Managing projects to deliver within tight deadlines is our core strength. This is illustrated in a project that we came to know as “The 12 days of January”. On January 14th we were contacted by a new customer about building the electronics for a large-scale pricing menu panel. The menu panel would electronically display prices in a 4 by 10 matrix configuration (each price having five digits with a fixed decimal point), and displayed prices could be set and changed via an accompanying web-based application. We submitted a proposal the same day that we were contacted, and received notification to proceed the next day (January 15th).
In 12 calendar days, we completed the entire project from creating the system concept, to designing, fabricating and assembling PC boards for the display, as well as writing the software for the Texas Instruments MSP430 microcontroller, writing the web server application, and integrating and testing the communications link between the 40 display boards and the web server. The web server application was developed using Apache, Perl, and PHP.
The electronics and web application were delivered and integrated with the customer’s mechanical design at their facility in Chicago on January 27th and the Pricing Menu shown in the picture was subsequently demonstrated at a trade show on January 31st. The system operated flawlessly throughout the trade show and was a huge success for the client.