How Edge, Cloud, And IoT Are Changing Automation Solutions

Posted on: 13 December 2021

The terms edge, cloud, and IoT are among the buzzier concepts in the world of automation solutions. However, they amount to more than selling points for The Next Big Thing. They are putting automation system solutions in places never before seen and changing many industries that were already automated. You should understand what this dynamic is and how it's changing the industry.


Imagine a bee colony — not just for the sake of generating buzz. A worker bee operates at the edge. She gathers pollen and brings it back to the hive. For the sake of the metaphor, the hive is the cloud. Everything from the edge comes together there. Bees come in and out all day, slowly accumulating the harvest.

IoT stands for the Internet of Things. Within the bee metaphor, IoT is the larger operation of the bee colony. It covers everything from pollination and honey production to hive security and caring for new bees.

An Example

Suppose you run a produce business. You want your customers to get the best produce possible, and you want to streamline the process as much as possible. Edge devices can help you to monitor the quality of the produce and sort accordingly. If you want to prioritize the top-end produce as a premium offering, automated system solutions can use edge technologies to identify and sort the best items.

Similarly, you can upload all the data from these processes to the cloud. This allows you to collect data on what sells well or stores poorly so you can make decisions in the future.


Automation is increasingly common throughout the world. Manufacturers have automated their work for decades, and many other sectors are catching up. Virtually any repeatable task, is a candidate for automation.

Notably, edge, cloud, and IoT systems have extended the domain of what you can automate. Sensors now allow organizations to automate many tasks that involve irregular products, as the example covers. By opening the windows of precision and accuracy in tasks, these newer technologies automate even many tasks that previously had to be assigned to humans to do by hand.

Similarly, edge, cloud, and IoT methods make existing automation techniques better. A manufacturer with an automated sheet metal press, for example, might not have previously obtained feedback until pieces went into the quality control phase. Edge sensors in IoT-enabled presses can now feed real-time information to the cloud. Consequently, the manufacturer can detect and resolve potential problems sooner. Click here for more information about automation solutions or go online to do more research.