AutomationDirect’s ProductivityOpen PLC combines the IT-centric open-source capabilities of an Arduino-compatible controller with the robust reliability needed for industrial OT applications.
AutomationDirect’s ProductivityOpen PLC was announced as a Control Engineering 2021 Engineers’ Choice Awards Honorable Mention winner in the Machine and Embedded Control – PLCs category. Check out the ProductivityOpen and see how specifying it could economically add IT capabilities to your next OT application.
Hobbyists, DIY enthusiasts, and the Maker community are familiar with the flexibility of microcontrollers like the Arduino, which they use with accessory boards and open-source code snippets to create all sorts of automated projects. But these low-cost devices are not designed, tested, or rated to survive the extremes of industrial conditions—until now. AutomationDirect recognized the market’s desire to leverage open-source for industrial projects, and responded by creating the ProductivityOpen
The ProductivityOpen incorporates an Arduino-compatible microcontroller into an industrial form factor compatible with proven modular I/O. Users can also take advantage of commercial or industrial add-on “shields” to add functionality like networking, GPS, and more. It is important to note that using off-the-shelf commercial “shields”, not designed for the industrial world, can expose the ProductivityOpen system to faults caused by harsh environmental conditions.
The ProductivityOpen is tested under extreme conditions of temperature, contaminants, vibration, and electrical noise. It is UL approved, compact, and readily connects with proven field signal levels and interfaces through the industrially-hardened Productivity1000 rack-based I/O.
Developers can code in C++ using the Arduino integrated development environment (IDE) to create program “sketches”. End users can access and incorporate open-source code snippets created by programmers throughout the world. In addition, AutomationDirect has developed the ProductivityBlocks graphical programming interface to simplify many common tasks.
Using ProductivityOpen and open-source concepts, users can mix-and-match hardware and software to meet their application needs while maintaining industrial grade robustness and reliability. The newest generation of users is familiar and comfortable with contemporary open-source technologies. ProductivityOpen provides the best way to bridge open-source with proven industrial-grade technology. Open-source automation can be the right fit for OEMs or light industrial applications, or even consumer-oriented projects where reliability is key.
Originally Published: 2/2021