A Non Contacting System for Textile Fibre
Microcontroller and RF Technology provides a low-cost, accurate and
Microcontrollers and RF Technology
|Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
||Machinery for Textile Production
Platt UK Ltd, part of the Hollingsworth Group, design, manufacture
and market cotton fibre textile processing machinery to companies throughout
the world. Machinery and monitoring equipment, e.g. Autolevellers and
fibre mass measuring systems have been marketed since 1950. Direct employees
total 20, 1 is an electronic engineer recruited for this project. Annual
sales are 4.1MEuros. Previously, electronics work was subcontracted, all
products involved only standard analogue and digital integrated circuits.
The industry sector is 2954: Machinery for Textile Production in the NACE
classification used throughout the EU.
The existing product is a mechanical Tongue and Groove Roller system,
used to measure fibre mass. A variation in material thickness causes the
Tongue Roller to pivot, the deflection indicates mass which is used to
allow adjustments to the process. This system is slow, difficult to calibrate,
insufficiently accurate for on-line control and the Tongue Roller distorts
and compresses the fibres.
This project used Radio Frequency and Microcontroller technologies to
improve the mass measuring system. It consists of a new RF measuring head,
discrete processing electronics and a microcontroller. The measuring head,
which consists of a trumpet waveguide through which the fibres pass, contains
no moving parts, and no force is exerted on the fibres. The discrete electronics
produce a signal proportional to fibre mass and the microcontroller allows
the system to be customised to site environmental conditions, fibre qualities
and composition. Samples can be made every 10 milliseconds to an accuracy
of about 1%. The project started in August 1997, took 19 months and cost
85 KEuros. The payback on this investment is estimated to be about 2 years
and will give a 1000% ROI over the 5 year life of the product.
The resulting product is:
- uniquely non-invasive,
- 10 times faster than existing product,
- 50% of existing product cost,
- easily manufactured and maintained.
The product will increase the market share on Textile Machinery from 1%
to 10% over 2 years, and the employment of new electronics design staff.
Platt UK Ltd
PO Box 62
Blackburn, BB6 7SE, UK
|You can also benefit from microelectronics
Microcontrollers and RF Technology technology provided Platt UK 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.
||Guiding Technology Transfer Node
|For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
||Bolton Institute of Higher Education
Technology Development Unit
BL3 5AB Bolton