Around 2-3 years ago I started to play with Arduino. Back then I saw an enormously potential for its easy of use.
So 18 months ago we started a project to apply the concept to the automation of CNC machines, complex automations and similar.
Now we have the first series, we called the project workduino.
It combines the easy of use of the Arduino concept (you can even use the IDE to program the cards) with dedicated libraries, I/O, etc.
To sum up you can use the Arduino IDE to program the HMI and core machine cards, our libraries provides the necessary conection with the other cards which use an Arduino compatible IC's, but this ones programmed with Atmel Studio. This way if anytime you want you can also program them with the IDE, but normally this is not necessary, as the libraries provides all the necessary functions and a plus in speed.
You can have a look at it at www.workduino.com, any suggestion will be greatly appreciated!