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3/9/2020

Article: Do the Arduino and Industry match?

Fernanda Schmidt

Product Specialist

 

Efficiency and quality in the industry is being sought hard more and more every day.  Industrial automation equipment increasingly contributes to this with new technologies and connected, smart and affordable devices. One of the smartest equipment in the industrial area however, the  PLC - Programmable Logic Controller - which is currently a solution to many automation problems;  instead of being intuitive and simple to use, it requires programming in LADDER language, which is a language that few people have mastery of and this shortage ends up inhibiting small and medium automation market. 

 

And what if there was an easy and intuitive way to program complex systems?

 

This kind of programming already exists, and it is called Arduino. Arduino is an open-source platform created to be cheap, functional and easy to program, thus reaching audiences such as students and amateur developers. The ease of programming is proven, for example, by the number of codes created every day based on this platform. Massimo Banzi, one of Arduino creators, in his TED Talks video, talks about the difficulty of creating something that even a child can program and points out that the community - people around the world who develop the codes - is largely responsible for the platform success in the world. GitHub, for example, is seen as the major code repository of this community. 

The company presents itself as: “GitHub is how people build software”.  More than 36 million users participate in this community and learn, share and work together for code generation. According to data gathered from GitHub's research tool, since Arduino creation (October 2007), over 426,000 code commits for this platform have been performed. 

 

But if Arduino is a child thing, can anyone program on it?


Yes, that is the idea. Making engineering accessible should be seen as a gain as the basic level of understanding grows as a whole. Start a technical school or engineering career already knowing the basics makes room for much more complex projects and technology developments. And because of that many schools, even in the elementary level, have already adopted Arduino on its curricula.

 

Ok at the school, but what about the industry? Is the hardware robust enough for this use?

 

Indeed, the maker-market is more concerned with doing different things, implementing interesting features than designing hardware with robustness and reliability. But what if you could put the two together? Arduino and robustness. Industrial hardware with international certifications of reliability and Arduino programming? Is it possible?

 

Yes, it is possible, believe me. Arduino's programmable I/O module DigiRail NXprog will be released by NOVUS on 2020's first semester and it is a great example. The device was designed to simplify and modernize the industrial programming language. In addition to the facilities of Arduino’s world, the hardware is robust and has all the international required certifications to give reliability to the most complex industrial processes. 

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