Bodart & Gonay is a Belgian SME (77 staff) created in 1957
and based in Theux (Liege region). It is mainly active in the following
- design, making and marketing of gas, wood and coal stoves, fireplace
inserts and home heating appliances (81% of the turnover)
- production of outdoor and apartment block letter-boxes (7% of the turnover)
- subcontracting in sheet metal folding (12% of the turnover)
It markets its products mainly in Belgium (25% of market shares for heating
appliances), but is also active in other EC countries (France, Germany,
Italy, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, United Kingdom) and in some East-European
countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia).
The company has over 40 years of experience in sheet metal machining,
and no experience at all in microelectronics.
The technical goals that Bodart & Gonay wishes to attain through this
project are improvements in the use, control and quality of the combustion
process of one of their gas heating appliances ("Ambiance", that will
become "Harmonie") by introducing a microcontroller. The current technologies
used for Ambiance are mechanical and thermodynamic technologies. The mechanical
part of the current product causes some problems in terms of i.e. precise
temperature regulation, ease of use, etc..
Behind the technical goals, there are also multiple strategic goals. Bodart
& Gonay wants to:
- both stay at the technological top for its current and future customers
and increase the technical edge regarding its competitors
- conquer the gas appliances market
- increase its export level
- reinforce its leading position on the Belgian market. For example, considering
the Belgian market only, Bodart & Gonay reasonably estimates that not
only the improved regulation but also the easier use of the new appliance
can boost its sales from 600 to over 1,500 units per year even if the
new product is more expensive for the consumers.
Furthermore, this project would enable the company to master the whole
product and reuse its newly acquired microelectronic experience for further
In addition to the economical benefits deriving from the achievement of
this project, it has also enabled the company to hire one extra staff
member. If, given the positive results of the project, Bodart & Gonay
decides to increase its involvement in microelectronics, many more jobs
could also be created.
The project lasted 7 months and required a 40,000 EUR budget. One of its
initial improvements (remote controller) has been postpone as an option
that will be developed later by the company. As far as the other improvements
are concerned, their achievement has been successful. The expected ROI
(Return On Investment) is 472.5% over 7 years. The payback period is assessed
at 1,7 year.
|You can also benefit from microelectronics
Microcontroller technology provided Bodart & Gonay 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.