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.