Utthunga developed a robust Edge Device Solution for a Global Oilfield Service Provider for maintaining and monitoring the health of their geographically distributed edge devices.
Industry at a Glance
We are currently witnessing the start of edge-explosion. With the maturation of digital technologies in the OT/industrial world, an increasing number of facilities, be in manufacturing plants, utilities, distributed solar farms, etc., are comfortable communicating with cloud-based software applications. OT data is continuously making its way outside the traditional boundaries to take advantage of rich cloud ecosystem for storage and better decision-making.
The global edge market is predicted to multiply 14x from its current value in the period 2020 – 2030.
OT nodes in the form of PLCs, controllers, energy meters, boilers, etc. will continue proliferating. These field devices do not talk to the outside world directly, but via edge devices. These edge devices are the window into the OT world for any external stakeholder. As such the health of the edge devices is very crucial to the overall health of the manufacturing processes. Reliability and longevity of the edge devices is important.
What’s Utthunga’s EDM?
Edge is a critical piece of the overall IIoT infrastructure. Sitting at the edge of OT and IT (and hence the name Edge!), the visibility and decision making for OT operations can be significantly impaired with an unreliable edge infrastructure.
Utthunga’s Edge Device Manager is a perfect solution for industries and industrial service providers to have a better handle of the edge health. The edge devices connect to the field devices via southbound connectivity, and relay that data to other systems via northbound interfaces. The speed at which the field devices and the edge nodes are coming online in plants worldwide, the provisioning (on-boarding) activities and the remaining life cycle management in terms of regular updates can be a challenging task. Utthunga’s EDM solution takes the sting away from this activity. Furthermore, the solution also monitors the health of the edge continuously to enable faster preventive actions instead of expensive downtimes later.
Why Utthunga’s EDM?
Utthunga’s EDM is a plug-n-play solution requiring minimal time for complex configurations during the on-boarding of the edge devices. The subsequent life cycle updates (patches, modules, packages, etc.) can also be done with a single click automated process from the central EDM portal.
The direct cost associated with provisioning/updating the edge devices due to the otherwise manual labor is drastically reduced. For service providers the revenue leakage is significantly reduced as the edge devices (hence the sites) get commissioned faster.
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Key Unique Features
The data stored in public clouds often raises data privacy concerns due to the possibility of unwanted 3rd party access. The Edge Device Manager supports on-prem deployments, allowing companies to secure data from unwanted access and the convenience of handling the data in their home network.
The EDM from Utthunga allows you to perform the edge device updates in off-line mode to cover the air-gapped systems. For security or other architectural reasons, certain OT edge devices may be siloed and not connected to internet. The upgrades of such edge devices can be done in an offline mode using Utthunga’s EDM solution.
The edge devices report their health continuously to the EDM Portal. Parameters like CPU, RAM, connectivity status, heal of other sub-systems etc. are known in real-time to take pro-active decisions on the maintenance of the edge devices without impacting down-time in data retrieval from the sites.
For security reasons, the EDM portal does not connect to and push the updates to the edge devices. The connection between the edge device and the EDM portal is always edge device initiated. The EDM portal responds to the edge device requests for configuration updates, etc.
The edge device continuously keeps the EDM portal synchronized about all the device statuses, such as offline, online, last restart time, etc., which in turn allows the device history logs to be in line with the actual status
Utthunga’s Edge Device Manager is a suitable choice for several edge deployment scenarios. The edge devices could be distributed over a geographic expanse while themselves static, or the edge devices could be moving and on the go.
Distributed Static Assets
The field devices like flowmeters on the oil pipeline, IEDs in substations and utilities, generators, machines, solar panels in solar farms could be spread across a geographical expanse. The edges devices monitoring these nodes can be managed using Utthunga’s EDM solution. The cost and complexity of managing such edge devices is tremendous.
Single-Roof Static Assets
Assets like machines, boilers, chillers, energy meters and several others can be placed in a demarcated area like a factory or a process plant. The maintenance and monitoring of the edge devices in such plants can require a lot of human labour, cost, and time. Utthunga’s Edge Device Management solution enables you to keep a check on the health and functioning of such edge nodes.
Mobile assets like earth moving equipment, rail cars, etc. are also used for various functions in mining, construction, logistics, and other companies. The mobile assets themselves are the field devices here and are often fitted with the edge devices also. It can be difficult to monitor the health of such mobile assets. Our EDM solution is perfectly capable of managing these edges devices.