I was wonderinf if the xbee systems could be used to control several (20+) devices? All will have an arduino embedded in it to control the machine. Right now, we have 15 wires running to each machine. I want to just have 4. (3 phase power and a ground) with a DC power supply for the arduino and a transformer for the 110 vac control voltage. I am still in the thinking stage, no prototype yet. Oh and all will come back to a single arduino and be controlled over ethernet. Its a big project if I get some idea if it would work.
It depends on the bandwidth you require. How often do the messages occur and how long are the messages?
In an industrial environment I would be more concerned with noise, EMI and transients. I think you would be better off with an industrial PC or industrial embedded computer. A device that is designed for machine control.
(* jcl *)
The messages would not have to be very long, example start emergancy retract from main system wait for finish, or fault next device.
And this would happen about every 3 to 5 times per day(24 hours) It is all located outside too.