R&D Support for Next Generation Pay Stations
T2 systems, international leader in automated parking management systems, produces parking pay stations used to streamline parking experiences for municipalities and large facilities worldwide in a wide variety of climates. After many years of successful operation, T2 was looking to develop a ‘version 2’ of the hardware and firmware for their flagship parking kiosk, offering some improvements to the existing operation as well as lower overall costs for the bill of materials and assembly.
While T2 had a strong technical team of their own, their existing staff was largely consumed with existing manufacturing and operational concerns. Finding the time and manpower for a significant R&D effort seemed daunting if not entirely impossible. Tangent was able to provide this additional support. With a strong understanding of the technologies and communication protocols used in their products coupled with an agile multi-disciplinary product development team, Tangent was able to spool up quickly to develop this new version of the technology which powered their flagship product.
Given the nature of the device, wholesale replacement of the kiosks was out of the question. T2 still wanted to make the updated version of the electrical hardware and firmware available to its existing clients as an upgrade. As such, the design of the updated electronics had to be sensitive to the existing points of connection, enclosures and limitations of the existing kiosks.
Provided with an example of their existing device for reference, the Tangent electrical team went to work developing an improved version of the main system controller, which incorporates the measurement and control of dozens of IO devices. We embarked on a re-design and layout of the main system PCB, produced a new mechanical enclosure for the module, and developed new embedded firmware driver support for the Yocto Linux processing core.
The result was an upgraded and optimized (core module) with a lower BOM cost that fit neatly within the existing kiosk enclosure and mated with the wire harnesses. This allowed T2’s existing customers to install the upgrade themselves, providing this updated technology to them without the need to remove or replace the existing physical kiosk units.
T2 began with a need to develop a new version of their core technology, but encountered problems in trying to free or find the required resources in-house. Tangent’s agile and knowledgable design team was able to quickly understand the company’s needs, get up to speed on the operation of their existing technology, and design and develop a new, optimized version of the technology. In doing so, we provided value to T2 by lowering their manufacturing costs, accelerating an internal R&D project that would otherwise have been difficult to resource internally, and provided value to their customers by providing an update that worked well with their existing physical hardware.