The traditional Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is used in process controls and Programmed in Ladder Logic. A more recent evolutionary step is the Programmable Automation Controller (PAC), which is typically programmed in C/C++, and has analog, digital, and communications functions built in. This is the arena where the Arduino (and even a Raspberry Pi) shines. No longer do process controls have to be expensive, proprietary, and mysterious. It’s much simpler to control a pump or solenoid with a Arduino, by reading sensors (digital or analog) and writing short pieces of decision code. Data can also be sent by way of ethernet or wifi to a central database. There are even DIN Rail Mounts for mounting your Arduino and Screw shield.
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Anyone can build industrial process controls, for very little expense, with very short development times.
Steve Spence builds Arduino based industrial process controls in a manufacturing / factory setting for his employer.