Case studies of low cost automation in the manufacturing industry


Does anyone have any good case studies of low cost automation being applied in the manufacturing industry? The Tasmanian government has a grant scheme that allows eligible companies to access matched funding of up to $15,000 to pursue growth opportunities and we’d like our members to look at achieving efficiencies with products like Arduino and Raspberry Pi.


I used esp8266 to dot around a factory to monitor warehouse temperatures etc. That was a much cheaper way to measure something that was non-critical than any of the other options (without me having to trudge around downloading data off normal dataloggers anyway).

Other projects in a factory environment were mostly temporary. The Electric Imp was pretty neat because I could reliably update the program (options for esp8266 exist like OTA but I’ve found them unreliable), was very useful if it was in a difficult to access area. Or an arduino with an sd card to measure temperatures in a vacuum chamber etc.

I didn’t trust them to do any ‘proper’ automation, mostly because the cost benefit would have been wiped out if there was almost any downtime caused by a failure. The benefits were it was easier for me to deploy myself (rather than add to the maintenance staff to-do list), it was cheaper for temporary installations and I could link them easier over wifi (which we had site-wide for other reasons already) to log and check from my desk.