is arduino a part of the PLC family?

Not sure if the title is correct or not so it may sound a little “off” to the more experienced people? anyways…

Over the last few years I’ve been running(not programming) a couple different gantry systems that consist of CNC machines, a quench and Temper, and a heat treat all with the goal to make drill rods for the mining industry. After talking to some of the guys around the shop they’ve all confirmed that it’s programmed with PLC’s so it got me thinking PLC’s can’t be too different than what the arduino does?

Seeing as I only run it I can’t actually see what the program looks like, but mechanically it’s basically a bunch of sensors,hydraulics, and more sensors. I’m sure if the arduino had an industrialized version someone on these forums can duplicate what it’s doing. :slight_smile:

So am I wrong by saying that PLC’s and arduino are of the same family or am I missing something here?

Arduinos certainly get used to control CNC-type machines and there are heavy-duty shielded models specially made for the purpose.

So am I wrong by saying that PLC’s and arduino are of the same family or am I missing something here?

It depends on your perspective. The processor in a modern PLC is similar (or identical) to the Arduino’s processor.

The software is radically different. PLC’s are programmed in “ladder logic” (it’s like a relay-wiring-diagram). Arduino’s are programmed in C++ (it’s an object-oriented / procedural language).

Most PLC’s can be programmed in the following languages:

Funtion block diagram (preferred in europe)
Strutured text (pascal like language, used more and more)
Lader logic (preferred in North America)
Instruction list
Sequential function charts (this programming using steps with a conditional transition to the next step)

So the language is not a good way to compare an arduino with a plc.

You could see an arduino as a mini PLC. But PLC’s are:

  • more rudgidized to be in industrial environments.
  • designed for high uptime
  • most of them have modulair io
  • io is standarized (digital 24volt, analog 4-20mA)
  • most of the time have lots more memory then arduino (can have megabytes)
  • can have a lot more IO (arduino would be bottem end of the range as compared to have a couple of thousend IO)

I agree with wortelsoft,
Comparing how you program them - Hugely different
Comparing what it does - Simular but Arduino is very limited in power, expandablity and IO
Compared in price - Arduino NZ$50 small PLC NZ$1000 I think (from one of the EE at work)