Title
NEW GENERATION AQUARIUM
MIXED ASIC ELECTRONIC CONTROL IMPROVES TEMPERATURE STABILITY AND RELIABILITY
Technologies used

Mixed ASIC

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    29 Non electric domestic appliances
Abstract
Askoll is an Italian Company, founded in 1978, that designs and produces aquariums and their full range of accessories, fountain pumps and drain pumps for washing machines and dishwashers. At the beginning of 1998 Askoll was structured as an industrial group with a holding company (Askoll Holding S.r.l.), Italian aquarium marketing (Askoll Uno S.r.l.), aquarium marketing (Askoll Due S.p.A,) and household appliances marketing (Askoll Tre S.p.A.). Askoll Due which is directly involved in the Application Experiment development has 152 employees, 10 of which are involved in electronic system design. Products are sold directly in Italy and in other countries in Europe, Americas and Australia while distribution is markets outside Italy is covered by a distributor with branch offices in many countries in Europe, Americas and Australia. The aquarium market is looking for improved performance, particularly of temperature control and the Company envisages improved market share and exploitation of emerging markets if it can bring the new product to market. The Company's skill is currently electronic and electromechanical design with PCB technology utilising SMD, power components like TRIAC and non-linear resistive sensors. Its realisations have a medium degree of miniaturisation, and application of closed loop proportional control. The product, to be improved by the AE, is a thermal heater controller realised as a conventional control utilising a non linear sensor and a phase control of a TRIAC used in home and professional aquariums in order to maintain water temperature. The accuracy of the temperature maintained needs to be improved and this is the primary objective of the AE. In the AE the Company developed a mixed (analogue and digital) ASIC which reduces the component count of PCB used in the existing thermal heaters called Tronic. This allows additional and improved functionality to be implemented in the same size. The new product will marketed in the to of the range of Company's thermal heaters. The new temperature control unit improves visualisation, temperature setting, protection against risks. The temperature control is more accurate; power consumption and size are dramatically reduced. The duration of the AE was 16 months with an effort for the company of 15 person months. The total cost to introduce the product to the market was 182K€ of which industrialisation costs of 93K€ including an ASIC recycle of 41K€ were incurred. It is expected that the FUSE investment of 89K€ will be paid back in 18 months with an ROI of 356% over the 4 year life of the product. The Company benefited from the experience, now being in a position to specify an ASIC, select and manage subcontractors and improve project success through best practice planning and specification. Keyword and signature Keywords: Temperature control, LCD Driver, Mixed ASIC, Aquarium, household goods. Signature: 5-01415550340-4-2972-2-29-I
Company
ASKOLL DUE S.p.A.
Via Industria, 32/34
36031 Povolaro di Dueville (VI)
ITALY ESVIT

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Mixed ASIC technology provided ASKOLL DUE S.p.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.


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.
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