Production Line Monitoring with Industrial PLC Arduino

Improving your production efficiency with Industrial Arduino

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M-Duino open source PLCs from Industrial Shields control the production line, machinery and stock holding

About the customer

This company is a family-owned business established in 1996 and backed up by the experience of two generations of expertise in manufacturing plastic parts.

It focuses on the design, manufacturing and marketing of plastic protectors, ferrules, caps and stoppers. The company works aligned to quality management standards, ISO 9001: 2008. The plant has an area of over 7,000 m2 which is designed to optimize the process of receiving goods, drive the production, manage the stock holding and shipment of goods in the highest quality and speed standards.

The company designs its own molds with calibrated steel and using the latest technology in computerized mechanization. The plastic parts are manufactured mainly in LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene). Parts requiring higher hardness are manufactured in HDPE (High Density Polyethylene). The company does not use PVC according to its environmental friendly philosophy. 

They have been evangelists in the open source world. At very early stages, they adapted and integrated open source software in their manufacturing process, and now have implemented open source hardware in their production lines with the Arduino based PLCs from Industrial Shields.

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Yearly production

About 30,000,000 units are produced annually.

PLC Arduino for Production Line Monitoring
PLC Arduino for monitoring and control

Industrial automation open source hardware used at customer's production lines

The industrial controllers are connected via Ethernet to the production LAN. Using this network allows the Arduino controller to receive input from the different encoders and sensors to monitor the machine status. It is also connected to other equipment which read the production status, e.g., pieces/hour.

According to the user configuration, different outputs as production one, start & stop of machines, etc. are also controlled.

All the data is sent to a MySQL database, where it is analyzed to control the performance and efficiency of the production lines. This MySQL database is connected to the enterprise resource planning tool in order to control stocks, orders, etc.   

Some important questions regarding the decision.
Talking with our Sales Director.

Why do you think the customer has finally decided to use your products and not a standard PLC from a leading brand?

Industrial Shields Open Source Hardware allows for flexible programming and the customizable signal types offer many benefits. In addition, other important factors were the high performance of the controller and the easy adaptation to the existing installation like all the data acquisition and the easy use of the programmable logic controllers.

Programming often remains a hurdle where existing software has limitations. With the Industrial Shields PLCs, the customer was able to program their application with Arduino IDE, an open source software which is far more flexible.

They can even upgrade it according to their needs, which would never be possible with a standard off the shelf software.

There might be doubts from potential customers to use Arduino based hardware in an industrial environment.

What would you argue? 

The customer is located in Tarragona and produces plastic parts so during summer the production lines work at very high temperatures.

For over two years our devices have been running 24 hours per day without issue.

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