abouhaa
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How can you prove raspberry pi 3B+ is suitable for industrial and stamping factory environment?

Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:35 pm

Hi guys,

I am a big fan of the PI.
I work in an industrial environment specifically in the automation, robotics, welding and stamping applications.
I have completed a cool and interesting project with the raspberry pi board but I can't get my coworkers to be convinced that the raspberry pi is rugged, reliable and suitable enough for our work environment.

Am I wrong or are they?
If the PI is suitable for such work environments, how can I prove/convince my team?

Thanks.

wh7qq
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Re: How can you prove raspberry pi 3B+ is suitable for industrial and stamping factory environment?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:37 am

In my experience, the RPi is extremely reliable, still, you need to spend some time looking at this resource: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... formity.md and perhaps even consulting directly with the Foundation engineers about your particular use.

That said, the RPi is sold as a teaching/experimentation type device and if human life or possible injury is in the use picture, I think you need to look for devices that have agency approvals such as CE, TUV, UL, etc. on the entire system, including software and connected hardware, for the intended purpose. This is not so much for their being more or less reliable than any other computer system, but for the CYA factor, insurance, and the possibility of having to defend the use against an aggressive personal injury lawyer. `If that is not a concern in a given application, and down time or other productivity loss is the only consideration, I guess you need to balance the low cost against the cost of the downside if a failure occurs. It would be a business decision.

The preceding is just a personal opinion and should be taken for what it is worth.

AnneCreek
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Re: How can you prove raspberry pi 3B+ is suitable for industrial and stamping factory environment?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:36 am

Interesting post.
My first computing device , I will not date myself, was used in same automotive environment.
It was called "mini computer" - sort of rack mounted predecessor of IBM PC.
8 bit discrete IC's "processor" with whopping 4 kB - that is four kilobytes , of RAM!

You have to "read in-between" the lines , but RPi is a teaching aid to start with.
It is a mass produced HARDWARE and I would even say it is disposable.
I would say SD and other "connectors " would not pass "shake test".
(There are "boards" with no SD , all memories are on the chips. )

Since you mentioned automotive application - are you familiar with Paccar (sic?) company ?
I did make a nice living "destroying" automotive products for them.

I am not in position to pass judgement on software, but it seems to be lacking some basic QA.

I would say for few more $ you can find "industrial strength" system for your application.

Actually - contact the schools and let them tell you how rugged the RPi is.
Maybe even collect some of the defunct victims after kindergärtners gets thru with them.

Best of luck.

jamesh
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Re: How can you prove raspberry pi 3B+ is suitable for industrial and stamping factory environment?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:49 am

Worth noting that Pi's are used in a lot of industrial/commcercial applications. We've sold millions in to those areas.

So clearly, for a lot of people, they are fine from a HW and software point of view. Generally, the HW is fairly robust (execept for the SD card which can infrequently corrupt if not dealt with correctly), and the software, being mostly standard Linux, is very well tested.

To prove it? Difficult. I would be inclined to make a prototype, and test it against existing products.
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rln
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Re: How can you prove raspberry pi 3B+ is suitable for industrial and stamping factory environment?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:19 am

I have collected some reliability numbers here:
http://www.nard.se/answers.html#reliability
Author of the robust Nard distro http://www.nard.se

hippy
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Re: How can you prove raspberry pi 3B+ is suitable for industrial and stamping factory environment?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:36 am

abouhaa wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:35 pm
If the PI is suitable for such work environments, how can I prove/convince my team?
The best way would likely be with a small 'proof of concept' project, and you will probably want to do that anyway before committing to something which might not work in your particular environment.

One really can't beat "look; it is working" to prove that it does, have doubters throw everything they can at it to have them accept it is robust.

Heater
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Re: How can you prove raspberry pi 3B+ is suitable for industrial and stamping factory environment?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:48 am

abouhaa,
If the PI is suitable for such work environments, how can I prove/convince my team?
It is of course impossible for us to advise on that without details of a specific application and environment.

