© Sony UK TEC Electronics Production | August 17, 2017
Sony UK TEC has grown along with Rapberry Pi
Back in late July, Sony UK Technology Centre celebrated yet another manufacturing milestone. The facility has – after only five years – manufactured 10 million Raspberry Pi’s.
In the last five years, the Welsh manufacturing facility has seen staff numbers increase by 200, taking its team of local employees to 540, the company states in a press release. And during the summer the facility celebrated reaching the 10 million Raspberry Pi manufacturing milestone after only five years. To illustrate this achievement; every single person living in my native Sweden would be able to own a Raspberry Pi – and we would still have some spares for emergency hand-outs. Sony UK TEC has played an instrumental role in the journey of the Raspberry Pi – which is now the third best-selling general purpose computer of all time globally – and the tiny computer has played a big part in the facility’s success over the last five years. As most of you know, the Raspberry Pi was originally manufactured in China, but founder Eben Upton moved production to Sony UK TEC in 2012 due to the facilities' capacity and automated processes. BAck when all this happened the facility was first approached to make 10’000 of the low-cost, credit card-sized computers annually. However, that changed quickly with demand quickly soaring and Sony UK TEC went onto produce one million in its first year. And with the popularity of the computer, production rapidly grew with numbers reaching five million in just two years and now, at peak capacity Sony UK TEC can make up to 100’000 Pis per week. Sony UK TEC Managing Director Steve Dalton OBE said: “The last five years has seen unprecedented growth across our Pencoed facility, something we are understandably incredibly proud of.” “Our growth has been intrinsically linked to the success of the Raspberry Pi and we are delighted to reach the 10 million manufacturing milestone. This is a significant achievement for everyone involved in its production, especially our devoted Sony Team, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and distributors Premier Farnell and RS Components,” Steve Dalton continues. The company were also involved in supporting the Pi Foundation further by introducing Pi manufacturing to its Japan counterparts making the ‘made in Japan’ version of Pi a reality. Raspberry Pi Foundation founder Eben Upton said that the last five years has been extremely exciting for them – seeing their card-sized computer becoming Britain’s best-selling computer of all time. “When we initially began manufacturing it here at Sony UK TEC we could never have imagined it would be the soaring success it has become – and for that we are entirely grateful to Sony and our distribution partners.” And there is a fair bit of local pride in the partnership between Sony UK TEC and the Raspberry Pi Foundation. “We are particularly delighted that the Pi has set the benchmark for utilizing innovative and progressive manufacturing right here in the UK, as it was always our wish to make the computers in this country,” Eben Upton concludes.
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