Case Study: Ticket Validating Machine

Customer Needs: Lifecycle management - a suitable replacement for a discontinued video panel

Background:

At IEE we understand that component lifecycle management is a critical part of what our industrial customers need from us. The LCD panel used in this customer’s existing product was due to be discontinued by the glass manufacturer. Our customer needed to find a replacement that would minimize re-design costs.

Challenges:

Finding a replacement panel was not as simple as it sounds. First, the original design used a 3.8” monochrome display. Our customer decided to take this opportunity to upgrade the product to feature a full-color TFT monitor. The original design used the screen in a landscape configuration. However, most color LCDs in that size range are intended for the mobile phone market and are designed to be used in a portrait orientation.

A further requirement was that the customer did not want to replace the legacy computer inside the ticket validating machine which had been driving the existing display via a serial interface.

Solutions:

As IEE works with multiple panel suppliers, we were able to identify a 3.7” color LCD panel that would fit the existing enclosure without modification. As an added bonus, the new screen was a transflective design that allowed us to increase sunlight readability while conserving power.

To address the orientation issue, our engineers adapted an IEE SVGA card to drive the VGA display. IEE modified the card’s firmware so that by rotating and scaling the image, we were able to use just a portion of the card’s output was required to fill the smaller VGA screen.

Our broad supply network and engineering creativity reduced the costs and eliminated potential delays associated with a component becoming obsolete. By tapping into our large network of suppliers we were able to find a replacement panel that eliminated the need for case modifications. Because IEE was able to keep the same resolution and orientation as the original display allowing our customer was able to reuse their original content with no modifications.