Title
A Gas Controlled Incubator
Sales up 20% using a Microcomputer
Technologies used

Microcontroller

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    29 Non domestic cooling and ventilation equipment
    331 Medical and surgical equipment and orthopaedic appliances
Abstract

Ruskinn Technology was established in 1994 and has 7 employees with 1 Electronics Engineer and 3 technicians. They are now market leaders in the design, manufacture and marketing of Gas Controlled Incubators for the Microbiology Industry with a focus on the Far East, particularly Japan. The team has in excess of 40 years marketing, mechanical and basic electronic engineering experience. Products are sold through exclusive local agents, country by country. Annual sales are 400 KEur.

Gas Controlled Incubator Workstations are a specialist product used to isolate anaerobic organisms quickly, reliably and cost effectively. The company operate within this single specialist area. The Incubators are manufactured in-house.

The existing design monitors and controls temperature, pressure, relative humidity and the gas content of the two chambers of the incubator. The system uses a Programmable Logic Controller and relays for the control and display of gas pressure, operational sequences, status and warnings. The PLC is a significant component expense of the current design of enclosure and price increases by the manufacturer have made the current product much less competitive in export markets.

The new design is modular and designed around two separate microcontrollers, one provides the friendly user interface/operator I/O and the other provides the incubator monitoring and control functions at a total cost saving of about 50%. Temperature is controlled to 0.1% and humidity in the range 40-90%. Sequence control is provided for commissioning cycles, sample placing and removal in addition to chamber gas control. The new technology has been designed and developed and implemented using subcontractor skills and expertise. Ruskinn Technology staff with microelectronic experience are now able to manufacture, service, maintain, test and evaluate the product in-house.

The project started in May 1996, took 17 months and cost 52KEur. The estimated payback period of this investment is within 2 years with a three-fold ROI over the life of the product.

Company
Ruskinn Technology Limited
Station Road, Guiseley,
Leeds, LS20 8BX
United Kingdom

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided Ruskinn Technology 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.


Further information   Guiding Technology Transfer Node
For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
Homepage: http://www.fuse-network.com
Bolton Institute of Higher Education
Technology Development Unit
Deane Road
BL3 5AB Bolton
United Kingdom