Introducing Digi IX40: 5G Edge Computing Cellular Router Solution, Purpose-built for Industry 4.0

Vitaly Kurduban Vitaly Kurduban, Senior Product Manager, Digi International
February 12, 2024

With the launch of the Digi IX40 industrial cellular solution, companies now have a purpose-built, industrial edge computing solution to enable Industry 4.0 applications. Digi IX40 provides the 5G connectivity, edge intelligence, and real-time processing you need for a range of use cases, including smart manufacturing, predictive maintenance, asset monitoring, and advanced robotics.

What’s more, Digi IX40 is integrated with Digi Remote Manager® (Digi RM) to enable rapid and scalable configuration and deployment, as well as ongoing monitoring and management of your deployed assets.

This article shares the advantages, key features, and use cases for the Digi IX40 industrial cellular router for the most data-intensive applications today.

Digi IX40

Digi IX40 for Real-Time Computing at the Edge

Digi IX40 provides edge intelligence by placing computing power in the device at the edge of the enterprise network where the data is collected. This makes operations proactive, adaptive, and smarter. This computing paradigm involves processing sensor data immediately and closer to where it is generated (instead of sending it to the cloud), to dramatically reduce latency. This enables rapid machine-to-machine communications, automation and precision processes like anomaly detection. Additionally, operators can gain near real-time insights.

Experts agree that edge computing will continue to shape industries. In its Technology, Media & Telecommunications 2023 Predictions report, Deloitte estimated 22% growth in this computing paradigm for enterprises. Gartner predicts that by 2025 more than 75% of enterprise data will be created and processed outside the data center. Accenture research reports that 83% of study participants believe edge processing will help them remain competitive. 

But the edge processing methodology makes up only part of the story. Adding 5G connectivity makes it easier to incorporate technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). Whether it's improving automation and intelligence in smart manufacturing, smart cities, or warehouses, 5G bandwidth and edge intelligence enable you to process the huge volumes of data needed by AI. In other words, Digi IX40 unlocks an entirely new realm of possibilities.

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What Makes Digi IX40 Different?

In a word: design. Our engineers have developed a robust, secure, high-performance solution that addresses several challenges simultaneously. First, Digi IX40’s all-in-one design lowers the total cost of ownership, reduces complexity, and ensures reliability and efficiency. Its excellent computing power and integrated memory provide robust real-time data processing for any industrial application.

Digi IX40 was designed to operate in challenging environments, enabling integration of cloud-delivered operational technology (OT) services with information technology (IT), to streamline complex operations and support a scalable IT infrastructure that you can see, monitor, and control. But we take it a step further by combining thoughtful design with long-term industry experience and services customized to your needs.

  • Industry expertise and cellular technology leadership — Digi has been pioneering robust wireless communication solutions for the most demanding applications since 1985. We have continually expanded our portfolio, which includes cellular routers, wireless communication modems, embedded system-on-modules (SOMs), and infrastructure management solutions to support a complete spectrum of IoT applications. Our IoT expertise also includes sensor-based solutions and sophisticated remote monitoring solutions for device deployments of any size in any location.
  • Engineering services — Our Professional Services team of engineering and deployment experts can support your entire planning, configuration and deployment cycle with everything from site surveys to application development, to Python and bash script development and training.
  • Value-added services — To extend the capabilities of your deployment, Digi offers a growing suite of value-added services, including Digi Containers for rapid development of portable, scalable, lightweight containerized applications, and Digi WAN Bonding, supporting the most resilient connectivity and performance for applications requiring high availability.
  • Integrated security features — At Digi, security isn’t an afterthought, it’s a primary requirement. As a member of family of high-performance industrial cellular routers, Digi IX40 integrates Digi TrustFence® a security framework supporting secure boot, device security and authentication, and ongoing monitoring.
  • Ease of use and integration — Thanks to seamless integration with Digi Remote Manager, you can use a comprehensive cloud-based platform that enables rapid processing, analysis, and integration of industrial asset data. Our integrated edge-computing capabilities host containerized applications and custom solutions.

