The Raspberry Pi single board computer, and in particular models 3B and the new 3B+ model, has found itself being considered by design engineers as a viable solution for industrial applications. With the Bluetooth and wireless capabilities of this innovative small form factor computer system the Raspberry Pi lends itself perfectly to be used in remote monitoring applications on the factory floor. The ability to send data to a cloud based server remotely giving the status of any machine in real time is an increasingly important solution in helping prevent potentially costly machine down times.
One of the challenges faced by design engineers using single board computers is how to package the product in order to suit the working environment it will face when it’s finally finished and released. The decisions around what interfaces the product will need to have users interacting with also has to be considered especially when deciding upon the physical size of the end product. With the advancement in technology and the birth of Industrie 4.0 the product ultimately designed may need to have a smaller form factor than has been traditionally used and space will therefore be at a premium. One additional consideration is where the unit is to be mounted i.e. on the din rail within a cabinet, as a stand-alone unit or perhaps even wall mounted. All of these decisions made by a design engineer can ultimately mean that the only way of housing the product is with a bespoke enclosure solution which can be costly and add long lead-times to receive the first off samples.
When designing electronic devices around the Raspberry Pi the choice of available enclosures can be overwhelming especially for non-industrial applications. If you are developing home based media servers or a small scale router you are ideally looking for something aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.
At Phoenix Contact we offer a number of innovative enclosure solutions based on the standard form factors of embedded system printed circuit boards (PCB’s) and have some specifically designed to accommodate the Raspberry Pi. If you require Din rail, wall or even table top mounting we have flexible solutions to meet your needs. Our universal case system (UCS) has the additional flexibility of removable flat side walls for any customisation requirements you may have and is available in 4 sizes, 2 heights and 2 colours as standard.