Case Study - GSI
GSI Electronics Inc. is a multinational specializing in the development and manufacturing of electronic controls. Its mission is to optimize livestock performance and production by developing automated and innovative technological solutions for the agricultural industry.
GSI Electronics is:
- A range of more than 150 agricultural products;
- More than 100 employees in Quebec and a few representatives elsewhere in Canada;
- An AGCO brand since 2011; and
- A solid distribution network, outstanding after-sales service and prestigious partners.
A custom solution
Thanks to GSI Electronics, farm owners can be notified of issues such as inadequate humidity or temperature thanks to a virtual controller. This allows them to respond promptly, thus improving animal breeding operations. Even if such control solutions are already well known and frequently used, in this case, their potential had to be maximized with the creation of an adaptive and remotely accessible web app that could be used on devices such as cell phones. This innovation had to be an extension and mirror image of the existing control technology.
An app consistent with GSI
Faced with the challenge of surpassing themselves on a consistent basis and having a cutting-edge technological solution, GSI Electronics experts consulted Kezber to work together closely on this project. To accomplish this feat, Kezber had to address several requirements:
- Staying true to the standards of GSI Electronics;
- Developing a fast, secure and reliable web application;
- Designing the interface within established timeframes; and
- Remaining faithful to the design of the existing program.
Kezber therefore worked to design a web app that could be adapted to different mobile devices. The interface and design had to be similar to the existing technology developed by GSI Electronics. The main objective was to make the device features accessible, regardless of the distance between workers and farms.
The agri-food industry requires sturdy equipment capable of withstanding demanding work environments—a factor that Kezber had to take into account in delivering a reliable solution that could be used outdoors in difficult conditions. The web app furthermore had to work on mobile devices at exceptional speeds, i.e., within seconds. Workers had to be able to operate the farm equipment from their mobile devices and check the results immediately. For example, this could include opening or closing the doors to a building to let animals out at set times.
A fast yet perfectionistic approach
Time was of the essence. Kezber experts started by familiarizing themselves with the demands and particularities of the existing technology. Next, they developed the web application in several stages. To make sure the app was developed properly, the team conducted a number of quality controls and made necessary adjustments. Throughout the project, Kezber experts ensured equipment accuracy, consistency and perfect operation, since the safety of the premises and compliance with current standards are key issues in the agri-food industry. The solution was delivered on time and featured outstanding quality. No delays or breakdowns were permissible.
A client comes back for more
In 2019, GSI Electronics approached Kezber again, this time with a new task:
- To update the app for even easier use and alignment with market trends;
- To ensure consistency between the controller interfaces, the mobile version and the website version; and
- To enhance and modernize the app’s appearance.
Technological requirements and choices
Developing an application for an existing solution inevitably dictates
certain technological choices. The programming platform used for the initial
app was Angular.js, and for the update, Angular 7. The programming language C++
was used for the back end, and Typescript, for the front end. The
solution uses an embedded system based mainly on Chromium.
Rising to the challenge
In addition to upholding the standards of GSI Electronics, the interface is highly efficient and reliable. The solution’s usability was greatly improved in the 2019 update. Kezber’s experts made every effort to meet the design deadlines and to deliver on quality demands. In addition to meeting the requirements, they used the best technologies and resources available to create a high-level interface. The solution offers a host of features, accurate data and a design similar to the initial product. The app is furthermore simple to use and blends efficiency with performance.
Greater autonomy for farm owners
As anticipated, the control solution and mobile application proved a success for the agri-food industry. Farm owners now enjoy greater autonomy as well as time savings. With this solution, they can manage their farms remotely and go about their business without needing to make extra trips for farm-related adjustments. The control solution is contributing to modernizing the industry. Farm owners and workers are also benefiting from time savings and greater autonomy in connection with production operations. In terms of results, GSI Electronics more than ever enjoys a market-leading brand image as well as strong competitiveness in its market.