netPI is a product developed by Hilscher and Element14, the manufacturer of the standard Raspberry Pi 3. From a hardware perspective netPI's PCB includes the same circuitry and components you know from Pi 3 already except the composite audio/video output jack and DSI display port (we felt they make no sense on an industrialized product). The CSI camera connector is available on the PCB but not populated on the PCBA. In summary netPI is 99% compatible with a Pi 3 and 100% if you don't use audio/video and DSI port.
We offer a bunge of Industrial Network Controllers named netX since years with great success. The netPI design additionally includes the netX51 SoC made for Fieldbus or Industrial Ethernet communications as an I/O slave/device/adapter. netPI's focus is connecting the two worlds IT and OT both communicating with state-of-the-art industrial Ethernet and this is why netPI comes with two RJ45 Ethernet ports extra driven by netX51.
netX51 is multi-protocol capable and supports today's most popular Industrial Ethernet protocols such as Profinet, EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP any many more. A simple firmware loading procedure changes from one protocol to the other in seconds.
Accessing netX51's interface enables access to factory automation networks consisting of a controlling PLC typically with underlying peripheral I/O devices connecting to the sensors and actuators. netX51 will integrate in these networks as I/O unit as well and exchanges data from and to the network with a host application.