Can I use Arduino instead of PCB?

Complete newbie here looking for advice. My company wants to instrument (IoT) some equipment in an industrial environment using a break-beam sensor and a dry contact sensor. The data would be collected and delivered to a JSON/REST endpoint

We contacted some local electronic engineering firms and they want to engineer a PCB. Is there really any advantage to what they would engineer that can't be done with Arduino and off the shelf sensors? We are looking at a few hundred a year at most so no mass production.

If this is a good fit for Arduino, how would you go about finding a company that can help put together a solution based on the Arduino platform?

It's all down to the finances - upfront cost and delay of PCB design and manufacturing costs vs bought-in working units.

plus risk - what if your pcb needs redsign through errors?

do the sums

at those quantites I'd probably go for premade solutions, and if the product is very succesful, consider cost-cutting later.



No, this is not a good fit for Arduino.

Arduino boards are not intended for use in industrial environments and the interconnections are not rugged. The software and documentation is largely produced by amateurs, and is not particularly reliable.

It would be much, much faster and easier to have a few hundred boards manufactured and populated, than to assemble the same quantity by hand (using off the shelf parts), and the result would be much more reliable.

I don't think an Arduino Uno or Mega would be suitable for a production line. They are really just for prototyping because the connections to them would probably work loose and cause problems. However you can get Arduino boards with solder connections that should be perfectly reliable.

On the other hand, the essence of an Arduino Uno is the Atmega 328 chip and it would be easy to design one of them into a PCB and that might be the most sensible thing as the PCB probably also needs to accommodate the various sensors that you mention without giving any details.

Having made a few projects with Atmega 328s fixed to strip board I strongly suspect that for the production of hundreds a custom PCB will be very much cheaper than all the manual work involved in the alternative.

Get alternative quotations from a few potential suppliers.


Homemade small atmega328 pcb

Homemade bicycle lights

Nothing special i just want to show that using arduino board is not the solution for industrial
PCB’s, building a specific board for a specific task will be more compact as much as possible
smaller PCB’s and cheaper than buying and using ready made PCB’s.

As example from my 1st video I made same board as arduino uno, there is holes as well for
+5v and holes for all pins to put male of female pins.

A official Arduino Uno R3 cost 25$
A China Arduino Uno R3 cost 5$
The board I made in the 1st video cost as well ~5$ but as you can see the dimensions
are way smaller than the real arduino board.

What I want to tell is that manufacturing a board will be smaller, compact, specific design
and use, as well cheaper.

Taking as example the 2nd video i posted, i made a bicycle lights right? Why i didn’t just use
a arduino board and connect some leds and done? Because I don’t like a big a*s board on
my bicycle I wanted something more compact and useful / nice looking for it’s purpose.


Thanks for all the great feedback, I'm getting it, much appreciated!

Workplace liability says go with a product with someone else's name on it, so you can hold them liable when it fails.

Workplace liability says go with a product with someone else's name on it, so you can hold them liable when it fails.

That's the generalized version of "nobody was ever fired for buying IBM"