30 Years of Aaronn Electronic – Established Partner for Custom Industrial IoT Applications

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As a cross-manufacturer “One Stop Shop for Embedded IoT Solutions,” Aaronn Electronic has been supporting its customers in digitalization projects for 30 years – even when they weren’t called that before. Founded in 1993 by Klaus Lederer, Aaronn Electronic started as a specialist in Embedded Computing Technology (ECT). After rapid growth as a specialist, the company expanded its scope and then focused on supporting customers of all sizes with individual IoT applications. In 2023, Aaronn Electronic combines deep expertise, long-term planning capability, fast response times and a passion for its customers’ projects. 

For those who were attentive to technology in the early 1990s, it was clear that significant changes were underway: PCs were increasingly making their way into private households, offices were demanding computer skills instead of typing courses, and the research project EUnet evolved into Germany’s first commercial internet provider. Amid this technological upheaval in 1993, when Germany’s first public web server was set up at the University of Dortmund, Klaus Lederer founded Aaronn Electronic.  

The timing was well-chosen, as Microsoft introduced Windows NT 3.1 that year, a 32-bit operating system available in both workstation and server versions. This marked Microsoft’s transition from a purely PC-oriented operating system to a network operating system, making Windows much more appealing to businesses and providing them with greater possibilities. As a result, the demand for PCs and computers for industrial use significantly increased. However, without widespread internet availability, it wasn’t easy to source PCs and PC components that met the specialized requirements of the industry. Aaronn Electronic stepped in to address this challenge, initially focusing on procurement and quickly moving to adapt these components for specific applications. Being closely connected to customers and manufacturers was already a recipe for success back then. 

From Distributor to System Integrator

Although a lot had changed in the meantime and Aaronn had long since transformed itself from a pure distributor to a broad-based system integrator, the Puchheim-based company once again played to its existing strengths during the pandemic: Due to disrupted supply chains, availability suddenly took on a decisive role again. In this case, Aaronn was able to assume a buffer function on the one hand through its function as a distributor, and on the other hand, through its intensive cooperation with several leading manufacturers, it was also able to ensure that the best possible solution for the customer was selected and implemented in each case. 

However, choosing the optimal systems for commercial users remains a true challenge, not just in difficult times. While in the past, the challenge was determining if the market even offered components with the necessary specifications, today’s challenge lies in making the right decision from a multitude of offerings. Data sheets alone don’t always suffice. With increasing connectivity – think IoT – integration into existing systems or the development of new processes and use cases becomes more complex. The hardware employed serves as the foundation for these endeavors. It must be designed to fulfill its tasks optimally, be affordable, and adaptable to foreseeable changes. 

Aaronn’s experts act as translators between companies and manufacturers: they translate business requirements into manufacturer specifications. Just as a skilled translator goes beyond literal translation to understand nuances, dialects, idioms, and technical terms, the Aaronn team can comprehensively capture and refine customer requirements, suggesting even better approaches and implementing them. 

In the modernly-equipped meeting room, Aaronn Electronic has also placed the awards received from manufacturers in recent years for its exceptional performance – and expects to be able to fulfill the shelf further in the coming years.

Broad Expertise for Medium-Sized Businesses

Aaronn Electronic has demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach in significant projects over the past 30 years. Their spectrum ranges from digital signage solutions for airports, retail, and fast-food chains, to automation solutions for the automotive and supply industries, automation solutions in logistics, medical device equipment, and car wash systems. 

Even for projects with a mass customization, Aaronn can provide optimal support. Looking to the future, the system integrator has repeatedly demonstrated this through prominent projects. For instance, Aaronn supported RWTH Aachen’s “Ecurie Aix” team in the Formula Student, a student competition centered around gaining experience with electric vehicles and autonomous driving. Currently, Aaronn sponsors the TU Munich’s TuFast Eco team, participating in the “Shell Eco Marathon,” a competition focusing on efficiency in autonomously assisted electromobility. 

The specialty of Aaronn’s technicians – listening, understanding, and collaboratively executing – is particularly evident here. Such tasks are also enriching for the Aaronn team: recognizing that every project is unique, they learn with each project and can apply that additional knowledge to future endeavors. 

“The journey from an idea to a finished product is long,” notes Aaronn CEO Florian Haidn from years of experience. “We traverse it daily, while most of our customers do so only occasionally. They increasingly skip certain steps that we take on their behalf. We see ourselves in the same role as a Sherpa does for a mountaineer: we show the way, take on certain tasks, simplify the focus on essentials, and help reach the goal faster – without pushing ourselves into the foreground or making demands.” 

The heart of Aaronn Electronic’s new office in Puchheim: The spacious working area is designed for staff growth. From here, it goes directly to the meeting room, the workshop, and the warehouse. The distributor and system integrator literally takes “short distances”.

Well-Positioned for the Future

In its anniversary year, Aaronn has already given itself a gift. The move to a new, modern, and larger office was driven by growth and the need for office, production, and storage space. However, it’s also an investment in the future: the warehouse offers ample room to stock components or provide additional services such as storing items under frame contracts for customers. 

The new facilities also allow for expanding successful activities in the Rapid Prototyping field. Equipped with 3D printers, assembly machines, and the ability to mill metal parts on-site for housing modifications, Aaronn can shorten project timelines and reduce “Time-to-Market” for their customers. In a time where speed and differentiation are key, this becomes increasingly important – and Aaronn is well-prepared. 

“Understanding also involves the word ‘grasp’,” says Florian Haidn. “Especially with highly individual requirements, it’s often easier for customers to hold a prototype in their hands, perhaps even make adjustments or try it out, rather than envisioning all specifications solely through data sheets and technical drawings. While the digital world offers numerous possibilities – what you’ve seen and felt in person is simply understood better.” 

The new Aaronn office is also well-equipped for breaks, which are important in everyday working life, and for exchanges between employees. Because those who get along well can also form a good team in everyday working life.

Strong Partnerships for Optimal Results

Aaronn’s extensive portfolio, tailored to industrial requirements, spans from Computer-on-Modules (COM) and Embedded Single Board Computers (SBC) to Embedded Box PCs, Panel-PCs, industrial display solutions with various touch technologies, IoT Gateways, and 19″ Rackmount Servers

As a system integrator focused on customer needs, Aaronn maintains close relationships with several leading manufacturers in these areas. Apart from its longstanding affiliation with Kontron, which dates back to its inception, Aaronn collaborates with Advantech, Adlink Technology, Seco, and Intel®. These carefully selected and diligently nurtured partnerships ensure that Aaronn can act as a liaison between its customers and the manufacturers, providing quick access to the right experts and specialists when needed. 

In Europe, Aaronn has been among the most successful distribution partners and system integrators of Advantech for years and was certified as an “Advantech Premier Channel Partner” in 2022. With Kontron, one of its earliest partners, Aaronn is a “Certified Design Partner” and has been one of the most successful distribution partners and system integrators across Europe for years. Aaronn has been collaborating with SECO, one of the founders of the Qseven® standard and a global leader in this field, since 2016. Successful collaboration with ADLINK Technology GmbH has also been successfully working for years. 

Aaronn is a member of the “Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance” and holds the “Titanium Technology Provider” status – the highest level in Intel’s global partner program. This provides Aaronn with access to the latest information about Intel® products and ensures that Aaronn employees receive comprehensive product training and preferred project support ahead of time. This status has been earned through excellent collaboration in developing and implementing tailored industrial PC solutions based on the latest Intel® platforms and technologies in previous years – and Aaronn aims to consistently continue this path.