Digi IX40 Use Cases

The Digi IX40 is a versatile 5G edge computing industrial IoT solution that enables the collection, analysis, management, and integration of data from industrial assets. That means you can deploy it for numerous use cases ranging from predictive maintenance and asset monitoring to machine learning and advanced robotics.

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 relies on all sorts of IoT sensors, cameras, and autonomous robots to control repetitive processes for speed and accuracy. With its low latency, 5G helps manufacturing organizations tap into real-time monitoring and management capabilities that wouldn’t be possible with older networking technologies.

With 5G connectivity, industrial automation solutions can spot defects with AI-powered cameras on an assembly line. High-speed wireless connectivity enables managers to remotely inspect products and increase productivity.

5G is a critical enabler for an important Industry 4.0 technology, the digital twin. A digital twin can help teams optimize performance and improve maintenance and repair of equipment. Since a digital twin is data-intensive, condition monitoring in real-time requires a robust capacity for handling millions of connected devices.

Digi IX40 in smart manufacturing

Predictive maintenance uses asset-condition monitoring to forecast when a part or device will fail — before it happens. 5G connectivity lets operators build a predictive maintenance program and proactively schedule maintenance when it is least disruptive. As a result, they can significantly reduce downtime.

Many manufacturing operations employ different types of advanced robots — from warehouse robots that deliver parts across the factory to “cobots” that work alongside and collaborate with humans. To date, those robots have typically relied on wired connectivity. However, wireless 5G technology creates wider, less-restrictive ways to deploy automated robots.

Since Digi IX40 is purpose-built for Industry 4.0, it supports the 5G connectivity and edge intelligence needed to perform everything from predictive maintenance and asset monitoring to high-speed assembly. Our solution seamlessly connects multiple machines and performs in the most demanding environments.

Smart Cities

The purpose of any smart city is to create better services for citizens, such as smart energy and water conservation, improved mobility, and better safety and security. Something as simple as a smart waste management service can leverage the low-latency, high-bandwidth networking and real-time monitoring that 5G edge routers provide to optimize vehicle routing and management.

The Digi IX40 solution offers FirstNet Capable™ models designed especially for critical applications where reliability is essential for industrial and emergency response.

Digi IX40 in smart cities

Utilities

Smart grids and edge intelligence are helping utilities lay the foundation for next-generation infrastructure that supports distributed energy systems. In the future, smart meters that include edge processing capabilities will optimize power flow, detect grid issues faster, and even provide lower-cost energy.

With its all-in-one design, strong computing power, and integrated memory, Digi IX40 offers substantial capabilities for utilities that want real-time data processing and advanced precision while reducing complexity and total cost of ownership.

Digi IX40 in utilities

Renewable Energy

As energy providers face unprecedented demand to integrate renewable energy sources, edge computing is emerging as a key solution to make the entire industry more reliable, efficient, and sustainable. For example, edge intelligence can help assess wind and solar power supply and demand in real time by connecting to sensors that transmit vital data with extremely low latency.

Thanks to Digi IX40’s edge computing power, operators can connect Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS) platforms to balance the grid and optimize renewables usage. Edge computing can also help predict and prevent outages by employing condition-based monitoring of all the energy assets.

Digi Containers can facilitate rapid development of powerful and cost-effective applications, providing additional flexibility and scalability for the renewable energy sector.

Oil and Gas

Increasingly difficult challenges in the oil and gas industry mean firms face complexity at every turn. From monitoring wells and pipelines to staying abreast of unpredictable and extreme weather, the industry generates massive amounts of data from SCADA systems, meaning connectivity problems can significantly hamper operations. With 5G connectivity, workers can track operations and monitor equipment conditions to improve maintenance and leverage new tools like artificial intelligence to improve operational efficiency — all in real time.

Because Digi IX40 integrates Digi Remote Manager, operators can rapidly process, analyze, and integrate asset data, and manage their entire deployment from a single pane of glass.

Digi IX40 in oil and gas

Is Digi IX40 Right for Your Application?

With 5G connectivity and edge computing, Digi IX40 is an excellent choice to meet the needs of a variety of industries. Whether you’re creating smart city, smart grid, or smart transportation applications, the Digi IX40 5G edge cellular router solution can support your requirements for an integrated platform, with edge intelligence, low-latency connectivity, security, scalability, and manageability. 

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