Raspberry Pi Innovations and Their Use in Manufacturing
The industrial uses of the Raspberry Pi controller are growing as industries have an increase in their range of systems needed to thrive. The Raspberry Pi controller can be used to build Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for small to large scale projects. It is used in the oil and gas industry, consumer goods and the agriculture industry among others.
OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY — PETROLOG
Petrolog provides IoT solutions for oil well automation and remote monitoring, helping operators increase production and reduce operating costs.
Petrolog’s main product is a POC (Pump Off Condition) controller. The controller detects when a well enters pump off condition, which occurs when the fluid in the well is too low for the pump to lift it to the surface. It then automatically shuts down the well, allowing more fluid to flow into the well until the pump can function properly again. The POC controller has a sensor that sends the status of the well to a Raspberry Pi sitting in a control box above ground, which then sends the status to Petrolog and its customers over a 3G/LTE network.
Before the innovation of Raspberry Pi, the Petrolog team would drive hours to troubleshoot. But now they can see all of their device monitors at once using the Raspberry Pi and make adjustments without the cost for traveling to the wells.
Agricultural manufacturing — CNC farming machine
Farmbot is an open source CNC farming machine. The company is located in San Luis Obispo, California. Among other components, it uses Raspberry Pi 3 and 8GB microSD card. It can only be programmed and controlled using the web application, meaning an active internet connection is required to send and receive data. The Raspberry Pi boards used in the machine have built-in WiFi and allow the user to take pictures and communicate with the web application and Arduino. This development is an example of how Raspberry Pi is integrated into agricultural technology to regulate production of plant-based products.
Beer Manufacturing - Fuzzy Duck Brewery
Fuzzy Duck Brewery is a small scale brewery located in Lancashire UK that uses the Raspberry Pi controller in the brewing process. During the brewing process, a DS18B20 temperature sensor connects to a Raspberry Pi before being placed in the hot liquor tank. Data is then sent down the wire to a general-purpose I/O (or GPIO) pin. Since the RPi.GPIO allows control to the pins on a Raspberry Pi using the programming language Python, it is possible to then monitor the temperature. This is done through a special-purpose software. If the brew gets too hot or cold, the heaters are then adjusted. In order to control the temperature, the brewery makes use of three methods: an electronic control panel, a web page viewable on a smartphone, and a PyQt4 GUI application, all of which can be used at the same time. Fuzzy Duck also uses software running on a Pi for its invoicing and cask tracking. That software was written using Python 2.4.
Other raspberry pi innovations
There are seven further examples of Raspberry Pi innovations not included in the above case studies. Keeping a global scope, there is a mix of American and European firms. The Raspberry Pi itself is a UK product originally marketed for educational purposes. From the blogs and industry articles, there are currently few live industrial applications of this system but are expected to increase as an industrial focused Raspberry Pi system (Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3) was introduced in January 2017.
Here is a list of other companies and their respective websites that use Raspberry Pi's:
The Raspberry Pi controller proves to be more than just an educational opportunity, its origins, through its use in various industries. It cuts down on costs, such as transportation to industrial sites, and allows for an optimized control of operations of a product/service. Its application in the oil and gas industry detects signals on wells and machinery and converts them onto a universal platform for company teams to monitor the well-being of projects.