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Case Studies & Application Stories

Point of sale Amplicon

Amplicon was approached by a large retail outlet, to provide a cost effective point-of-sale system. At each site they wanted to connect several individual terminals to a central server, which would monitor and control the day to day sales floor activity.

Amplicon has over 40 years experience with Measurement and Control equipment, and provision of complete systems. We were asked to provide a solution that could be rolled out to several sites, with identical systems.


System Requirements Amplicon

Each site had between 4 and 30 terminals to be connected to the server. Each terminal had a barcode scanner and a till interface, a three colour light column, an emergency stop button for the conveyor belt and a customer counter. The light column was driven by three digital signals and digital input channels were needed to read the counter and emergency stop button. Two serial ports were also required for the barcode scanner and the till.

A number of key considerations were defined before the system was chosen.

Flexible and expandable - Installation was planned for many branches and no two sites were the same.

Simplicity - Installation engineers are expensive so it was vital that installation time was kept to a minimum.

Cost - With a large number of sites to be monitored it was critical that software and hardware per terminal was cost effective.

Longevity - It was necessary to be able to offer five year support against the duration of the contract. Both Moxa and Amplicon products come with a five year roadmap.

Support - Qualified application engineers are on hand to support the project from inception to completion.

One Stop Shop - Single supplier source minimises the risk to the customer.


System description Amplicon

The system provided used industrial Ethernet hardware which was already available at some sites, and favoured for new installations.

At each terminal, a Moxa ioLogik E2210 was used to read all digital inputs and the 'customer counter', and to drive the digital outputs controlling the traffic light column. An Ethernet port allowed easy connection to the Local Area Network (LAN).

The Moxa NPort 5000 serial to Ethernet converters provided an LAN interface for the barcode scanner and till connector.

The Moxa EDS-405 Ethernet switch was offered for each terminal, so that a redundant ring was provided for Ethernet communication. This meant that if the network was broken at one point, the LAN would still function. The Moxa EDS switch has an onboard relay output wired to a local alarm system, which could flag an issue and an email could be sent to the support department to fix it.

The customer wanted their own bespoke software and asked Amplicon to provide an Industrial PC to ensure 24/7 reliability and long length of service. The Amplicon Impact-R 150 have several key advantages over standard desktops.

Industrial Motherboard design means long life
Revision control of key components such as processors ensures longevity of life and readily available spares
High MTBF figures on movable parts. For example all Amplicon systems use RAID Edition Western Digital hard drives designed for non-stop operation
1 Year onsite warranty (next business day - UK ) - Years 2 and 3, return-to-base.

All the equipment at each terminal fitted together using DIN Rail and easy RJ45 and screw terminals. The rest of the system was set up from the server over the network.


Why Amplicon? Amplicon

As with all projects, a single point of contact at Amplicon was established to manage everything from initial enquiry through to completion. In addition Amplicon technical support and application engineers were on hand for any in depth assistance. With over 40 years experience of industrial electronic systems, Amplicon were the partner of choice.

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