The success of Revolution Pi is contributed by the countless system integrators around the world who use our devices for their projects. Therefore, we would like to introduce one of our first choice system integrators: erminas GmbH based in Oldenburg (Germany) has been with us since the introduction of Revolution Pis in 2016 and has since implemented countless (I)IoT projects with a wide variety of RevPis. We talk to Hilmar Bunjes, founder and CEO of erminas GmbH.
This interview was originally conducted in German.
KUNBUS: Hello Hilmar, please tell us something about erminas GmbH
Hilmar: Through retrofitting and the possibilities of Industrial IoT, erminas GmbH brings analog machines into the digital age. In this way, we support companies in optimizing their processes and increase their efficiency. And we develop new business areas with and for our customers that arise from the possibilities of digitalization.
We design, develop and extend web and server applications, as well as mobile applications for international companies. We work with .NET, Azure and business intelligence. Custom applications, performance-critical systems and big data have been part of our core competence for 14 years. In addition, we act as consultants for the digitalization of processes and business models. We are certified for GPM/IPMA project management and work agile.
KUNBUS: What role does the Revolution Pi play in your projects?
Hilmar: In our search for a maximally flexible hardware solution for the very different requirements of our customers, we came across the Revolution Pi in 2016. The possibilities arising from the various combinations of the three basic modules with the I/O modules, the CON expansion modules and the different gateways are almost infinite and allow us to optimally adapt it to every conceivable project. With the Revolution Pi, we can offer our customers a cost-compatible yet safe and powerful industrial solution that is embedded in the extensive tool world of software development. That has a lot of charm.
KUNBUS: That means you’ve been happy with the Revolution Pi since 2016?
Hilmar: Here in the north at the coast, we always ask ourselves, “Bringt dat watt?” And when we’re very impressed, we say, “Dat bringt watt!”
We have been working with the system for more than five years now, and we are not only happy about our satisfied customers, but also about the close collegial relationship we have developed with the KUNBUS team during this time. The very good cooperation has led us to many successful project completions, because we always develop solutions together that are the best fit for our customers.
Therefore, I can say with conviction: “Dat bringt watt!”
KUNBUS: “Mir Schwabe sin au ganz bgeischderd!” Tell us about projects you have already implemented with the Revolution Pi?
Hilmar: We support small, medium-sized and large industrial and service companies from completely different industries worldwide. That makes our field of activity very diverse and exciting. We look at our customers’ existing products and work with them to find out how we can make these products even better with digital components. We tune them with sensors and apps to be able to generate added value. Or we make sure that machines and systems are monitored by sensors and cameras so that operators can be warned at an early stage of possible failures, such as those caused by material weakness. This helps with maintenance planning.
Sometimes we equip explosion-proof machines with sensors to increase their safety and expand their functionality. Sometimes we transform complex paper processes into efficient digital ones. Sometimes we monitor sorting and conveyor systems to help make the most efficient use of increasingly scarce resources. We use the RevPi to read out and translate analog and digital data for these projects, or to transfer it to a cloud or CRM system, for example.
KUNBUS: And which of your own products do you offer?
Hilmar: Due to our very broad diverse experience with the possible uses of the Revolution Pi, we have developed applications for our projects that support us in integration and implementation. For example, our OPC-UA converter erPUB reads different data from different machines and translates it for further use in other applications, for example in Azure and AWS Cloud.
And so that our developers don’t have to go to the customer to identify errors in the system, we have developed erTRACE to create a virtual twin. This is particularly helpful for our international customers.
We also offer all these proven applications as products.
KUNBUS: Our joint project is the RevPi Nodes, which are now pre-installed on every new RevPi. Would you briefly summarize what that’s all about?
Hilmar: Node-RED is a flow-based low-code platform for prototypes and small applications. It graphically connects so-called “nodes” for this purpose. We developed the RevPi Nodes to enable users to get started quickly. With the RevPi Nodes on the Revolution Pi, anyone can quickly and easily develop their first IoT project and build prototypes, for example. We also like to use them for prototyping and demonstration.
KUNBUS: What was your personal favorite project with the Revolution Pi?
Hilmar: That’s not so easy to answer, because almost every project is exciting and often challenging. Since we have not committed ourselves to one industry, we are constantly experiencing new interesting project areas, and our team looks forward to each new case. However, I can name and even show you one very exciting project, because it is already listed on the Revolution Pi website: The retrofit project fresh water filling station at the railroad station: Retrofit project fresh water filling station at the railroad station.
KUNBUS: What do you think could be improved on the RevPi?
Hilmar: You have already addressed an important point with the Flat and Compact: Higher integration of functions for certain purposes without having to combine several modules. However, some of our customers very much want the Compute Module 4 from the Raspberry Pi in the industrial version. But I heard that you are already planning something there, right?
KUNBUS: Yes, definitely. Our developers are already working hard to develop a RevPi based on CM4 and if everything goes according to plan, the first RevPi with CM4 will premiere in late summer.
Hilmar, thanks for the nice and interesting conversation.
Hilmar: With pleasure!