Microcontroller used to improve performance in a Foam Sensing and Control System
Technologies used
Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    29 Machinery for food, beverage & tobacco processing
This report describes the development of a Microcontroller based product that monitors and controls the foam that is produced in Industrial processes such as Brewing, Pharmaceuticals, Food, Effluent Treatment etc. The project was carried out by Charis Technology Ltd. , a British SME with 4 employees, of which one is an electronic engineer and one is a technician.

The aim was to develop a new product using a microcontroller to replace a previous product that used conventional analogue and digital circuitry. The new product is a programmable device with greater functionality, e.g. self-calibration, multi-dimensional measurements and serial communications. The microcontroller used is a PIC16C74, 8-bit device, with built-in A/D converter. The software was written in the "C” language which proved to be suitable for the whole project.

The first user had no previous experience of microcontrollers and how to use them. The project took 12 months to complete, which was 3 months longer than the original plan. The over-run was due to an underestimate of the effect of the project on the other operations of the business. The project cost 49K Euro to complete, the payback time is approximately 18 months and the expected return over the product lifetime of 5 years is 400K Euro.

The application experiment will be of interest to any small company working in instrumentation and considering a move to the adoption of Microcontroller technology.

Charis Technology Ltd
Granville House
Granville Road
Kent ME14 2BJ

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided Charis Technology Ltd 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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University of Hertfordshire
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