WAGO’s Latest Edge Controller and Edge Computers Designed to Support Cloud Capabilities

August 23, 2021 by Stephanie Leonida

What features are included in these latest edge devices, and how can engineers utilize them to support cloud computing?

WAGO Holding GmbH is a holding company and manufactures electrical connecting systems and automation technology. The company offers its customers a range of products, including interface modules, protection devices, signal conditioners, current transformers, pluggable connection systems, panel feedthrough connections, and more. 


WAGO's edge devices. Image used courtesy of WAGO


WAGO just announced the release of its new edge controller and edge computer. The company aims to offer control engineers and software developers high-speed computing, cloud capabilities for evaluating data and optimizing processes, and advanced security.


WAGO Edge Devices

WAGO’s edge devices provide customers with concurrent analytic processing, real-time deterministic PLC control, a data gateway between OT (operational technology) Fieldbus networks and IT (information technology) cloud networks, high-speed processing for low latency applications, data contextualization, and aggregation for cloud optimization. 

Using Cloud services may help to collect data for analysis, which can optimize production systems. Engineers may have to sift through big stacks of data, where these new edge devices offer a helping hand. Edge devices can help engineers break down the task of data mining into manageable, bitesize work cells. WAGO’s new edge controller and edge computer are designed for edge of network computing. Customers can use multiple interfaces to connect to field devices and monitors through low latency control and cloud-based service connection.


WAGO’s New Edge Controller

WAGO’s Edge controller combines a PLC and Linux-based PC in one device. The controller features an ARM (Advanced RISC Machines) Cortex-A9 quad-core processor. ARM processors are designed so that all of the processor's functionality is on a single chip. When the instruction set of a processor is minimized, it can execute a command with just one cycle and reduce memory consumption. 

The edge controller can be used to carry out deterministic PLC applications in parallel with open applications. Engineers can use applications with PLC languages (such as ladder diagram or structured text) for traditional control applications. The controller uses WAGO’s e!COCKPIT engineering software. This is a real-time control environment for industrial control which supports Linux-based tools, including applications that run as Docker containers.


WAGO's e!COCKPIT engineering software interface. Image used courtesy of WAGO


The edge controller also features a CANopen port, two USB 2.0 ports, a USB-C port for configuration, a configurable RS232/485 serial port, a microSD card slot, an HDMI port, and two Ethernet 10/100 Mbits/s ports. This provides support for multiple Fieldbus protocols and IIoT protocols, including MODBUS, Ethernet/IP adapter, EtherCAT, BACnet, MQTT, OPC UA, and Sparkplug. 


WAGO’s Edge Computer 

WAGO’s industrial edge computer allows customers to install and run their own chosen applications such as Node RED, Grafana Docker Containers, or the open-source edge runtime and cloud service, AWS (Amazon Web Services) IoT Greengrass.

The computer is available with 4 or 8GB RAM and comes with 64 GB flash memory. The computer’s memory can be expanded with an SSD HDD memory card. It runs with a quad-core ATOM processor and comes with a Debian Linux Operating system.

Control engineers, automation experts, and enterprise software developers can use WAGO’s computer to run applications for machine learning, which can involve heavy data processing. The computer can also run third-party edge applications. Users can also use pre-developed edge applications to potentially reduce time to market.