The thought of developing more sophisticated computing solutions has been around for over a decade now. Lisa Groeneveld and Ronald Groeneveld founded OnLogic in 2003 to build computers, which can be used in various ways.
Now serving across Europe, Asia, and the USA, their recent launch of the Factor 200 Series is aimed at solving industrial problems such as connectivity, big data analysis, and edge computing, occurring in IoT, IIoT, and Industry 4.0 spaces. Maxx Garrison, product manager at OnLogic, shares that the Factor 200 Series provides Raspberry Pi users “with new tools to continue to innovate, no matter where they may need to install these systems.”
OnLogic is all set to cater to the present and the future need for remote working. While incorporating the cloud computing issues, the company also lays focus on developing a healthy and safe work environment. The current products of the Factor 200 Series released on UNESCO’s Pi Day are powered by Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 or Raspberry Pi 4 are called Factor 201 and Factor 202.
Both have industrial computing capabilities, but only Factor 201 is available for pre-order at the moment and is priced at $335. The availability of Factor 202 orange computers is limited by the global supply chain challenges for some components. They also come with a 2.7″ capacitative touchscreen.
Product release and goals
I had a chance to talk to Maxx Garrison about the Factor 200 Series. He shared his thoughts on releasing the product during UNESCO’s Pi Day, saying that “March 14th felt like the perfect day to launch the Raspberry Pi product. Many countries already celebrate the date since the mathematical constant Π can be rounded to 3.14, and the Raspberry Pi community tends to create its own events and celebrations. But it’s also very fitting that the Factor 200 Series makes its debut on a day that celebrates mathematics, given just how many calculations the systems are capable of and the variety of ways they’re used in the applications that UNESCO’s day of recognition highlights.”
The company also feels that the inclusion of Raspberry Pi into the ecosystem will serve three purposes for them: the global acceptance and accessibility of the device, economic benefits, and the ability to produce avante-garde design solutions for virtual spaces. OnLogic also believes in connecting communities all over the globe who, like them, also love science, technology, and the contributions made by great mathematicians in finding the value of ‘Pi (Π).’
Getting to know the product
I was able to ask a few more questions to Maxx Garrison to get a deeper grasp on OnLogic’s technology and reasons for the adoption of this kind of approach as part of their strategy. He was really kind to respond swiftly.
About the OnLogic solution
Ujala Chowdhry: How would you explain the concept of your solution to the readers interested in this technology and its sustainability?
Maxx Garrison: “Our computers are just like regular computers, but they are typically smaller and specially designed to provide additional capabilities and to be used in challenging environments. Let’s look at a couple of examples that show how our computers are used or could be used. A potato chip factory uses our computers to control machines like robotic arms and conveyor ovens that are used in their factory. A normal desktop computer would not survive in that hot environment filled with airborne seasonings and constant vibration. Our systems are designed to work well in that kind of environment.”
Adoption of technology
Ujala Chowdhry: Could you explain the reasons for the adoption of this technology with an example to our readers?
Maxx Garrison: “For the Factor 200 Series, in particular, imagine that you’ve created a prototype solution for connecting all the automated systems in a building. You made that solution using a combination of software and the standard Raspberry Pi board. Now, you want to put that solution into practice or even sell that solution to other people who want to automate their buildings. You need a device designed to be easily installed wherever it’s needed. You also want a solution that you can count on to operate reliably all day, every day. OnLogic and the Factor 200 Series would be a great option for you.”
Ujala Chowdhry: What are the connectivity options that are supported by the Factor 200 series’ devices?
Maxx Garrison: “Both systems are 4G LTE capable and 5G ready, meaning that once 5G modems become more widely available, we intend to offer them as options on the Factor Series in addition to 4G LTE. 5G is definitely coming, and it will bring with it some great advantages for users of our hardware. The higher bandwidth of 5G is ideal for high-resolution and high-frame-rate video capture and processing, as well as for newer sensors like LiDAR. But, particularly in the industrial market for which our devices are intended, it will take time for 5G to be a viable solution for most industrial hardware users.”
Despite a large group of computers manufacturers being available in general, seeing companies like OnLogic which provide industry-grade solutions, including Raspberry Pi parts, is a fresh and welcome aspect. Their product portfolio also includes different kinds of rugged computers, edge servers, rack-mountable computers, NUCs, thin clients, and more for companies that are part of industries like energy, heavy industry, manufacturing, or others that are looking to realize smart building solutions for themselves or their customers.
YouTube: Industrial Raspberry Pi Gateway – Introducing the Factor 201
Photo credit: The infographic in the body of the article has been made by the author for TechAcute. All other images are owned by OnLogic and have been provided for press usage.
Editorial notice: The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Update 29th of March – The contents of the article have been adjusted in coordination with OnLogic to prevent misunderstanding on what the solution does and who the user group might include.