Your group has already analysed the conceptual design of a project in Assignment 1. In this assignment, you are required to write a report which critically analyses the preliminary design and detailed design phases of the project discussed in Assignment 1. Particular attention is to be paid to the system test, evaluation and validation processes employed and any optimisation that was required. In the Introduction, you will need to briefly summarise the content covered in Assignment 1. To demonstrate your research skills and understanding, the report must draw upon relevant sources like journals, books or reputable trade publications in analysing the project. You must also present the case study in terms of the above two lifecycle phases and evaluate the detailed design against the identified needs / requirements.
Preliminary Design and Development
In the first assignment, the conceptual design of the smart trolley system was analyzed by majorly focusing on the design process, system planning, functional analysis, system operation requirement, performance measurement, feasibility study, maintenance, and needs definition of the smart trolley system. This assessment paper reviews the detailed and preliminary design of the smart trolley by primarily focusing on the utilization and support, production and construction, system and product model development, product design, synthesis and definition, system and subsystem analysis, and system and product design of the smart trolley. The main reason for the design of the smart trolley is due to the numerous disadvantages experienced by the traditional trolleys such as longer durations of waiting during queuing, time wastage by the customers when searching for daily deals and product prices, and frustrations experienced by the cashiers due to a large number of customers in the queues.
With the implementation of the smart trolley in the supermarkets and shopping malls to replace the traditional trolleys, the customers will have the opportunity of following the daily deals offered in the malls, search for the products offered in the supermarket using the POS system together with their features, and also self-scanning product prices. These features enables the customer to have total control of their purchasing capabilities such that they can pick more products or remove the products from the trolley according to their accumulating total amount being indicated in the POS system (Barker, 2014).
The preliminary design and development of the smart trolley majorly reviews the system functional analysis, synthesis and allocation of design criteria, system and subsystem analysis, and system synthesis and definition.
This section analyzes the functional analysis, alternative functions, and maintenance functions of the smart trolley system. The smart trolley system is expected to be used as an alternative function to the traditional trolley system and the smart trolley will be expected to reduce the wastage of time by the customers while waiting on long queues at the counter, total control of the customers of what they want to purchase or remove from the trolley, faster mobility of the trolley, and easy trailing of daily deals offered by the shopping malls. The other secondary functions of the smart trolley include the price check for customers, source of inventory for the management of the supermarket, and easy way of notifying the customers in case of offers such as product promotion and discounts (Beiser, 2009)
System Functional Analysis
This section evaluates the effectiveness requirement, design factors, and allocation of performance factors of the smart trolley system. The major design factors of the smart trolley system include the buzzer alert, weighing scale, barcode scanner, Point on Sale (POS) system, and swiping device. The smart trolley system is expected to operate by first indicating the price of the product once the product have been picked from the counter and then inserted in the trolley, this is made possible by the use of barcode scanner which is positioned at the top of the trolley (Bussler & Castellanos, 2009).
The prices of the products picked by the customers are accumulatively added and then indicated by the LCD display and the prices of the commodities removed are also removed from the total lists. The smart trolley system is expected to improve the purchasing process and performance to both the customers who will be using these trolleys during the shopping process and also to the management who will reduce their expenditure due to reduced number of cashiers (Company, 2011).
This section analyzes the arrangements of the selected system, configuration, performance, and detailed specifications of the smart trolley system. The major subsystem of the smart trolley system include the buzzer alert, weighing scale, barcode scanner, Point on Sale (POS) system, and swiping device. The POS system is the major components of the smart trolley system and it is made of hardware and software components. This system has an electronic cash register and when a product is passed through the cash register, the code of the product is detected and the register provides detailed description of the product as well as any form of product promotion or reports on annual, monthly, and weekly sales (Engineers, 2009). The figure below shows the system requirements of the smart trolley system:
The hardware components of the POS include the barcode scanner, monitor, printer, swiping device, cash drawer, and customer display screen. The software components of the POS system include the programs which assist in operating the entire smart trolley system and it is responsible for receiving and sending data and information in the smart trolley. The buzzer is an audio signally device which may be piezoelectric, electromechanical, or mechanical. The buzzer is interfaced with the POS to indicate the scanning of the product by the barcode scanner (Karray, 2010).
The detailed design and development of the smart trolley system reviews the system and product design, system and product model development, and system prototype test and evaluation.
