What do you do there anyway and does anyone need it? We have been asked this question very often in recent months. We explained the ‘Why?” in our last blog – today I want to answer the question ‘What is FLECS?”.
The simplest comparison is with the smartphone: Have you ever thought about everything that has to happen in the background so that an app from one of the popular stores lands safely on your device, works easily and is only allowed to do what it should? Probably not – the system is designed in such a way that you don’t have to. Moreover, if you own a device based on Android®, switching to a device from another manufacturer with the same system is simple to the maximum. In return, the manufacturer has the advantage of not having to develop the system from scratch and can concentrate on its core competencies. In addition, they can rely on a large number of apps via the store that run without special adaptation to the different hardware.
FLECS does the same for the machine manufacturers and controls in general:
With just one click on a web interface, any automation solution can be installed, managed and configured via rights management as an app from the Marketplace on your device. The system keeps track of all versions and ensures that you are always up to date. Typical app areas are control, communication, visu & scada, data analysis and Fleet Management. The following system shows a typical FLECS installation on the device:
That’s why we like to call FLECS the “Android® for the machine”.
FLECS consists of two parts:
The extension package for your Linux system to run FLECS on the hardware or the controller. You may install this on your existing system or download it as a complete image including the operating system. Always included is the Service Mesh – with it you control the data flow between your apps and your machine to the outside world.
The second component is the FLECS Marketplace: Here, the world’s automation solutions are made available for download and ensure that you and your system are always up to date. To avoid having to connect your machine directly to the internet, you also have the option of installing a branch of the Marketplace in your network locally. This allows us to separate the IT/OT world while ensuring an up-to-date status of each system.
And the best: FLECS is open source software and thus completely free and flexible to use.
Have you become curious? At the end of November our beta version will be available for testing. Just contact me if you want to have a look at FLECS or test it on your system. We would be happy to show you that setting up an automation system is no more complicated than downloading an app to your smartphone. We look forward to rethinking the world of automation solutions together with you.