The client Raspberry Pi Foundation, RS Components and Premier Farnell
The sector Computing
The product The Raspberry Pi is a series of low cost, credit-card sized single-board computers that plug into a computer monitor or TV. Designed and manufactured in the UK, it enables people of all ages to explore computing, learning how to program in languages like Scratch and Python. Originally targeted for classrooms, the Raspberry Pi range has enjoyed wide success with computer enthusiasts worldwide and has now carved out a large global market.
Sony first began manufacturing the Raspberry Pi back in 2012, and the organisation was originally engaged to produce the first Raspberry Pi at around 10,000 units per year. Since then, demand has grown considerably, as has the product range. Over the last 10 years, Sony UK Technology Centre increased capacity and efficiency with an output of one Pi manufactured every 3.1 seconds!
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a not-for-profit entity. Thanks to its mission statement, Raspberry Pi products have always remained low-cost products, and subsequently are in ever-increasing demand. Working in partnership with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, Sony has assisted in the manufacturing design of each Pi variant, helping it to become more powerful and capable than its predecessors, whilst keeping the same price point. Examples of how the centre was able to achieve this range from having access to the Sony Global Supply Chain to ensure cost efficiency, to the culture of continuous improvement that the Sony UK Technology Centre fosters as part of everyday activities. On average, the production teams introduce over 250 process innovations per year across the site, driving the production efficiency up and minimising production costs.
Sony UK Technology Centre has made several investments over the past couple of years, which have allowed the centre to grow and support the Raspberry Pi journey. A great example of this continuous investment and process improvement was the design, development and manufacturing of bespoke automated testing equipment by Sony UK Technology Centre Staff for Raspberry Pi production. This automated solution helped to increase the process efficiency tremendously since 2012; additional benefits have been realised in improved quality rates, cost savings per unit, and higher product output.
Eben Upton, CEO and founder of Raspberry Pi, said:
"Working with Sony has been a great experience throughout and without their attention to detail and culture of continuous improvement, we would have struggled to maintain the quality and volume of production of so many Raspberry Pis in the UK at a price point that makes sense for our business. Technologically, culturally, and in terms of business, a manufacturing partnership with Sony has always been an easy decision for us."
You can find out more at https://www.raspberrypi.org/help/what-is-a-raspberry-pi