Using the Arduino "professionally"

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by mcgyvr, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. mcgyvr

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    Anyone else use the Arduino or similar boards in "professional/work" applications?

    I've seen a few articles in electronics magazines about some temperature testing and using it to replace dataloggers, etc.. but just wondering if anyone here is using it too..
    Just wondering..

    I just completed a test station for automating the final "electrical/safety" testing of the products I design at work.
    It used to be a 2 employee manual job to run some continuity, function tests and hipot dielectric withstand testing.. Manual cycle time was approx. 2 minutes per product.

    Now with a combination of Arduino mega, and a custom multi-channel relay PCB I designed the cycle time is 4 seconds (+ 10 seconds or so to load the test fixture). And its testing 2 products at at time and only requires 1 operator..

    An outside firm quoted $50,000 to build it using labview/switching matrix boxes,etc.... I did it for right around $200 not including the $1000 hipot tester..

    I love the Arduino.. Its just so easy but powerful enough to do stuff like that all day long.
  2. MrSoftware

    Active Member

    Oct 29, 2013
    We use the same Atmel chip used in the Arduino Mega in our own board for controlling robotics. Other companies we have worked with are doing the same, with other actual Arduino brand boards.
  3. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    I made an arduino-based 1000v leakage/continuity tester and embedded it in a cabling machine in 2010. Still running fine. I had a thread going about it here on aac back then. I asked a similar question on a plc forum and found out there are actually some OEMs embedding arduino instead of PLCs.
  4. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    I can not see why not. The Arduino is just a cheap microcontroller platform. And in one of applications. Using it may save time and money.
    By the way, I do not hope you was second person test engineer. That now has to be laid off:p
  5. mcgyvr

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    Heck no.. We've gotten to the point that order volumes have greatly increased and we can't get product out the door fast enough anymore so its time to eliminate bottlenecks/labor intensive tasks,etc.... Thank you 4G wireless and smartphones for the telecom boom going on now.. This company is making money hand over fist now..
    We went from shipping a few products out a day to shipping pallets full out of here.

    Plus I'm not a "test engineer".Our assembly staff does that.. I'm THE engineer here.. no others.. . I just design all the products and all the internal stuff too.. fixturing/testing,blah blah blah..
  6. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    In the past few years I've done a fixture using a 20x4 LCD and some push buttons, and also a 128x64 graphic touchscreen. Dropping a micro on a protoboard for a controller is not an issue for me, but I do insist on very good looking fixtures. These have fallen a bit short for me.

    It's also somewhat pricy to assembly a board you can buy off the shelf. While not an Arduino I've been thinking of using one of these one day:


    As far as isolation testing goes, I happen to have a DIT-MCO wiring analyser to play with. Comes in handy to check for shorts, opens, and isolation up to 10,000 points to check per unit.

    Sounds like a lot, but we have one job that needs half those points.