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GeSCo: Exploring the Edge Beneath the Cloud in Decentralized Manufacturing

Badarinath Katti; Christiane Plociennik; Michael Schweitzer
In: International Journal on Advances in Systems and Measurements, Vol. 11, Pages 183-195, IARIA, 2018.


Decentralized manufacturing is an active researchtopic in current smart and open integrated factories, and isprobably also the future state of practice in both the processand manufacturing industries. The Manufacturing ExecutionSystem (MES) is a comprehensive automation software solutionthat coordinates all the responsibilities of modern productionsystems. However, the MES solution is essentially designed as acentralized manufacturing control unit, which goes against theprinciple of the decentralized manufacturing paradigm. Whenthe advantages and downsides of various MES offerings areexplored in anticipation of changing production environments,the CMES emerges as the most flexible and affordable solution.However, when operated as a cloud based solution, the MESfaces another big challenge: connectivity and network latency.To address these problems, we introduce an edge layer calledGeSCo near the shop-floor. In other words, the CMES delegatesthe responsibility of manufacturing control to this edge layerwhich consequently facilitates decentralization in manufacturing.Finally, the detailed experimental evaluations suggest a markeddecrease of the network latency after the introduction of GeSColayer.