FUSE Case Study
Ref.No.: 1817

Electronic control for pneumatic manipulator
Microcontroller control for improvement of heavy load handling in large machinery assembly factories.
Technologies used


Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    29 Lifting and handling equipment

Manipulación Asistida, S.A. is a 22-employee Spanish company which designs, produces and sells pneumatic manipulators called "load balancers” since 1973. Such manipulators are developed to aid handling and manipulation of heavy and cumbersome loads through manufacturing and assembly operations, allowing the operator to position or transfer the object with the minimum of effort. Typical application areas of this product are the assembly lines of automotive industries, warehouses or machine tool loading/unloading operations.

The objective of the AE was the improvement of the old manipulator, that used pneumatic technology both for driving and control functions, in order to lift heavier weights, get a more precise control of the movement, and simplify the programming procedures to customise the manipulator to the specific load to be moved.

The goals were attained developing a microcontroller-based control system. This technology was selected as the one that offered lower cost and the maximum possibilities of personalising to the specific needs of this type of product and at the same time was open to re-programming both during the work at the customer’s site to adapt it to different loads and at the factory to configure different types of manipulators. The effort of the operator was reduced from 5-8% of the total load to 2%, and the response of the system was faster, from 1.5 seconds to less than one second. The main problem to be solved, and the current limit for the increase of the performance was the unstability of the system, that required a careful adjustment of the pneumatic circuit.

This new control system has been developed in 9 months and the total cost of the project has been 43,5 KECU. The expected payback period is two years, and the average yearly return of the investment for a 3-year period is around 22%.


    Santa Ana, 3
    E-48940 Leioa

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided MANIPULACION ASISTIDA, S.A 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.

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