The liberalization of industrial automation with open-source based hardware

Industrial automation is the process of using mechanical, electronic, or IT systems to control and monitor production activities. Industrial automation can increase the efficiency, quality, safety, and flexibility of industrial processes. However, Industrial Automation often requires the use of expensive and complex devices, such as PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers), which are computers specially designed for industrial processes control.

PLCs are typically based on a specific manufacturer HW and a specific Operating System and Programming Language which limit the possibility of customization and integration with systems from other brands.
For this reason, some companies have started to develop and offer industrial automation solutions based on Open-Source Technologies, such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi or ESP32. These technologies are open and accessible hardware and software platforms, which allow users to modify and share the source code.

Some companies produce standard Control and Peripheral Hardware board designs. These boards are available on the market and can be used by Open-Source PLC brands to be integrated in their production of PLCs and Panel PCs.

Learn More about: Industrial Equipment based on Arduino, Raspberry Pi and ESP32

An example of these solutions is Industrial Shields, a young Spanish company that produces PLCs based on Arduino, Raspberry Pi or ESP32.