver real-time monitoring that can identify new, more efficient ways of operating that improve productivity.

AI-powered algorithms can pick up anomalies that could signal the beginnings of a problem, triggering maintenance that can prevent a halt in production and can extend the life of equipment.

In a range of environments, from the production floor to the data centre, algorithms can run closed-loop applications that optimise energy usage and reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint.

Transforming customer experiences

Real-time data processing at the edge is already transforming the end-user experience across a range of industries. Take edge-powered digital signage, for example. In a retail setting, it enhances the in-store experience, enticing customers in and then keeping them involved, encouraging them to buy.

Clear digital signage empowers customers to determine their own experience. It helps them find what they need and signposts key areas such as pay and information points. It can also streamline the in-store experience in ways that encourage customers to return.

Centralised control enables swift changes to displays across multiple stores, enhancing operational efficiency. The possibilities range from captivating video walls to interactive touchscreens, creating dynamic, engaging customer interactions.

Efficiency and sustainability at the edge

The edge becomes the focal point between people and technology, offering new capabilities for every industry. It’s a chance to do things differently – and better.

Beyond innovation, it holds the potential to revolutionize sustainability practices. Processing data at the edge fosters efficiency, reduces duplication, cuts network energy costs, and provides greater control over clean energy usage.

The edge stands as a beacon, offering a chance to redefine operations for the better. It's not just a technological evolution; it's an opportunity to embrace efficiency, sustainability, and a new era of possibilities.