Title
Micro Controlled Steered Fans
More heat and comfort with micro controlled steered fans
Technologies used

    Micro, IR remote control

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    29 Furnaces and Furnace Burners
Abstract

V.F.M is a Belgian SME, 39 employees, and specialized in metal foundry business. It is the leading manufacturer of high-end refractory cast-iron heating appliances. It was a non-micro-electronics company, not having any electronics in its product portfolio.

The objective was to develop a speed-controller for the fans in the heating stoves, as to provide a high-end option to its products. The speed-controller can be controlled by the end-user, using a user-friendly wall mounted control panel, and can be extended with an optional remote control. The old product used a bimetal-controlled fan.

The adopted technology is micro-controller based, with an IR-based remote control.

The cost of the product development was 77 kEUR, including the pre-production cost for the moulds for the application specific plastic housing, and including setup cost for manufacturing and test. The cost for the development of the electronics was 29 kEUR.

The development started 8th September '97, and was finished 8th August '98. The total duration of the development was 11 months. First production series will appear on the market in September '98.

The sales forecast is 5000 wall-mounted controller units and 1000 remote controls for the first year. Including the effect of an increase of the market share, due to the high-end performance, this should lead to a payback period of the full development and pre-production cost in less than six months.

Lessons learned: VFM Flam negotiated the use of plastic housing from Philips IR-red remote controls. This negotiation and the negotiation on the licensing of the RC-6 protocol have taken several months. It wasn’t easy to find the right level of technical courses for our tech-nical people involved. Most of the existing courses start at a level for professionals while we needed basic courses.

Company

    VFM N.V - Flam
    Fabriekstraat 15
    3800, Sint-Truiden
    Belgium


Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Micro, IR remote control technology provided V.F.M 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.
Homepage: http://www.fuse-network.com
IMEC
Kapeldreef 75
B-3001 Leuven
Belgium