Farnell inks deal with Industrial Shields to distribute open-source automation devices
Farnell has entered into a new global franchise with Industrial Shields, a developer and manufacturer of industrial automation devices (PLCs and Panel PCs) based on open source hardware from Raspberry Pi and Arduino.
The benefits of utilising open source hardware has been argues for quite some time, but one of the main benefits is the opportunity to bring industrial products to market at a lower cost and in less time than designing with proprietary processor boards. The new partnership strengthens Farnell’s industrial automation and control portfolio by providing more options to customers developing monitoring, control or automation solutions based on single board computers (SBCs). The addition of this new range of PLCs, Panel PCs and the Open Mote B ultra-low-power communications board for the Internet of Things (IoT) will further boost Farnell's catalog. Automation continues to grow in all domestic and industrial sectors including home and factory automation, large buildings and smart cities. The use of open source hardware removes any lock-in associated with proprietary PLCs, giving customers much more control and ownership of the design. Many designers are already familiar with the programming environment of Raspberry Pi and Arduino, which offers easy access to powerful tools and information about the design and operation of the products. Developers of industrial automation solutions also have the option to integrate a greater range of electronic components into their designs, reducing the cost of end products. Farnell will now stocks Industrial Shields’ full product range, including automation devices such as the Touchberry Pi 10.1 Panel PC, based on the Raspberry Pi 4B; the ARDBOX PLC product family, based on the Arduino Leonardo board; the Ethernet-enabled M-DUINO PLC family of PLCs. “This new global franchise with Industrial Shields increases our range of PLCs and Panel PCs giving our customers greater choice of low cost and flexible devices to support their automation needs. The innovative use of open source hardware will create designs that speed time to market, reduce costs, and put the customer in control. This is a key addition to our automation range, bringing the benefits of industrial automation closer to our customers than ever before,” says Lee Turner, Global Head of Semiconductors and SBC at Farnell in a press release. “The collaboration with Farnell gives us the opportunity to continue growing. Thanks to this agreement, we are consolidating our position as the leading manufacturer of open source-based systems for industrial automation, and strengthening our company's international presence. In addition, the fact that a prestigious group such as Farnell is committed to Industrial Shields products gives our customers the peace of mind of using safe, quality systems,” adds Albert Prieto, CEO of Industrial Shields.