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Old April 12th, 2019, 01:17 PM   #1
russg
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Best practice for connecting PLC's to MES

Hi,

We are looking to put an MES system in at my factory. I have worked for OEM companies, but not really much on MES. I have noticed at other factories I've worked at that they add a new comms / CP / ethernet card which is configured in the IP range / subnet for the LAN used for the site, making it a separate network from the profinet devices.

Is this the best and normal practice when doing connecting an MES system?

Thanks in advance.
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Old April 12th, 2019, 01:29 PM   #2
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Ideally a SCADA/MES network is separated from any type of IO network. Many systems will have multiple Ethernet cards, one for 192.168.x.y for an IO network and one for 17.16.x.y for a SCADA/MES/Business network. IP ranges will vary of course, and depending on how good the network infrastructure is, VLANs, firewalls and routing should all play a role in how data gets from the plant floor to the business users.

What MES platform are you going with?
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Old April 12th, 2019, 01:38 PM   #3
russg
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Thanks for your reply Paully. If you had a machine that only had a HMI connected and no other devices, would you still put in another network card to connect the MES?

We haven't decided yet, although Lighthouse Systems has been the possible favourite selected before I arrived at the company. I've worked with Wonderware InTouch SCADA before, and would love to explore what kind of MES platform they could provide.

Have you heard of Lighthouse or have any recommendations for an MES platform?

This is Lighthouse Systems website:
https://www.lighthousesystems.com/
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Old April 12th, 2019, 02:28 PM   #4
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You really owe it to yourself and the company to look at Ignition!
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Old April 12th, 2019, 03:05 PM   #5
russg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damica1 View Post
You really owe it to yourself and the company to look at Ignition!
Is that one of the best in your opinion?
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Old April 12th, 2019, 03:11 PM   #6
Paully's5.0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russg View Post
Thanks for your reply Paully. If you had a machine that only had a HMI connected and no other devices, would you still put in another network card to connect the MES?
Probably not in that instance, possibly a NAT device if I had IP Address conflicts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by russg View Post
We haven't decided yet, although Lighthouse Systems has been the possible favourite selected before I arrived at the company. I've worked with Wonderware InTouch SCADA before, and would love to explore what kind of MES platform they could provide.
...cringe Wonderware (just not a fan)

Quote:
Originally Posted by russg View Post
Have you heard of Lighthouse or have any recommendations for an MES platform?
Have not heard of them, all of the MES solutions we are providing right now are Ignition/Sepasoft.
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Old April 12th, 2019, 03:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russg View Post
Is that one of the best in your opinion?
Nothing can compare! But as I said you owe it to yourself and your company to check them out.

The download is FREE and it is a 100% working evaluation - only with 2 hour limit, so you have to restart every 2 hours.
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Old April 12th, 2019, 04:11 PM   #8
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Take a look at ISA-95 and the Purdue model. There are probably some stuff you want to put in the DMZ for both side to access.

Rockwell/Cisco's CPWE guide is another good one to skim through.
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Old April 13th, 2019, 02:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paully's5.0 View Post
Probably not in that instance, possibly a NAT device if I had IP Address conflicts.



...cringe Wonderware (just not a fan)



Have not heard of them, all of the MES solutions we are providing right now are Ignition/Sepasoft.
What do you not like about Wonderware? I've really only used Wonderware, iFix and WinCC, and found Wonderware to be the easiest to use.

Is Ignition a popular platform? Is it easy to use?
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Old April 13th, 2019, 02:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryting View Post
Take a look at ISA-95 and the Purdue model. There are probably some stuff you want to put in the DMZ for both side to access.

Rockwell/Cisco's CPWE guide is another good one to skim through.
Thanks. I know about ISA-95, but need to read into it more.
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Old April 13th, 2019, 02:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damica1 View Post
Nothing can compare! But as I said you owe it to yourself and your company to check them out.

The download is FREE and it is a 100% working evaluation - only with 2 hour limit, so you have to restart every 2 hours.
Really? You can develop and run it on a free trial? If so, I'll definitely try it out for a little bit to see if it does everything we want.
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Old April 13th, 2019, 03:03 AM   #12
BobB
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Citect or Ignition for me - have worked with others but these 2 are the best IMO. Cicode is magic once you master it. Wonderware sucks - Wizcon is awful - IFix has one good thing the rest is awful - have not worked with WinCC.
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Old April 13th, 2019, 08:18 AM   #13
Paully's5.0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russg View Post
What do you not like about Wonderware? I've really only used Wonderware, iFix and WinCC, and found Wonderware to be the easiest to use.

Is Ignition a popular platform? Is it easy to use?
Here is my Wonderware Rant from ~ 6 years go.

Switched to Ignition in 2014 and haven't looked back. It is a better platform in almost every way imaginable. The MES Modules from Sepasoft have a steeper learning curve than Ignition itself, but the MES solution is based on ISA-95.
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Old April 13th, 2019, 09:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damica1 View Post
The download is FREE and it is a 100% working evaluation - only with 2 hour limit, so you have to restart every 2 hours.

This is somewhat misleading... restart doesn't mean restart the computer/server, but instead visit the web administration page and click on the "reset trial" button.


Not that it matters much, but even the reset trial procedure in Ignition is better than the industry standard.
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Old April 14th, 2019, 05:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobB View Post
Citect or Ignition for me - have worked with others but these 2 are the best IMO. Cicode is magic once you master it. Wonderware sucks - Wizcon is awful - IFix has one good thing the rest is awful - have not worked with WinCC.
Hi Bob,
Have you done any citect to ignition migrations. I am considering doing this as my 25 plus year old citect project
Is showing limitations
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