Arduino is a low-cost open-source electronic board system that is capable of controlling just about any DIY hardware project, from robotics to art projects and just about everything in between. With a wide range of processor boards to choose from, a seemingly endless range of expansion boards (known as shields) and the free C/C++ like programming IDE, it has become very popular amongst hobbyists and those wanting to create a microcontroller based prototype without much hardware development.
For the process control engineer Arduino based control system may be an interesting and cost-effective alternative to traditional big-name PLC offerings. There are some issues to overcome however - Arduino controller boards are not very industrial! This is where this range of Industrial Arduino PLC products fill the gap
Programming Software for Engineers
One last hurdle to jump is perhaps the programming software - not all engineers know the C programming language and are not inclined to learn when timescales are tight. Not a problem, there are many alternative programming packages available that offer graphical and ladder logic programming. For example;
Graphical Programming Software
ArduBlock is a graphical programming add-on to the default Arduino IDE. Instead of memorizing cryptic functions, forgetting semicolons, and debugging code, ArduBlock allows you to build your Arduino program by dragging and dropping interlocking blocks.
Embrio is a visual programming environment for the Arduino. While easier to learn and use than traditional coding, it is intended to be a serious development tool for embedded software.
Visuino A visual programming environment allowing you to program your Arduino - you will easily be able to create and design your programs using drag and drop function blocks
Ladder Logic Software
Soapbox Snap - SoapBox Snap is a free and open source PC-based automation platform. It includes a ladder logic editor and a “soft” runtime right out of the box
LDmicro - A ladder logic complier for the Arduino
Waltech LadderMaker - another open source ladder logic compiler for the Arduino
Useful Software Tools
MegunoLink is a user interface development tool for your Arduino. It provides data-plotting, monitoring and user interface construction to kickstart your next project
Instrumentino is a graphical user interface (GUI) for the Arduino, which allows setting of parameters as well as monitoring of signals in a panel displayed on the computer.
Blynk - is an app for all makers who would love to use their smartphones to control Arduino. All the hard work of establishing Internet connection, building an app and writing hardware code is made by Blynk Team, you can just build on top of it.
Acimut - Scada free and fully functional for free Arduino hardware platform