A global manufacturer of industrial agricultural equipment known for its commitment to quality and innovation modernized the in-cabin operator experience with a state-of-the-art touchscreen command center.
Leading Agricultural Equipment Manufacturer Revamps Operator Experience with Help from ICS
Looking to update the in-vehicle control center for an array of heavy machinery, including tractors and combines, this manufacturer turned to ICS for assistance. The customer's goal was to create a command center that was accessible and intuitive. The controls for major tractor functions such as AutoTrac™ resume, throttle, transmission, SCVs, PTO and hitch needed to be easy to use and allow operators to customize the pages to view the most important functions.
Coinciding with the imperative to comply with Full Tier Emission Standards by a hard deadline, the command center software had a tight, fixed-release plan that allowed for no schedule slips whatsoever. Still, the manufacturer asked for a complete rewrite of their entire software stack to accomplish their goal of a modern and flexible touchscreen user experience. The resulting large-scale software engineering project was conducted using strict agile practices and test-driven development.
Multiple engineering teams participated. Over a time-span of thirty months, ICS trained dozens of employees in Qt while developing a customized and highly efficient Qt Widget set that reflected the customer's brand and desired look-and-feel. Four additional ICS teams, each with a team lead, product owner and engineering manager, developed the entire set of tractor apps delivering functionality such as throttle, transmission, SCVs, PTO and hitch, as well as the in-cabin infotainment experience complete with Bluetooth phone integration.
To accomplish this most effectively, ICS senior architects engineered and implemented a new and streamlined communication protocol. This protocol is a revision of the CAN-Bus-based VT protocol between in-cabin command center and various engine control units. At the same time, the ICS senior project director anticipated staffing needs for a spike in workload and incorporated European senior software engineering personnel to meet cost constraints, guaranteeing the highest productivity.
ICS deployed senior engineering personnel that took on the role of product owners for each final phase of the delivery. These engineers delivered the software by working on site and side-by-side with employees through the final stages of integration testing.
ICS embraces and practices agile processes, which allowed our teams to achieve deliveries for milestone after milestone 100% on time. Our experience with test-driven development meant the final software was extremely stable and virtually bug-free. The manufacturer's tractors and other heavy machinery feature ICS-produced software that is a generation ahead of the competition. It's beautiful, efficient and easy to use.