The Revolution Pi from Kunbus is a small industrial controller for DIN rails. With a whole range of IO and bus modules, the Revolution Pi – or RevPi for short – can communicate with all common analog and digital sensors, actuators and bus systems as well as with TCP-IP-based networks. The RevPi contains a Linux computer, which makes it an amazingly versatile problem solver.

In contrast to the classic programmable logic controller (PLC), the Soft-PLC does not have a single software package for programming. The Revolution Pi can be programmed in basically any language: High level languages like C, C#, Java, PHP, Python, with classical automation solutions like Codesys, or with graphical tools like NodeRed. This is the enormous potential: You can run almost everything on the RevPi. In this article we present five possible application scenarios.

1. Revolution Pi as data supplier for ERP, BDE and PPS

What if your ERP, BDE and PPS systems were automatically fed with data from production, so that the tedious and error-prone manual data entry is no longer necessary? With the Revolution Pi you get access to the data of your plants. You can use the RevPi as a plant control system, retrofit your plants inexpensively with the RevPi and sensors or read out data via Profinet, ModBus RTU or OPC-UA from the existing PLC. If necessary, you can prepare the data on the RevPi before passing it on to your ERP system (e.g. SAP or MS Dynamics Nav), your production data acquisition (PDA) or your production planning and control system (PPC). For this purpose, both programming languages and most software solutions provide ready-to-use libraries and interfaces for REST, XML, JSON as well as for Excel and CSV exports. By the way, the data can run in both directions. Thus, with the RevPi, order data from ERP or PPS is also available directly at the machine.

erminas Revolution Pi Schema

2. Revolution Pi for modern plant monitoring

erMON RevPi Anlagenüberwachung

Systems must run. If this is not the case, a quick reaction of the personnel is necessary, and in case of major technical problems, the quick organization of external service providers is also necessary. Especially with outdoor facilities, failures and malfunctions are often detected late or reported late or imprecisely by the operating personnel. Here too, the Revolution Pi helps. Connected to the existing network or equipped with a mobile router, the Revolution Pi monitors the plant. You can use any server monitoring software available for Linux or use erMON, a solution especially developed for the Revolution Pi. Alternatively, you can choose a cloud based solution to which the Revolution Pi can send its data. On your PC or smartphone, you can now view the status of your systems, the fault history and statistics at any time via the browser. Depending on the solution used, you will receive alarms via SMS, email, fax or messenger. This way, any malfunction is quickly detected and quickly solved.

3. Revolution Pi as EDGE gateway on the DIN rail

Especially companies with many small sites do not operate a data center with IT personnel at every location. Nevertheless, data is to be collected from several systems, which can then be evaluated across locations on the company’s own servers or in a cloud solution. Here too, Revolution Pi offers the solution. As the central remote station, the data from all systems is entered here: Via OPC-UA, ModBus, Profibus, Profinet, CANbus. The data is securely cached, if necessary pre-processed or transformed and then forwarded via the Internet to the company’s own servers or the cloud solutions.

The Revolution Pi has the advantage that the Raspberry Pi (more precisely the Raspberry Compute Module) is the technical basis of the RevPi. Because there are countless free software libraries for data transformation for the Raspberry Pi, and every well-known cloud provider offers interfaces and tutorials for the Raspberry Pi that can be used directly with the RevPi.

RevolutionPi als Edge Gateway

4. With Revolution Pi your plants go App

erminas PAPr Anlagenüberwachung

Do you develop and sell systems yourself? How about if your plant comes with a setup and operation app for tablets and smartphones, and if the HMI (Human Machine Interface) of your plant runs in a browser? Your customers would be able to securely access the plant data from anywhere. Your service team would be able to connect live to the plant, view error logs and remote analyze before driving to the customer. Your plant supplies data to third-party systems via interfaces. All this from a single source, just like you are already used to in the field of consumer electronics. Your own Industrial IoT product line is easy to implement with the Revolution Pi.

5. Revolution Pi as digital twin of your plant

While a production plant is in operation, it can only be tested and expanded to a limited extent. If the control program has to be renewed or extended, the plant is shut down or worked on like open heart surgery. And what exactly can be tested at all depends on the requirements of production on the day in question. The solution is a simulation software, but this is usually only available for large and expensive PLC solutions.

An efficient and easy to use solution is the Revolution Pi with the software erTRACE. From the point of view of your PLC, the machine consists of inputs through which signals come in. With erTRACE you can record the digital and analog inputs as well as inputs of many bus systems. You can create a library of recordings of different usage scenarios or record error scenarios on the running system. The Revolution Pi can not only record, but also play back for your PLC. The RevPi is now your plant – only in pocket size. You no longer develop at the machine, but comfortably and efficiently in the office. Play back the scenarios as often as you want. You can also download recordings from the production remotely and thus reconstruct and analyze reported errors. This is what the Revolution Pi does with erTRACE as the virtual twin of your plant.

Revolution Pi mit erTRACE als Digital Twin

Revolution Pi at a glance and in use

erminas Revolution Pi Anwendungsgebiete

The Revolution Pi is the Swiss knife for digitalization

The Revolution Pi is a versatile soft PLC based on the Raspberry Pi. It has a robust and industrial-suited periphery and is reliable and at the same time cost-effective. The compact industrial PC can be extended in many ways to compatible digital and analog I/O modules and fieldbus gateways by the individual base modules, depending on the requirements. Even the basic modules RevPi Core, RevPi Core 3 and RevPi Connect have USB, Ethernet and HDMI connections. It can also be used for machine control. All this makes the Revolution Pi the Swiss knife of industrial PCs.

The erminas GmbH is Kunbus Premium Partner. If you have any questions concerning the Revolution Pi and its various applications, please contact us. We will also be happy to come to you for consulting and workshops.