A global manufacturer of food and beverage-dispensing systems with four decades in the business wanted to update one of its legacy products -- a coffee brewer -- with a modern, easy-to-use touchscreen interface.
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.
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.
Working tirelessly for the final month for the project, ICS successfully beat the clock and delivered an appealing, well-performing product.