Simple connectivity with Node-RED in the Industrial IoT: connector

Node-RED is an open source product from the class of low-code products. Node-RED is easy to use and can be used in a variety of ways. In order to further reduce the effort involved in connecting equipment to, we provide a free connector for download.

The official self-description of the Node-RED reads as follows:

“Node-RED is a programming tool for hardware devices, APIs and online services … to each other.

It offers a browser-based editor that makes it easy to connect flows to a variety of nodes in the palette that can be deployed at runtime with a single click. “

That said a lot. The open source project on which the software is based started in 2013 in the research centers of IBM and since version 1.0 in 2019 it has been considered safe for productive use.

The manufacturing industry is increasingly opening up to the idea of ​​open source. For example, Node-RED is being preinstalled on more and more controllers. Wikipedia has a good overview here. The industrial heavyweight Siemens is also using Node-RED more and more frequently, see also Node-RED with SIMATICIOT2000 or the Visual Flow Creator.

Regardless of this pre-installation, Node-RED can also be loaded independently onto a modern PLC with a runtime environment for installing additional software and used from there.

In this way, machines from different manufacturers and of different ages can be connected to applications outside the system – at the latest after a modern control system has been retrofitted.

So-called “nodes”, “flows” and “connections” are then available within Node-RED, which can be used in a variety of ways and, for example, to read data from the PLC.

For example, if you search for “opcua”, “s7”, “modbus” or “https” in the Node-RED library, you will find nodes with impressive download numbers. These nodes can be loaded free of charge and then modified for your own use. If you search for – or if you use thisdirectly link – you will also find a preconfigured node.

Image: Node-RED Node by

By configuring the node, the system sends the data required for to the cloud via MQTT. In addition, sample flows are available that can be used as a reference for your own implementation. In this way it is very easy – actually only a configuration – to connect a system with
If you have any questions about system connectivity in general or Node-RED in particular, please do not hesitate to contact us.