Line of Electrochemical Analyzers for Process Control
Situation: Our client’s family of electrochemical measurement instruments required updating and expanded capabilities, including enhanced measurement and display features. The client wanted a design that would support the many communications disciplines available today as well as those coming in the future. We had to balance the desire for low cost against the need to support numerous available computer-communication methods.
Solution: We helped our client survey their competition to define the required instrumentation architecture and establish a cost target. We fully prototyped the planned user interface in the Windows environment, affording the client easy access for review and feedback. After comparing competitors’ offerings and reviewing prototypes, the client reconsidered their initial desire for a basic display of numeric digits and asked for a design that would incorporate a graphic display screen. We designed a separate analog hardware front-end board to handle each of the four different measurement probe technologies that our client currently offered. We also built several relatively inexpensive communications methods into the basic instrument and designed future communication disciplines that would be added via a second circuit board. Finally, we designed a digital measurement board to be used throughout the product line.
Result: Our system architecture and product design enabled this client to simultaneously roll out all four versions of their new instrument family. Our platform-design approach also helped the client to cost-effectively customize future iterations of the instrument. This client now has an architecture that will support their continuing success for the next decade. Moreover, the new design we created for them has boosted the client’s sales and enabled it to increase its market share.