How containerization can contribute to sheet metal digitization

The use of a complete run-time environment, known as a container in digitisation processes, is becoming increasingly more commonplace in industrial sectors, being especially useful for implementing IoT and process automation systems. This is because of its portability and scalability features and its deployment and orchestration options.

Containers are a common option for deploying and managing software in the cloud due to their advantages when it comes of portability, the supervision of versions, operating efficiency, and the productivity of the developers.

Containerization is a process in which applications are virtualized, packaged and distributed in containers. This basically means that software is used to create an image of the application, which it simulates to remove the need for downloading and installing all the resources, which therefore can be run from the cloud.

Although containerization has long been in existence, it has only become particularly significant since 2013, the year that most developers consider to be the beginning of the modern era of containers, coinciding with the introduction of Docker, a technology that allows using containers as extremely light and modular virtual machines.

Over the course of time, not only has containerization technology improved, but there has also been a change in perspective regarding smart factories. These changes are prompting that many industrial companies reconsider their approach to their systems, with a view to maintaining their market share and streamlining their processes.

Accessing critical data in real-time is standard practice for manufacturers seeking to outperform their competitors. Today’s best ERP software is deployed in the cloud to ensure that all users obtain the right data exactly as and when needed. Access to information is crucial for decision-making, so that is why more, and more manufacturers are giving priority to their migration to platforms in the cloud.

Containerization is a process in which applications are virtualized, packaged and distributed in containers.

Today’s IoT nodes are designed not only to capture data, but also to execute more complex algorithms, being referred to as Edge Computing. The combination of application containerization with the orchestration tools that permit automatic deployment, management, scaling, and administration of thousands of containerized applications, provides a technology that greatly facilitates the design and development of software for industrial sectors.

A further strong point is that it allows deploying applications distributed in heterogeneous environments, such as industrial automation.

The following are the main benefits of this technology:

1. Deploying containers in several devices at the same time, regardless of their hardware specifications.

2. Automatically update the applications running on those devices.

3. Controlling and viewing the state of the applications.

4. Creating repositories of pre-configured applications and lists for deploying them, whenever necessary.

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