Arduino for industrial / commercial use?

Good day,

I was wandering today, how reliable is the arduino?
eg how long does it last?

Is it just a small prototyping board made for working here and there, Or is it capable of running 24/7 for many years?

I am asking as i want to know if it would be viable to use an arduino say in a permanents rfid access point?
What would i need to make it last?

In my opinion it is a good and hardy board, and i see no reason why it cant run for several years provides it has a good stable power supply?

Thanks

i see no reason why it cant run for several years provides it has a good stable power supply?

This is true.

The ATMEL microcontroller and other chips on an Arduino are good industrial quality.

The PC Board quality and manufacturing processes are the same as used in Industrial equipment.

You do need to pay attention to:

  • External connections: protection against voltage spikes and induced currents. What happens if lighting hits the building? Where is real "Ground".

  • Software testing, especially if there is any potential danger from a failure. This is a significant area of expertise. I once was in a meeting with the guys who wrote the code that ran in the Lunar Lander. There were error conditions (Hear the alarms, and "go" in the landing tape), but there were successful error handlers. We wanted to learn from them when we automated factories with Bad Stuff gases and high-level Plasma generators.

Tell us more about your application...

Yes, I would be inclined to agree, I do industrial engineering with PLC's and SCADA.
I am looking to use the Arduino platform in smaller self contained installations where the cost of high end PLC equipment is not warranted.

But like terry says,

External connections: protection against voltage spikes and induced currents. What happens if lighting hits the building? Where is real "Ground".

This happened to me today, Tue 6th at 14:30, while I was workinig away programming, check here Arduino Forum
I guess I now have more time to do other things until I either fix or get new Arduino's.

I will be paying moe attention to voltage spikes and some form of ligthning protection now.
First time in 15 years, I guess I am lucky in some way.

Paul

I replied to Paul, but I’m starting to think that the subject of:

Arduinos connected to sensors and long wires, running 24-7 …

and how do we protect them …

Maybe be worth a thread of it’s own. Comments??

Back in Olde History, I was responsible for Industrial Computer Stragedy (sp) for an IBM Chip Fab plant. Some stuff HAS been learned about this, often the hard way.

In my opinion it is a good and hardy board

A functioning mcu is a combination of hardware and software. Whether either of them is hardy will depend on your intended application and their construction.

If you want to use it in high interference / industrial applications, you may need to ruggedize it.

it has been since may where i build 4 works stations at work with arduinos...

i am using the lpd8806 conected to two arduinos.. the arduinos communitcate with labview via Serial..

they workstations run 24/7, and so far so good, no problems at all during this 6 months...

what the arduinos do is they scan the barcode, labview search on database for the part, arduino lights with the lpd8806 where the assembly operator needs to grab the materials base on the part #, it has around 8 differnet pieces that con go assembled but depending on the part some pices may not be needed so arduino lights the lpd8806 that are covered with UHMW under the material bin so that tells the operator which materials to grab.

again it has been working 24/7, along with wood dust around...

so for me it has been pretty reliable..

.....

another application is an arduino webserver,sd card and RTC hooked to a PLC via relays, and the arduino is running a HTML page and loggin cycle time information to the sd card...

i has been one month on the plc cabinet and no problems at all...

again reliable...