Our laundry services client had a unique challenge for us. They needed to interface with many different manufacturers laundry machines. These machines did not share any common control protocol nor support the same features or configuration so they needed help getting them to work under one system.
One thing these machines did share was they each supported some means of attaching wires to the control board and varying serial protocols for communicating over this connection. Tackling each manufacturers unique control strategy we integrated each machine into the system one by one. Now it can control machines from more than 7 of the top coin operated laundry equipment manufacturers. In addition it supports MDB vending machines from a variety of manufacturers.
Our customer sells three different models of hardware to communicate with the laundry equipment, and the firmware runs on three different hardware platforms, all of which we designed. The three platforms include MCU's by Microchip and Texas Instruments, including 8, 16, and 32 bit embedded chips. Much of the logic is shared across platforms but features vary widely based on the system specific abilities.
Development was done using Microchip MPLAB and ICD-3 debuggers and Visual GDB using TI CC3220 launchpad hardware debuggers. All the code is in ANSI C. Connection from card readers to the system include cat 5 rs485 or standard wifi.