Pre-Engineered Edge Solution Hardware and Software Accelerates IIoT Implementations

Automated machinery designers must be multi-discipline masters to orchestrate the required mechanical, electrical, and automation elements. Adding to those roles, today’s applications often require seamless access to edge-sourced data, along with other IIoT capabilities.

In the December 2021 issue of Design World, Nishita Palkar and I contributed an article titled, “Implement IIoT projects faster with ready-to-configure machine edge solutions,” in which we discuss how Emerson has addressed this need with PACSystemsTM Edge Solutions, a family of pre-integrated hardware and software combinations that help users overcome challenges to rapidly create IIoT solutions.

Edge value
Users at various organizational levels realize substantial benefits from edge solutions, such as:

  • Clear visibility of automation system status, regardless of user location.
  • Provision of the actionable information needed to optimize production and improve quality.
  • Ease of use from simple yet scalable systems, usable and supportable over the long haul.

New and retrofit solutions to deliver these benefits have often required integration of many makes and models of hardware and software, which introduces excessive costs, along with risks such as incompatibilities.

Integrated solution advantages
Emerson has created pre-integrated combinations of hardware and software so users can hit the ground running as they create edge solutions. Typical benefits include:

  • Ease of use due to learning one comprehensive toolset
  • Straightforward licensing.
  • Simplified engineering because interoperability testing has already been performed.
  • Reduced project execution time.
  • Fit-for-purpose edge solutions provide a favorable overall cost/benefit ratio.

Emerson PACSystems Edge Solutions
Edge solutions typically fulfill many roles and need hardware that is more capable than a standard PLC, but don’t necessarily need IT-grade computing. Emerson has assembled a portfolio of tailored edge solutions for fill five of the most typical edge solution roles:

  • Visualization: Improving visibility into machine operation and performance, and empowering operators with quick access to critical information.
  • Edge Computing: Harnessing data from any source and using machine learning to create real-time insights immediately accessible to operators.
  • Edge Control: Combining deterministic (PLC), non-deterministic (Linux), and visualization capabilities in a single device for real-time process optimization.
  • Supervisory: Simplifying access and visibility to plant-wide analytics and performance from a single, integrated platform.
  • Analytical: Creating comprehensive views of plant operations, performance, and overall equipment effectiveness.


Streamlining edge applications
One consumer packaged goods machine OEM already offered automated equipment using PLCs, HMIs, AC drives, pneumatics, and more. Building IIoT analytics into the existing platform would be difficult with a traditional approach

However, by specifying a PACSystems Edge Solution using an IPC and associated PACEdge software, they were able to add a complete asset health monitoring suite as an add-on option, without impacting the underlying automation.

The newest frontier for industrial automation is providing edge solutions for connecting with, analyzing, and visualizing field-sourced data. Emerson PACSystems Edge Solutions streamline this mission with ready-to-configure combinations of proven industrial hardware and software, helping users create fit-for-purpose edge computing solutions.

For more information on the PACSystems Edge Solutions, visit the website at or get this new brochure that will walk you through each of the packaged solutions to show you what’s possible and how they can help you solve your specific application problems.