Synthesis and Allocation of Design Criteria
The system and product design of the smart trolley analyzes the design review, system analysis and evaluation, design support functions, and detailed design of the system. The smart trolley design is made of the buzzer alert, weighing scale, barcode scanner, Point on Sale (POS) system, and swiping device. Every customer visiting the supermarket is expected to pick the smart trolley at the entrance and then insert their smartcards in the swiping device before proceeding with the shopping process. During the shopping process, the items picked are scanned by the barcode scanner and the detailed related to the items are displayed in the monitor. In case the picked product has an invalid product code, or the customer does not have sufficient funds in his account, code or the POS system develops some technical problems, then there will be a vibration from the buzzer alert (Leng, 2014). The figure below the schematic design of the smart trolley system:
The barcode scanner is an electronic component that is majorly composed of the light source, lens, and light sensor which are involved in the translation of the signals to electrical signals from optical signals. After the customer have dropped the product picked from the counter, the ultrasonic sensor in the barcode scanner automatically detects the barcode printed on the back of the item and then indicate the details of the product on the LED display. The weight scale is used in the detection of the specific weights of the items picked particularly when the barcode reader fails to detect the product inserted in the trolley which may be caused by technical problem of the barcode scanner or dropping the product at a faster frequency without the barcode scanner detecting the product code. The weight scale may provide the total weight of the items picked by the customer which can be compared with the exact weights of the items from the database (Middleton, 2011).
The section reviews the development of the system product model as well as the product and system operational simulation. The model of smart trolley system is made up of the four major subsystems which play a major role in its operation, these components include the buzzer alert, weighing scale, barcode scanner, Point on Sale (POS) system, and swiping device. The figure below shows the model of smart trolley system:
The smart trolley system features a cart equipped with the POS system, buzzer alert, barcode scanner, and RFID antenna. The cart is initially deactivated and after entering a given region, the cart is expected to turn on immediately an item is dropped in the trolley. After the customer have dropped the product picked from the counter, the ultrasonic sensor in the barcode scanner automatically detects the barcode printed on the back of the item and then indicate the details of the product on the LED display (Pick, 2008).
System and Subsystem Analysis
The application of the smart trolley system is shopping malls will be the first design of the cart of its kind to the applied commercially. Some of the system testing that have been carried out to evaluate the performance of the smart trolley system include the acceptance testing, performance testing, system testing, integration testing, functional testing, and unit testing. During unit testing, the individual components and units of the smart trolley system are tested so as to validate that each unit of the system performs as designed. Units such as buzzer alert, weighing scale, barcode scanner, Point on Sale (POS) system, and swiping device can be tested by establishing the inputs and outputs for every unit before installing them in the smart trolley system (Rakowski, 2015).
The functional testing is the technique of testing used to test the functionality and features of the smart trolley system including boundary cases and failure paths of the system by the use of Proteus Software which can be used in the circuit simulation. The terminal software is used to test the POS system and the barcode scanner by connecting them separately to the computer using serial port or USB. The integration testing is carried out so as to verify the reliability, performance, and functionality between the integrated smart trolley system and the POS system. The major design factors of the smart trolley system include the buzzer alert, weighing scale, barcode scanner, Point on Sale (POS) system, and swiping device (Robotics, 2010).
The POS system given in the table below are used to distinctively indicate the items being picked from the counter by the customer. As the barcode scanner detects the product details, these descriptions are displayed on the LED display. These details of the products are stored temporarily in the local memory and once the customer completes the shopping process, the payment can be made electronically by the use of electronic card. The same data and information of the product can then be sent back to the server for the purposes of inventory update.
The smart trolley system is mobile and provides the customers with more reliable and flexible shopping experience during transaction purposes and also shopping process. The smart trolley design is made up of hardware, software, database, and communication components which work together to ensure a more reliable shopping experience. Some of the tests that should be performed to ensure proper performance of the smart trolley system include acceptance testing, performance testing, system testing, integration testing, functional testing, and unit testing. The major advantages of the smart trolley include reduced time at the billing counters, increased satisfaction of customers, safer working condition, users are aware of the total bill during the shopping process, and also reduced manpower required in the counter (Zhang & Tao, 2016).
System and Product Design
There are some room for further improvement of this system such as the need of enhancing and designing a simpler way so as to ease the installation of components in the smart trolley system. There is also need of installing the smart trolley system with the GPS system and voice system such that the customer can command the trolley to automatically move towards the section where the product needed is located (Zhang & Tao, 2016).
This assessment paper reviews the detailed and preliminary design of the smart trolley by primarily focusing on the utilization and support, production and construction, system and product model development, product design, synthesis and definition, system and subsystem analysis, and system and product design of the smart trolley. After the customer have dropped the product picked from the counter, the ultrasonic sensor in the barcode scanner automatically detects the barcode printed on the back of the item and then indicate the details of the product on the LED display. Some of the tests that should be performed to ensure proper performance of the smart trolley system include acceptance testing, performance testing, system testing, integration testing, functional testing, and unit testing.
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