Low-Code for technicians
It needs more people to work on Industry 4.0 and Energy 4.0 and other 4.0 projects. The 4.0 stands for digitalization of the complete field and the supply chain. That is a lot of work to. be done. From this case, we need better and easy to use tools like low-code programming in Node-RED. Node-RED as a flow-based-programming tool brings low-code to the hands of software developers and technicians. More people can integrate practical software solutinons. The gap between OT and IT can be closed with IoT integrations by contribution packages, which are maintained by IT and OT workers.
Because of the dynamic nature of Node-RED it is perfect for complex workflow automation and machine learning. Especially machine learning needs to have tons of data to learn with. A Node-RED flow can sort and feed the algorithm the prepared data. This comes in handy in predictive maintenance as you can automatically get data from a machine, clean, transform and sort the data and feed the algorithm with that data which then can be automatically deployed and roughly estimates the next failure of a motor or bearing. The advantages of flow-based programming are clearly that it is highly dynamic and event-driven for easier thinking because humans think event-driven too! For example we see a dirty plate on the table and think of the solution that we need to put it in the dish washer. This thinking makes it easier to solve problems in automation step after step, event after event and therefore flow after flow.
In Industry 4.0 data describes itself. So in theory a smart system can react to every kind of data given to it. To get closer to this theory, Node-RED and flow-based programming bring a different and helpful mindset to the table. Reacting instead of pro-acting can help to make applications more scalable. With Node-RED's filters and functions any unwanted data gets sorted out and the right reactions follow the right data. Even massive flows dont need a powerful machine and therefore, Node-RED is perfect for decentralized on-edge computing. But every step is faster if you are not alone! With fast support, detailed documentation and valuable experience in both areas of Node-RED and Industry 4.0, PLUS for Node-RED is a professional team partner!
Much like Industry 4.0, Energy 4.0 has a dynamic nature. We want a smart system to be self controlling and stable. To achieve that, the system needs to know about itself. Therefore, we need to distribute information throughout the system from relay station to relay station. How busy is a certain part of the grid? Which power generation can provide the most energy right now? What would be the best route to have the grid at its stablest state? With dynamic and flow-based programming like Node-RED, detailed documentation and professional experience of PLUS for Node-RED you can have powerful flows running on-edge and create a swarm intelligence like an energy grid of the future.
Automate your workflows with dynamic and scalable Node-RED! Connect databases, clean and transform your data. An automated workflow creates room to breath and can even deal with unnecessary work faster than any human could do. No matter if the application is in the real world or digital, with on-edge capability, Node-RED can do almost everything, from collecting data from a real machine to sorting data of incoming data of a client! PLUS for Node-RED can help you automating and enhancing your workflows with detailed documentation, professional support and valuable experience in Node-RED as well as the automation industry.
Edge Computing with Node-RED
WAGO is a market leader in cutting-edge IIoT controller and computer products [Source]. For their clients they build demo and real solutions with the help of Node-RED and Prescient without having a high development cost because low code can be utilized without much knowledge in programming. With this they can use and sell their powerful edge devices with the best and most complete software package!
Modbus Energy Monitoring and Retrofitting
Modbus is a communication protocol for machine to machine communication. The master/slave principle is perfect for reading a lot of sensor data. A controlling client requests data from a server. If we now want to create an energy monitor for an old machine we would have to request data in a high frequency because Modbus alone cannot be event driven to react to a change in data. But Node-RED can be. Every time Node-RED handles an event from the machine it sends a Modbus request to each sensor to get the exact values. This lessens the workload of the monitoring system.
Data Collection in manufacturing
A perfect follow up to the use case above is working with time series data or data in general. Let's take InfluxDB and Grafana as an example. Time series data is data which you ask questions about over time. For example performance of a machine or stock market shares or user analytics data. InfluxDB is a database extra designed for time series data. Grafana is a time series visualization tool. With Node-RED it is really easy to get the data from the target, write it to the InfluxDB and on demand read the data to transfer it to the Grafana front end. In addition, usually the older time series data gets the less important it becomes. To increase the amount of data you can store you usually want to decrease the resolution of older data. For example the stock market prices of the last decade are neat to know but not really that important for trading anymore. So it is completely fine to only store the prices once every week or month. For this year the prices are really important to see how a share is moving. Therefore a higher resolution can be exchanged for less storage space. So we would save the prices twice or more a day. With Node-RED you can transform and clean data easily. For example we clean on every first day of the month the data for the month two years ago to only saving one value for a week. Automated and easy. Everything in a lightweight flow!
Node-RED is actively used in education as well. For example, the ILS in Germany uses Node-RED to teach students programming skills and knowledge about important protocols like OPC UA. In Node-RED packages you often have everything you need for a protocol but in smallest components. Other applications mostly have combined some components to make life easier for developers. But for learning that is not the best option as a student does not learn the basics of the protocol but the use of the application they were training with. With Node-RED you can do everything yourself and have everything visually organised with nodes. Like a toolbox with every tool for the right job, so you have to learn how to use every tool and understand the basic process behind every tool!
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