Arduino PLC IDE released for the Portenta Machine Control unit, and soon Opta micro PLC

The newly released Arduino PLC IDE supports the five languages defined by the IEC 61131-3 standard: Ladder Diagram, Functional Block Diagram, Structured Text, Sequential Function Chart, and Instruction List.

With Arduino focusing more and more on the industrial side with its Arduino Pro family, the company unveiled the Arduino Opta Micro PLC for industrial application last month and said it could be programmed with traditional PLC languages such as Ladder and FCB as well as the Arduino 2.0.0 IDE. The company now seems to have created an all-in-one integrated development environment for such hardware with the Arduino PLC IDE supporting PLC languages with Arduino Sketches.

Arduino PLC IDE Modbus
ModBus with the Arduino PLC IDE

The program now supports the Portenta Machine Control unit, but the upcoming Opta micro PLC will be added soon. The IDE integrates no-code Fieldbus configurators that allow users to manage CanOpen, Modbus RTU, and Modbus TCP communication easily, and Arduino also mentions “advanced monitoring and debugging tools” and “zero-downtime program changes” thanks to a hot swap functionality.

The Arduino PLC IDE 1.0 is free to download together with accompanying tools but is currently only available for Windows 10/11 64-bit operating system. The languages defined by the IEC 61131-3 standard are licensed, and if you need to use those, you’d need to purchase a license for your specific device. For instance, the PLC key for the Portenta Machine Control unit sells for $17.60 or 16 Euros.

Arduino PLC IDE 1.0

The documentation for the Arduino PLC IDE is already up with information to set up CAN bus communication, assign the pins to variables and interact with them, set up Modbus communication, and instructions to get started with the IEC-61131-3 languages on the new IDE.

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