Title
MIXED SIGNAL ASIC IN GAS INSTANTANEOUS BOILER CONTROLLER
15% cost reduction and improved safety are achieved with Mixed Signal ASIC in a Gas Instantaneous Boiler Controller
Technologies used

Mixed ASIC

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    29 Electric Domestic Appliances
Abstract
THERMOWATT is an Italian Company employing 303 persons. It produces electric and electronic components for the industrial sector of house appliances in its plants in Arcevia. Electric Department is a world-wide market leader in design, production and commercialisation of electrical heating elements and thermostats for boilers, washing machines, etc.

THERMOWATT markets its products on the European Countries and in the Far East

Total THERMOWATT production is composed by more than 100 different codes: burner controls units, dedicated diagnosis instrumentation and complete temperature and burner control circuits.

The Company experiences are on discrete electronic components and small PLD, up to 400 combinatorial gates, on micro-controller applications, on programmable logic device and on Gate Arrays

The THERMOWATT products are utilised as industrial components to be applied as electronic controls for gas appliances like instantaneous boilers.

The product to be improved is a gas instantaneous boiler controller. The existing production is realised on PCB boards using a Gate Array (collecting functions from three different PLDs), a lot of discrete digital, analogue, high voltage components and some large EMC filters.

The boards are installed inside the boiler for water temperature control acting on the gas burner and the water flow.

Although all the functions were correctly responding to all the system needs (the product is certified EN298 EMC), its overall costs were too high: the board mounts roughly 300 electronic components and the test task takes about 3' per piece. The Company decided to develop a new Mixed ASIC contains all the functions of the old one, cut down the mounted component of 60% in a unique board smaller 20% than before) and reducing the test time of 50%; as well, the Mixed ASIC accords to EN298 European norm.

The reduction of production cost is estimated in 20% (average 18.5 ECU against 22.75 ECU) allowing the Company to increase its position on the market share.

The Application Experiment actual duration was 16 months. The ASIC project has been developed with a cost of 95.42 KECU

The payback period of the FUSE investment is anticipated in about 17 months, and the ROI, calculated on a 4 years product life, is 1476%.

Although the Company is using some microelectronic solutions (mP, PLD, GA), it was the first time that it managed, developed, tested and started a high volume production based on MIXED ASIC. Many issues were for the first time faced by the Company. It is now ready, not only to manage and assess correctly a high technological level project, but to exploit this knowledge in all the other Company products.
Company
THERMOWATT S.p.A.
Via S.Giovanni Battista, 21
ARCEVIA (AN)
60011 ITALY

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Mixed ASIC technology provided THERMOWATT 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
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