Supply chain
Advantech and 5 global firms to form Edgecross Consortium for Industry 4.0
Rodney Chan, DIGITIMES, Taipei

Intelligent systems supplier Advantech has partnered with Mitsubishi Electric, Omron, NEC, IBM Japan, and Oracle Japan to establish the Edgecross Consortium to overcome boundaries between companies and industries in order to realize collaboration between factory automation (FA) and IT. The objective is to create new value centered on edge computing.

A joint press conference to announce the establishment of the Edgecross Consortium was held last week in Tokyo, Japan, and the establishment of the consortium is planned for November 29, 2017.

"Partnering with leading global companies in accelerating our global business in Industry 4.0 is Advantech's key strategy," stated Allan Yang, CTO of Advantech, as cited in a company press release. "Advantech joined the Mitsubishi e-F@ctory Alliance this April to foster business opportunities for smart manufacturing in Asia through co-marketing and co-exhibition. Joining the Edgecross Consortium is our next big step to expand global collaboration and business in Industry 4.0. We are very proud to be a part of the Edgecross Consortium with these leading global companies; we are looking forward to collaborate with consortium members to develop Industry 4.0 products and solutions to enhance our customer experiences."

Yoshikazu Miyata, executive officer and group president of Factory Automation Systems at Mitsubishi Electric, said, "The consortium welcomes Advantech as a key member. We are happy to work with Advantech, a worldwide leading innovator for edge computing and IoT solutions. We are looking forward to co-creating with Advantech to provide innovative IoT solutions to customers."

The Edgecross Consortium allows the easy realization of FA and IT collaboration through its open Edgecross Software Platform, which is based on edge computing, according to Advantech. By residing on the edge layer, the Edgecross Software Platform facilitates connectivity between factory shop floors and value chains, while enabling the rapid acquisition, analysis, and utilization of data, which are essential to smart manufacturing. In addition, user applications can be easily created and shared on the edge to realize various IoT utilization purposes.

"Advantech has been a leader in providing IPCs and edge intelligence servers (EISs) as a key component for FA–IT collaboration. We plan to further collaborate with the Edgecross Consortium in order to provide WISE-PaaS software through the Edgecross Software Platform and to co-develop iFactory solution-ready platforms (SRPs) with consortium members," stated Jonney Chang, associate vice president, Advantech Industrial IoT Group.

The consortium aims to co-develop the platform specifications for and achieve certification of Edgecross products, in addition to co-marketing promotion and global co-selling for consortium members. Starting from Japan and then globally, visitors will be able to catch a glimpse of the Edgecross booth display at the SCF 2017 Fair and Smart Factory EXPO 2018. Advantech is organizing the IoT Co-Creation Summit from November 1- 3, 2018, in Suzhou, China, with more than 2500 attendees from all over the world. The summit will seek to foster the three phases of growth brought about by IoT and to demonstrate the co-creation achievement of IoT WISE-PaaS, EISs, and SRPs, according to the company.

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