IoT (Internet of Things) systems are able to collect various sources of information, including those for corporate resources planning and production execution, which can provide insight into other operations. IoT systems now can be used to screen and capture data volumes to provide insight into operations such as business resource planning and manufacturing.
However, another narrative is that IoT data may be included into enterprise resource planning (ERP) and manufacturing execution systems (MESes). ERP and MES systems were built from the start to be self-contained monolithic entities with their own data repositories. They weren’t built to collect data from sensors, cameras, and other IoT devices on a continual basis. It’s a problem that’s cropped up in a variety of business settings.
The ERP, MES and IoT problem begins with their integration. Because there are so many proprietary operating systems in IoT devices and solutions, it’s difficult to address each IoT implementation with a common API (application programming interface). On the ERP and MES fronts, systems were built to be self-contained, monolithic entities with their own data repositories. Although they featured built-in interfaces for bar code readers, RFID scanners, tablets, and smartphones, they were not meant to continually gather data from sensors, cameras, and other IoT devices.
Are ERP and MES Going Away?
Now IoT and IoT networks are being installed on factory floors, for real time reporting and automation, manufacturing managers are wondering whether real-time IoT can replace ERP and MES.
The suppliers of ERP and MES systems are familiar with these questions. The difficulty has been ‘maintained’ with IoT and digitalization for these older system suppliers. And as the focus on edge computing in IoT has been addressed, most of them decided to solve it by creating middleware that interfaces with most of the IoT devices. These may then convert information transmitted in real time from the devices into the ERP or MES central system for input.
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