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This Is How Mechanical Engineering Benefits From Cloud Computing

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This Is How Mechanical Engineering Benefits From Cloud Computing
This Is How Mechanical Engineering Benefits From Cloud Computing

Video: This Is How Mechanical Engineering Benefits From Cloud Computing

Video: This Is How Mechanical Engineering Benefits From Cloud Computing
Video: The Role of AI and Machine Learning in Mechanical Engineering 2023, May

The term may not be familiar to everyone - and yet cloud computing is already part of everyday life for many people. The rough concept: service providers enable users to access IT resources such as storage space, computing power or even entire programs. However, this is not done locally, but via a network, for example the Internet. A terminal connected to the Internet including a web browser is sufficient to access the resources provided. A popular example of cloud computing is Google Docs: Users can use office programs in the browser and save their documents on Google's servers. In mechanical engineering, cloud computing can support digital engineering, for example, and enable location-independent design. This has several advantages, as this study by item Industrietechnik shows:Save the study now: What will the mechanical engineering of the future look like?

Cloud computing: definition

Cloud computing is the provision of IT resources over a network - such as the Internet. For example, programs, computing power and storage space become services. Users can use them without having the respective hardware or installing the desired software on their own device. The services offered according to the cloud computing model can be divided into three categories: Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

Cloud computing in mechanical engineering: software and more

In the case of software as a service, the user receives access to application programs that are operated on the infrastructure of the SaaS provider. As a rule, access is via a web browser. The advantages for the user are numerous: Since the applications are operated on the hardware of the service provider, they are always up-to-date when accessed. So no installation or update files have to be downloaded to the user's device. This also means that access to the applications and the data associated with them is not tied to a specific end device: For example, the user can start working on an office computer and continue on the business trip on the train using a smartphone or tablet - on the same Project and with the same software.

The item engineering tool is a tangible example of this type of cloud computing in mechanical engineering. The software enables free and rule-based 3D design directly in the web browser. Since the whole thing runs on the basis of the WebGL programming interface, which is supported by all common browsers, no additional installations are required. In terms of IT security, the user does not have to worry about anything - and at the same time, theft of intellectual property due to the highest data protection standards is also not a problem Theme. This means that machine builders benefit from this cloud computing application in several ways: It enables location-independent design on numerous devices without large downloads or installations. This also greatly simplifies working with colleagues - after all, no data has to be sent back and forth. Everything is saved securely and reliably online.

Nevertheless, it is possible to export sketches, assembly instructions and CAD files and use them in the usual offline tools.

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Smart thanks to cloud computing: mechanical engineering of the future

Infrastructure as a service also has a lot of potential for cloud computing in mechanical engineering. With this model, the service provider provides access to the hardware itself. A good example from this area is the “Elastic Compute Cloud” (EC2) from Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of the online retailer Amazon. With EC2, AWS provides virtual servers and their computing power: The user decides which software runs on the servers. A clear advantage here is the decentralized nature of cloud computing: In mechanical engineering, such IaaS offers can be used, for example, to exploit the immense possibilities of big data - without having to provide the necessary computing power yourself.

Cloud computing also plays a key role when it comes to “Industry 4.0”. For example, the technology company Microsoft offers various solutions for the implementation of a smart factory with its cloud computing platform "Azure". Cloud storage services such as Apple iCloud, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive also fall under Infrastructure as a Service: The user can use the rented storage space, but the hardware itself is provided by the service providers.

Scalability: Relevant beyond mechanical engineering

The third model of cloud computing, Platform as a Service, is particularly interesting for software developers. The service provider provides both a programming environment and computing power. The service recipient can use them both for the development of applications and for their operation. At this point, PaaS shows a significant advantage representative of all models of cloud computing: scalability. Since software and hardware are not purchased and operated by the user, but are merely “rented”, these resources can be added quickly and comparatively inexpensively if required. For the IT department of your own company, this does not mean much extra work - after all, commissioning and maintenance of the necessary resources are carried out by the service provider.

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