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There are many possible system architectures as to how MES modules are installed and how they interact with other key systems. Most users begin using a standard architecture, where MES and all components are all installed on a single machine. As your system expands, you can investigate into other possible architectures. 

 

Enterprise Architecture

If you have multiple production sites to meet MES functionality and if you also want to collect data in a central location such as the headquarters, you must go with an enterprise architecture.

In the architecture shown below, you can see a data center and three production sites. The production data from each sites is to be stored in the data center. The production sites must run independently from each other and have to run even when the communication with the center site goes down. So in this situation it is really important that all the production sites have an Ignition server by themselves.

 

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A lot of people get annoyed with having a single set of servers at the data centers for all the production sites. The problem with this is that if a site loses communication to the central server, it's going to be blank and no longer it can collect the MES data. So we should have servers at each local production sites.

Now we have a local database for each production site. How can we get the MES data in the local data center reflect in the global data center also? That's where a setting in the MES modules comes into play. There is a way to perform all the data analysis  locally as well as remote. All three production sites storing the information locally, push the data up to the data center. If anyone of them lose connection to the data center then we can use the cache it had on the local database to have a backup.


Redundant Architecture

The redundant architecture will have a couple of Ignition servers in the data center. All the production sites will have an additional server as well. This will help in the secure data storage. If one server goes down, the other will take up the charge. In other words, if the primary fails, it's backup will take over and will continue the run. It is very efficient since it prevent data loss. It assures a fault tolerant system for MES.

 

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How you can do redundancy on Ignition servers?

Wherever you have single Ignition server, add one and simply make them redundant. It is very easy to set them up. You just have to enable it and turn on the setting, Ignition will synchronize the projects for you. The Ignition platform provides redundancy, which means that all the MES modules automatically get redundancy built into them. 


Standard Architecture

The simplest architecture for MES is to have a single Ignition server at a single site. It is perfect for companies to have a single site in order to collect MES data. In the figure below, we have a single Ignition server with all the HMI, SCADA and MES modules installed. From the server you can connect to one or more PLCs to collect the MES data within that site. You can also connect to one or more SQL databases where the MES data is to be stored. You can store both the run time data and the analysis data in the same databases or separate databases.

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All the configurations and the screens for each clients are going to be in a single server. So within this site you can open up any number of runtimes inorder to view the MES data, to start production run and to collect samples. You can also open up a client at home through VPN connection or do a connection to the local LAN there. It's a very simple architecture and its common for companies who have independent sites where they wanted to work on themselves.

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