Invatron Systems Corporation - Case Study

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Invatron is the industry leader in providing software solutions for enabling remote management of scales in supermarkets and grocery stores.

Systech is our preferred network device server supplier. Flexibility of their software and ease of installation in the grocery store is a difference maker with our customers.
Tom Barclay
Vice President, Sales
Invatron Systems Corporation

 

Requirements and Problems to be Addressed

In today’s supermarket and grocery store environments, scales are located in various departments throughout the store, e.g. the deli, meat and produce areas. To enable remote management and control of these scales:

  • Expensive cabling runs to connect the scales to the store’s backroom server need to be avoided;
  • Communication with the scales needs to occur over the in-store network;
  • They need to be IP-enabled since they are serial interface devices; and
  • The backroom server needs an adequate number of serial ports to handle the number of scales in the store.

The store’s return on assets can be greatly enhanced if the requirements for enabling remote management of the scales can be accomplished without the need of completely replacing the scales with newer versions that are IP ready. A new scale can cost in the range of $500 to $1,000. If you have a typical chain of 50 grocery stores, with 7 scales per store, replacing existing scales with newer versions would result in $175,000 to $350,000 in additional capital expenditures.

Invatron’s scale management software runs on the backroom server in the store. Since the software runs as a Windows application, it makes com port calls to scales in the store. Additionally, more serial ports are needed than are typically available on the server.

To enable Invatron’s solution, a wide range of serial port network device server configurations may be needed. Systech offers configurations including embedded, 1 port and 2, 4, 8 and 16 port models. A typical store network using Systech units is shown in the network overview diagram below. In essence, various port count Systech units can be placed in the store departments to enable the existing serial scales to communicate over the existing store network and with the back office server, which is running Invatron’s scale management software. The Invatron software leverages Systech’s NativeCOM software to make regular com port calls to the scales.

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Results and Benefits of Solution

  • An IP-based communications network was established for the in-store scales…No additional capital equipment expenditures were required.
  • The high cost of serial cabling to connect the scales to the store’s backroom server was eliminated.
  • The store is now able to realize the efficiencies of remotely managing its existing serial scales for price maintenance, new food offerings and specials or deals.

Systech designs, develops and markets a family of industry-standard device servers for grocery applications. These products are integrated and marketed by leading application software solutions and full-service integrators. They are used to simplify cabling to RS-232, RS-485, RS-422 devices using Ethernet IP networks, and improve information systems visibility to store operations.


For more information, please contact our Support Group
Phone (858) 674-6500, Ext 711