OnLogic Debuts Industrialized Raspberry Pi Micro PCs
March 14, 2022 by Dave Haynes
Math nerds would know that this is Pi Day, which celebrates the mathematical constant Pi … which is something that evidently winds up math nerds.
So … Happy Pi Day!
I note this because the New England industrial PC firm OnLogic has chosen the day to announce a new, finished product built around the Raspberry Pi micro PC design and board. This is interesting because the Pi started very much as part of a kit intended for getting schoolkids started in computing, and for makers/hobbyists. But it has been a barebones arrangement, meaning end-users would have to source a power supply, storage, case and anything else needed to make a viable PC.
The folks at OnLogic have evidently looked at the volume of Raspberry Pi boards going to industrial and commercial applications and determined it’s a viable market, making industrialized, rugged versions of the company’s signature orange products built around the latest Pi – the Pi 4 compute module. The company says its new Factor 201 Raspberry Pi-powered device is available for pre-order and a Factor 202 version is also coming.
“We’re delighted that OnLogic has chosen to develop the Factor 201 around Raspberry Pi. Using Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 with their custom-designed carrier boards and industrial enclosure has allowed OnLogic to offer their customers flexible and reliable solutions, and we see Raspberry Pi hardware being increasingly widely adopted in industry with products like this one,” says Gordon Hollingworth, Chief Product Officer at Raspberry Pi Ltd.
“OnLogic has been designing computers for industrial applications for nearly two decades, so the CM4 was a natural fit for us to develop a new device around,” says Maxx Garrison, Product Manager at OnLogic. “When Raspberry Pi unveiled the CM4, they mentioned that over half of the Raspberry Pi computers sold were being used for industrial and commercial applications. The Raspberry Pi community already has a huge wealth of experience building Industry 4.0, SCADA, and IoT solutions using Raspberry Pi. Our goal with the Factor 200 Series is to provide them with new tools to continue to innovate, no matter where they may need to install these systems.”
Available for pre-order starting today, the Factor 201 is a compact, passively cooled computing device intended for use as an industrial gateway, automation controller or edge computer. In addition to the Raspberry Pi CM4, the system features an operating temperature range of -20 to 60°C, options for DIN Rail or wall mounting, and 12-24V power input. The device can also be powered via an ethernet cord utilizing PoE Power Delivery (PoE-PD), enabling single cable installation to provide both network access and power to the device.
The upcoming Factor 202 is being developed specifically with industrial control in mind. In addition to all of the features of the Factor 201, the Factor 202 adds digital and analog inputs and outputs. A 2.7 inch capacitive touchscreen will provide status updates and system control. OnLogic expects the Factor 202 to be available later this year.
More information about both models in the Factor 200 Series is available here: www.onlogic.com/factor200.
No pricing in the announcement, but the people who would look for an industrialized version of a Pi would know why they are looking for that, and appreciate ruggedization and other aspects of industrial design. It would likely be noticeably cheaper to put a unit together with plastic cases and the other bits sourced online, but those will tend to be very different end-users from those looking for industrial jobs.
The Pi-focused digital signage CMS firm Screenly kind of splits the difference, referring customers who want completed kits to a trusted supplier, but also providing guidance for end-users who want to go DIY.
Screenly is probably the most active CMS software company using Raspberry Pis, but there are numerous companies that support Raspberry Pis, all the way up to Sharp NEC, which has displays that accept a snap-in computing module in their rears.