We’ve reached a bit a landmark. As you’ll know if you’ve been following us since we started documenting what happens when you decide to make a tiny computer for education back in 2011, the first Raspberry Pis were made in China. Back in September 2012, we started moving manufacture to a plant owned by Sony in South Wales. Gradually, both of our manufacturing partners, RS Components and Premier Farnell, have reshored all the production of Raspberry Pis to that factory, and for the last few months, all the Pis you buy have been made in the UK.
The really big news today is that the Pencoed factory has made its millionth British Raspberry Pi. Add these to the existing Chinese ones, and that makes one and three quarter million Raspberry Pis out there worldwide, the majority of them made right here at home. Sony’s Pencoed factory has just won a slew of trophies at the British Factory Awards: they took home the Best Factory award, Best Electronics Factory, Best Factory for Innovation – and were highly commended for their work on minimising energy use and environmental impact. They’re great to work with, their quality control process and attention to detail is exceptional (as those of you with UK Pis have been happy to tell us), and we can’t think of anyone who deserves those awards more.
What’s happened to the millionth British Raspberry Pi, you ask? Sony have made us a gold-plated case to keep it in, and we’ll be displaying it proudly here at Pi Towers.
Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC’s Technological Correspondent (and a man without whose blog there might never have been a Raspberry Pi – it was only when some personal footage he’d taken with his phone went viral that we realised that hundreds of thousands of you might actually be interested in buying the thing) dropped into our offices last week to do some filming about the millionth Pi. Keep an eye on BBC news bulletins today, and especially on BBC Breakfast – you might spot us there!
Updated to add: the BBC has a big article by Rory on its news website, along with some video of Gareth talking to Rory at the factory and showing him how the Pi is built, and an interview with Eben. Head over and have a look.