Beverage Equipment | ICS - Integrated Computer Solutions

Beverage Equipment

It's coffee o'clock

A global manufacturer of food and beverage-dispensing systems turned to ICS to update one of its most popular coffee brewers with a modern, easy-to-use touchscreen interface.

Restaurant-Equipment Company Updates Popular Coffee Brewer with Modern UI

If you're caffeine-deprived, the last thing you want is to face bleary-eyed a complicated coffee brewer. You want an intuitive, easy-to-use interface designed to deliver that piping cup of joe stat! Understanding this consumer reality, this beverage-equipment firm embarked upon a project to modernize its legacy coffee brewers, with help from Integrated Computer Solutions, Inc. (ICS).

Challenge

The interface was envisioned as an embedded QML/Qt app running on a 10-inch touchscreen computer, which would serve as the brewer’s Human Machine Interface (HMI). There were several challenges related to documentation, HMI specifications and a personnel change on the customer’s part. But, the most pressing challenge concerned the deadline. Just a few weeks into the project, ICS’ client asked to accelerate an already tight development schedule so it could meet the timeline of one of its own customers. They also informed ICS that the product itself would need modification to incorporate a custom theme, a task that was beyond the project’s original scope.

Solution

To meet the looming deadline ICS had to solve a host of problems, the thorniest related to the machine’s serial interface. The brewer had its own custom firmware, which had to be modified to communicate via an RS-232 serial interface. The customer planned to address this task itself and hired an outside contractor to do the work on the firmware. Unfortunately, midway through writing the specification, the contractor and the manufacturer parted ways. To ensure the project remained on track, ICS stepped up communications with the customer, expanded the engineering team and re-prioritized feature development, placing most effort on the new interface protocol. By simplifying the UI, ICS was able to support the key functionality necessary for greatly accelerated delivery.

Result

Working tirelessly for the final month for the project, ICS successfully beat the clock and delivered an appealing, well-performing product.