Enabling smart manufacturing through a systematic planning framework for edge computing

Jakob Zietsch*, Marcus Vogt, Benjamin D. Lee, Christoph Herrmann, Sebastian Thiede

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the context of the fourth industrial revolution, an increasing number of advances in manufacturing result from smart integration of information technology (IT) and data-driven solutions in factories. An essential limiting factor for improvements is the capability of the IT system. In addition to the IT hardware specifications, the choice of an appropriate IT architecture (Cloud, Fog, or Edge Computing driven) determines the overall investment, environmental impact, and resulting net benefit. This article presents a comprehensive systematic approach that seeks to support the choice of an appropriate IT infrastructure. It is deliberately aimed at supporting especially non-IT experts, guiding the practitioner through a multi-phase process. The approach is applied to an exemplary use case in the field of industrial technical building equipment, but can also be applied to any application case involving the planning of the IT infrastructure in a manufacturing context. The results illustrate the applicability and the potential of appropriately selecting a suitable IT infrastructure.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCIRP journal of manufacturing science and technology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 18 Jul 2020


  • Decision support system
  • Edge computing
  • IT infrastructure
  • IT resource planning

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