A major European vendor of analyzer instruments wanted to design and develop firmware for the next generation of FID hydrocarbon analyzer on a tight schedule.
The unit is an in-line process equipment and hence was designed to operate continuously.
It had an LCD based Graphical User Interface with soft keys. The product was built on a 32-bit ARM based microcontroller. The firmware was designed for multi-tasking. It was important that the firmware was always responsive and that the safety logic was alway active. A custom built scheduler helped to partition these functionalities into different tasks with varying priorities.
The firmware had power-on self test, safety interlocks, flame monitoring, gas flow control, data acquisition, graph display and data logging. The product was rigorously tested. An exhaustive set of test cases were identified to ensure that all the functionalities, the safety aspects and other performance parameters were verified.
An iterative model of development was chosen for this project. Many intermediate releases ensured that the project was on track, allowed the client to monitor the progress and also get feedback on the user interface from marketing teams on a regular basis.
The on-time delivery helped to release the product in time for a trade show.