Portenta Machine Control makes Industry 4.0 accessible

13th May 2021
Alex Lynn

Arduino PRO has announced the launch of the new Portenta Machine Control, a low-power industrial control unit to drive equipment and machinery. The product was presented within the context of Arduino’s ongoing efforts to ‘become an ideal partner for companies in the Industry 4.0 revolution’, as stated by CEO Fabio Violante.

In the past few years, the brand has greatly invested in expanding its reach from makers and educators to professional clients, evolving beyond simple boards to a comprehensive open-source platform that offers customers a complete journey from learning to prototyping to production.

By designing, manufacturing and testing its products with the challenging, sometimes extreme, conditions of the industrial environment in mind, Arduino Pro has reached high quality standards in hardware as well as software – while maintaining the flexibility that only an open-source approach can provide.

All of this has been made possible thanks to the support of a number of core partners – Arm, Microchip, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP, STM and u-blox. This winning combination of simplicity and robustness has already powered projects in the demanding automotive sector as well as heavy industry applications, enabling clients to achieve real-time monitoring, remote automation, smart and lean manufacturing and automated reporting. By adopting Arduino Pro at the heart of their solutions, customers have benefited from optimising processes, upgrading existing equipment, improving time to market, and developing new business models.

The Portenta Machine Control (PMC) fully embodies this vision, adding Industrial IoT (IIoT) capabilities to standalone industrial machinery.

It enables the collection of real-time data from the factory floor and supports the remote control of equipment, even from the cloud, so you can monitor anything from vibrations to spare parts availability and automate actions that optimise workflow, productivity and quality. Outstanding computing power makes the PMC suited for a wide range of predictive maintenance and AI use cases.

The Portenta Machine Control can be programmed using the Arduino framework or other embedded development platforms. Modular and highly customisable, it can be used to easily retrofit or upgrade existing machines or to develop new products with embedded sensors and actuators for interaction – allowing companies to implement a standard platform across different equipment models.

During the development of the Portenta Machine Control, Arduino worked closely with Rinaldi Superforni, a manufacturer of industrial ovens who ran tests and provided feedback. Rinaldi Superforni chose to adopt the PMC to renew their existing equipment and provide their customers with more intelligent ovens, along with the added benefit of enabling remote access for their technical assistance department. Thanks to Arduino’s software infrastructure, the Rinaldi team can now monitor and control thousands of ovens around the globe.

Matteo Niscosi, Head of R&D at Rinaldi Superforni commented: “One of the great advantages of the Portenta Machine Control is its versatility, we’ve been able to adopt the PMC across multiple oven types, each one implemented using C++ on the same software infrastructure built by Arduino. This is unprecedented. For new machines, the PMC has revolutionised how Rinaldi Superforni markets the product: instead of a simple, static machine we can now sell a dynamic service. From a product development perspective, Arduino has helped us to design and produce the complete solution in-house, granting us independence for the future.” Born for the 4th industrial revolution, the Portenta Machine Control is – and makes you – future-ready.  

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