Ultrasonic Bath Cleaner
Cost Reductions and Improved Performance Enabled by Microcontroller
|Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
||Machinery, Specialist Machinery/Tools
||Appliances for Checking, Testing etc
Ultrawave Ltd is a manufacturer of Ultrasonic Cleaning Bath
and Tank Systems. The smaller bath range, from 1 up to 25 litre capacity,
are of pressed stainless steel construction, bonded with an appropriate
number of transducers to produce high frequency sound waves in a cleaning
medium of water and suitable detergent. A small electronic drive module
of up to 500 watts of HF power generates the HF pulses to excite the transducers
and provide the ultrasonic cavitation energy.
The larger tank systems are used for Industrial cleaning applications
and the tanks are of welded fabricated rugged construction. The electronic
drive modules are in multiples of the 500 watt versions used in the smaller
bath systems, and there are no controlling facilities other than switching
on/off the supply.
The object of the experiment was to use microcontroller technology to
improve these products by the addition of the following features:
1. Increased and controllable power output with display
2. Variable frequencies to suit a wider range of applications
3. Shorter assembly and testing times
4. Substantial improvement in function and performance
5. Economic benefits in larger sales to new and wider markets
The microcontroller provided digital pulses whose shape, duration and
amplitude could be accurately set to reduce the operational cleaning times
and improve the cleaning quality. Additional features were to include
power control, visual indication of actual frequency and self-diagnostic
tests for finding faults and automatic shutdown. The inclusion of data
logging would allow the user to record the process.
Parallel with the development of the microcontroller system was the power
output stage to increase the available power from 500 Watts on a single
module to 2.5 KVA. This being achieved with the use of the modern IGBT
The total cost of the FUSE application was 36.8 KECU and the project was
completed within the 8 month time scale and budget from a start date of
15 October 1997.
Payback will be within 21 months of the commencement of volume production
and the return on investment (ROI) is predicted to be 413%.
The company's experience in improving its power amplifier outputs and
adding increased functionality to its products will be of interest to
companies with analogue design skills considering the adoption of digital
and microcontroller technology for the first time. The demonstrator document
will be of interest to the Technical Managers of small to medium sized
companies operating in the metal processing and machinery industry sectors
(Prodcom Code 28 and 29).
1 Oxford Street
|You can also benefit from microelectronics
Microcontroller technology provided ULTRAWAVE LIMITED with the means
of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also
achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology
and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get
help from FUSE to realise this.
FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.
FUSE provides you with:
- Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
- Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.
Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.
||Guiding Technology Transfer Node
|For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
||Univercity of Glamorgan
Pontypridd CF37 1DL