Embracing Innovation: Build vs Buy in MES

Bridging the Gap: Uniting MES Development with Automation System Practices

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In today's fast-paced manufacturing landscape, the question of whether to build or buy Manufacturing Execution System (MES) solutions is more pertinent than ever. Traditional practices often involve outsourcing MES development to system integration (SI) companies or purchasing a software MES package, leaving manufacturing engineers with limited control and flexibility. However, a shift toward a hybrid approach, combining the strengths of both building and buying, is revolutionizing the way we approach MES systems. This article explores the advantages of using Node-RED in combination with FlowFuse for MES deployment and how it can empower manufacturing companies to achieve new levels of efficiency and adaptability.

The Hybrid Approach: A Best of Both Worlds Strategy

Much like the practice of outsourcing machine installation while specifying detailed requirements, a hybrid approach to MES systems leverages the expertise of SI companies while retaining control over critical aspects of system design. This approach recognizes that automation engineers possess valuable insights into the unique needs of their manufacturing processes. They can specify crucial details such as wire coloring schemes, downtime conventions, Andon board standards, PLC types, and even the code used on PLCs.

Node-RED: The MES Code's Best Friend

Node-RED emerges as a game-changer in this paradigm. It is an open-source, flow-based development tool renowned for its ability to connect everything, from PLCs to relational databases to firewalls, empowering engineers to create MES system logic visually. Node-RED simplifies the process by enabling engineers to drag and drop nodes and wires to define the logic flow. This visual approach not only streamlines development but also enhances the transparency of the codebase.

The Power of Standardization and Code Clarity

One of the primary reasons behind Node-RED's appeal is its ability to standardize code. Just as Ladder Logic and Function Block Diagrams have long been favored for their clarity, Node-RED fosters a coding environment where engineers can easily understand and build upon each other's work. This standardization ensures that MES systems remain in sync with the rest of the plant, making troubleshooting and maintenance more efficient.

FlowFuse: Bridging the Gap to Deployment

When it comes to deploying MES systems, FlowFuse enters the scene as a vital companion to Node-RED. FlowFuse is a deployment platform that seamlessly integrates with Node-RED, allowing for effortless deployment of applications to a customer's environment. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy for automation engineers to manage and scale their MES systems.

Pioneering the Future: The Strategic Adoption of Node-RED and FlowFuse

Embracing Node-RED and FlowFuse in MES system development is not just a technical choice; it's a strategic one. By adopting this hybrid approach, manufacturing companies position themselves as thought leaders in the industry. They demonstrate a commitment to innovation, transparency, and adaptability.

Elevate Your MES Strategy: Embrace Node-RED and FlowFuse Today

In conclusion, the answer to the build vs. buy dilemma for MES systems is not one or the other—it's both. Node-RED and FlowFuse offer a dynamic partnership that empowers manufacturing companies to craft MES solutions that are tailored to their needs while harnessing the expertise of System Integration companies. The call to action is clear: Embrace Node-RED and FlowFuse as the catalysts for your manufacturing innovation journey.

For more information about FlowFuse and how it can revolutionize your MES system deployment, visit FlowFuse.com Start building MES systems that are not just efficient but also future-ready, and become a trailblazer in the world of industrial manufacturing.

Written By:

OT Data & Community Strategist

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