Winnow Solutions Case Study

Winnow Solutions Case Study: What a waste!

Winnow Solutions Case Study

You have probably heard of Winnow Solutions as food waste pioneers. But, if you have not, let us introduce you.

Winnow Solutions is a UK-based food waste solutions company that primarily serves the Hospitality Industry. Winnows Solutions has boomed as a business in recent years, perhaps as a direct result of our growing consciousness towards waste in the workplace and in other areas of our lives.

The company’s software solution can reduce a business’s food costs by 3-8% a year. By adopting the software, kitchens across the globe are presented with opportunities to use food in alternative ways, that would otherwise have ended up in the bin. What a waste!

So, as you might imagine the demand for Winnow Solutions software has dramatically increased as businesses begin to reap its benefits.

See how it works here:

A reliable hardware partner needed

Growing at such a rate, Winnow Solutions wanted to be able to provide their customers in Hospitality not only with their software but also the hardware that it would run on; an all-in-one, unified solution.

Winnow Solutions needed to source a provider of reliable touch screens to host their software. The touch screens had to be mountable (to fit on kitchen walls and fixtures), support Android OS and had to be fit for the kitchen environment.

As standard, Conker took Winnow Solutions through our consultative process, which involves finding out who the end-user will be, what setting it will be used in, and what success might look like for the customer.

Conker was able to develop a cost-efficient custom device for Winnow Solutions that had a large enough screen for effective usability with the software, could be mounted on a wall, and has Android OS.

More than just hardware

Fast-growth companies, Conker, and Winnow Solutions are still innovating together after 4 years. The outcome of which allows Winnow Solutions to provide kitchens all over the globe with the tools to reduce their food wastage, which incidentally saves them money that would otherwise be spent on more food costs.

“Winnow has innovated how thousands of chefs worldwide save money and time, by transforming their kitchens into intelligent operations. We needed an equally innovative partner, who we could trust with manufacturing hardware, and who could support our ambitious growth plans. Conker Panel PC have helped us deliver an assured solution, bringing confidence to our customers and helping keep our promises of bringing data to the fingertips of chefs in a simple and intuitive way. Conker have a shared understanding of what we are achieving and brought more than just hardware to us. They brought partnership.”

-Winnows Solutions

Conker and Winnow Solutions are well-suited partners who both belief in the “win-win” ethos. Our CEO James Summers built the company on the principle that business has to be good both for us and the customer. Life is not zero-sum, there is no “we win, you lose”. It must be a “win-win”.

Winning for us means good for the success of the company and good for our people. Likewise winning for our customers must mean good for the success of their business and good for their people too. When we seek to make our customers more successful, we have this concept front of mind. So it is too with countless decisions our people make daily.

More about Conker

Conker not only has the expertise and capability to deploy bespoke projects to companies, but it is the British producer of Business Rugged tablets, touch screens, and mobile devices. Purpose-built to withstand the rigors of your working environment, we are proud of the reliable and durable systems we provide to our customers. Find out how we could help your company.

Rugged Tablet

Rugged Tablet with MRZ Passport OCR Reader Case Study

MRZ stands for Machine Readable Zone and Rugged Tablet refers to the lines of text found at the bottom of passports since the 80s and now increasingly on ID cards too. The ubiquity of Machine Readable Passports (MRP) as a form of identification globally and the standard format of the MRZ makes capturing that data electronically desirable for the security sector.

While individual countries may have other technologies and forms of ID such as RFID and 2D barcode the simplicity and universality of the humble MRZ has meant that its use has and likely will persevere for a long time indeed.



How do you read a passport MRZ?

Machine Readable Passports are read using Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Anyone that has traveled beyond their own country's border will have experienced their passport being read multiple times. Whether your passport was held flat on a scanner or swiped it would have been read with OCR technology and the data on your passport captured.

How do go about integrating a scanner into a tablet?

Fortunately, the very same company that produces OCR devices for many passport issuing countries makes a variety of OEM modules ready for integration into customized devices. That same company happens to be British. Ultimately the success of this project lies in our ability to rapidly develop custom solutions based on longstanding rugged tablet platforms.

The project brief

The requirement for this initial project was as follows.

  • IP65 rugged tablet
  • Windows Pro OS
  • 7″-10″ screen
  • MRZ reader
  • FIPS 201 fingerprint scanner
  • Docking solution

We chose our 8″ Rugged Windows tablet as a basis for development for this project as we knew we could integrate the MRZ/fingerprint modules into a convenient module bay at the top of the device. This would also provide a convenient and usable location for these modules as the fingerprint scanner would be used by persons facing the operator and this scenario was considered in the design.

Design phase

We rapidly worked on a design that was approved by the customer. Here are some renders of the design. Please note that we do not charge for work done during the design phase.

Sample phase

A sample was produced in under 6 weeks which is our typical turnaround time for custom projects. Here are some photos of the end result.

Product variations

This first project with an MRZ reader was a great success and delivered a new solution to the customer quicker than they expected. It has put in motion a new product category with numerous possible function combinations and use scenarios. In particular, we have since had inquiries for the following permutations.

  • Windows tablet with MRZ + 2D barcode + RFID/NFC reader
  • Windows tablet with MRZ + 2D barcode + FIPS 201 fingerprint reader
  • Android tablet with MRZ + FIPS 201 fingerprint reader

Because we use the same physical chassis for our 8″ Rugged Android Tablet we can easily crossover our existing design efforts and apply them to the Android iteration of the 8″ tablet pictured above. The final look is identical, just with a varied internal hardware and software platform.