netPI on the Move
netPI, Hilscher’s industrialized Raspberry Pi 3 computer, is approaching its second birthday on a “high”. Sales have far exceeded expectations as automation professionals spot opportunities in industry. Housed in an industrial-grade enclosure with a hardened board design, netPI performs in tough environments and is fully Raspberry Pi 3 compatible. Two versions – one using the standard Raspberry Pi core and the other with Pi core AND Hilscher’s own netX chip (for connection to real-time industrial networks) – offer plenty of operational choice. It can be a simple controller or a powerful PLC, and it can get you connected to the cloud for low-cost entry to IIoT/Industry 4.0!
netPI 3 was conceived as an introductory product for attracting new customers to the Hilscher portfolio. It was originally thought of as a creative tool for professionals to play with, perhaps in their spare time. But professionals soon saw the potential, and today engineers and major end users are jumping at the chance to deploy netPI 3 systems. Warehousing and environmental control are just two applications under development now. It’s being used at the heart of open edge connectivity systems in IIoT and Industry 4.0 applications. Used with the popular CoDeSys package, netPI can even be a fully-fledged PLC.
netPI Family: The price of netPI 3 is modest by comparison with many industrial automation products. It’s also fully open, which users like. Not only is it being used as a general-purpose embedded PC, but it’s also finding favor in advanced automation applications. End users especially like the fact it can be customized quickly and easily using readily-available LINUX and other OS.
Here’s a quick run-down of the versions:
• netPI CORE: A basic Raspberry Pi in a ruggedized housing, with one Ethernet port.
• netPI RTE: Includes Hilscher’s own netX chip. This version offers full dual-port RTE connectivity and can run Docker “container” applications that, with other security features, mean that it can be used safely and securely by industry. netPI's software architecture complies with IEC 62443. Sample Docker code for container applications for accessing six major cloud apps is available free. And since netPI is fully Raspberry Pi compatible, Docker container applications can be developed on the low-cost standard Pi product before being moved to the netPI platform.
For OEMS, Hilscher offers netPI versions for “Own Brand” labelling.
More Information on netPI 3
Support: In common with the main Raspberry Pi universe, netPI is supported via web-based forums. This enables purchase prices to be kept low. Product Manager Armin Beck (right) says: “Forum support also means that a knowledge base is created that can answer most questions quickly. I am personally involved in the forum and I have been amazed by its success. We have learned a few things too, which means everybody gains through this user and supplier exchange.” Go to netPI Forums.