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Industrial Open-source control – what you need to know!

As an online supplier, we take our customers’ feedback to heart and try our hardest to accommodate all wants and needs. But besides the valuable suggestions and requests our customers provide, we also pay close attention to industry trends, research studies, and surveys. Recently, there was one trend that stood out from the pack. One that had a lot of potential for our industry and was fast becoming the preferred method of up-and-comers. That trend was open-source control using single-board microcontrollers. Although originally intended for hobbyist and students, this method of automation easily crossed over into the industrial realm when industry professionals became aware of its capabilities and extremely low cost. But what do these single-board controllers offer? Are they better or worse than the industry standard PLC? Are they potentially dangerous? Do our customers want or need them? To answer these questions, we delved deeper into the world of open-source control and this content collection contains the articles, blog posts and videos that were created along the way.

In this collection you will read all about the pros and cons of open-source control with real-world controller comparisons. There are also discussions on what you need to know when coming from the PLC world, available open-source communities, and how our industrialized open-source controller, the ProductivityOpen, reliably takes open-source control into the industrial realm.

Open source controlProductProgrammable Control

Can a Raspberry Pi Challenge a PLC?

Single-board consumer microcontrollers are popular with hobbyists, but how do they stand up to industrial PLCs for more advanced process control applications? Many readers expressed considerable interest in a previous Control Design article comparing an Arduino microcontroller with a programmable logic controller (PLC) for basic flow control. This led author Doug Reneker to consider how…
Open source control

Building an Add-On Module for the Automation Direct P1AM-100 Open-Source PLC

Check out this user’s experience with the P1AM-100! Read More
ApplicationApplication StoriesIssue 48 -2022Notebook IssueOpen source controlOperator InterfacePLCProcess ControlProductProgrammable Control

Connecting AI to the OT

This greenhouse automation startup shows how AutomationDirect controllers are a flexible platform for connecting cloud-based artificial intelligence to practical operations manufacturing automation. Connecting AI concepts to age-old agricultural operations using modern IoT methods is the ambitious undertaking of Kenneth Tran and his team at Koidra. The resulting “artificial intelligence of things” (AIoT) is yielding positive…
Open source control

PLC vs Industrial Open-Source Controller: What to Know for the PLC Guru

The Productivity®Open is an Industrial Open-Source Controller (Arduino-Compatible) control platform. This new take on the Arduino-compatible platform makes it possible to use the versatile open-source Arduino technology in the Industrial environment.
+Tech TopicsApplicationLearning ResourcesOpen source controlTest and Measurement

Why Product Testing and Certification Really Matters

Do you ever think about all those marks and logos on electronic equipment? You should, they’re your assurance of product quality. Bill Dehner, technical marketing engineer at AutomationDirect and Tim Dunn, design engineer at Host Engineering, wrote an article for the November 2018 issue of Design News titled Why Product Testing and Certification Really Matters,…
Open source control

Open-Source Controller: Productivity Blocks Graphical Based Programming

This video, will show how to how to get started with the Productivity Open and begin your first sketch through the Productivity Blocks graphical-based programming environment.
Issue 45, 2021Open source controlProductProgrammable Control

Industrializing Open Source

Maker hardware and software is now available in industrially-hardened form factors, adding the reliability required for critical applications. Bill Dehner, technical marketing engineer for AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the May 2020 issue of Control Engineering titled Open-Source Benefits for Industrial Controllers. Here’s a summary, click on the link above for the full text. Industrial…
Issue 43 - 2020Open source controlProductProgrammable Control

ProductivityOpen - Maker In, Industrial Out

By Bill Dehner, Technical Marketer, AutomationDirect One of the most talked about new trends in industrial automation is the use of single-board microcontrollers. These controllers, along with their open-sourced programs, have begun to show up in industrial applications. Many up-and-comers, introduced to this type of control early on, are fueling this trend but if you come…
Open source control

Productivity Open Industrial Open-source Controller: First Arduino IDE Sketch

This video, will show how to how to get started with the Productivity Open and begin your first sketch through the Arduino IDE. Watch to learn more