However that won't stop me making some general observations:

The Raspi is a consumer device. Like a smart phone or TV. It does not come with anything that people in the industrial world would recognize as industrial strength specifications. For example min and max operating and storage temperatures are not specified. Neither is any resistance to shock and vibration, moisture, humidity. Etc, etc. What about tolerance of extreme local EMI?

This is not insurmountable though. Many people have used Pi in industrial applications.

One might have to take some measures during the design of your project. SD card failure is common resulting in unbootable Pi, so consider adopting a read-only root file system. Power and other connections are physically fragile. consider making robust power connections and such. You might need to attend to physical enclosures and mountings to ensure the Pi is not killed by shock or vibration. Similarly for protection from moisture, dirt and all the crap one finds in factories.

Do your own testing. When I was involved in such things in house designed boards and assemblies were extensively tested in environmental chambers, temperature and humidity cycling. They were tested for resistance to shock and vibration in giant test rigs that would shake and drop them repeatedly. Such testing will need to be done formally enough and signed off to satisfy everyone. It helps to have a Quality Control department/team that everyone trusts who can sign off on the results.

It's not unknown for systems to crash out when electric welders are fired up nearby, test for that.

Depending on what you need this can be a lot of work.

Having said that, I have had a few Pi running 24/7 for a year now, in remote and harsh locations, where getting out to fix them should they fail is very expensive.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

abouhaa
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Re: How can you prove raspberry pi 3B+ is suitable for industrial and stamping factory environment?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:23 pm

Thanks for the input guys. I really appreciate that.

I am a little upset though that such a powerful device with limitless possibilities cannot or is not yet "proven" robust enough for industrial applications.
I guess at the end of the day it is meant for teaching, researching and prototyping objectives hence why the SD card and the power connectors etc...

It has proven to be a very good solution for many applications in many different field; in my case I was able to design something far more professional looking and at least third of the cost...

I hope somebody will come up with an exact but industrial proven version of this baby.

Thanks again!

jamesh
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Re: How can you prove raspberry pi 3B+ is suitable for industrial and stamping factory environment?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:53 pm

abouhaa wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:23 pm
Thanks for the input guys. I really appreciate that.

I am a little upset though that such a powerful device with limitless possibilities cannot or is not yet "proven" robust enough for industrial applications.
I guess at the end of the day it is meant for teaching, researching and prototyping objectives hence why the SD card and the power connectors etc...

It has proven to be a very good solution for many applications in many different field; in my case I was able to design something far more professional looking and at least third of the cost...

I hope somebody will come up with an exact but industrial proven version of this baby.

Thanks again!
We sell the compute module, which is intended for industrial use. You will need to build you own base board for it, which means you can make it as robust as you want, with the connectors you want. You would then 'prove' it in whatever way you want.

Because the SoC is the same as the Pi3B, you can do development on a normal Pi then move it to the CM.

We won't in the near future be making any other devices targeted at industrial use.
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LTolledo
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Re: How can you prove raspberry pi 3B+ is suitable for industrial and stamping factory environment?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:30 pm

Saw this interesting unit while doing some browsing on Amazon for some in my Christmas shopping list......
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jamesh
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Re: How can you prove raspberry pi 3B+ is suitable for industrial and stamping factory environment?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:47 pm

We do have shock and vibration test passes for the CM range, but I cannot find them in our docs - I'll need to update them on Monday. But they are official UL results.
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buja
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Re: How can you prove raspberry pi 3B+ is suitable for industrial and stamping factory environment?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:12 pm

LTolledo wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:30 pm
Saw this interesting unit while doing some browsing on Amazon for some in my Christmas shopping list......
This quite an interesting thing if you are looking for industrial applications.
Amazon UK is a bit light on information on this, but this link seems to be the manufacturer: https://revolution.kunbus.de/shop/en/revpi-core-3

Immediately clear is that the price is quite a bit higher than a normal Pi. But you can expect that from industrial grade equipment compared to consumer grade equipment. And for a tailor made industrial control system I think the cost of the actual hardware are less than the labour to engineer it and make it work.

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