Title
New regulator for proportional valve
The DSP gives a new heart to electric-hydraulic components
Technologies used

DSP

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    29 Taps and Valves
    333 Industrial process control
Abstract
ATOS, a 280 employees company with a 40 MEUR annual turnover, is a leading manufacturer of components & systems in electric-hydraulics, the advanced technology that integrates hydraulics with electronics. In many thousands of applications world-wide, ATOS components work today improving the machines performances and confirming their outstanding reliability: in plastic machinery, transfer lines, presses and metal forming machines, food processes and saw-mills, steel plants, off-shore and civil engineering installations, etc. In this AE, ATOS has developed an intelligent, fully programmable electronic regulator to control the proportional valves for hydraulic systems used in factory automation and machine tools. This involved DSP technology in place of their existing analogue PCB system. The DSP enables to minimise and solve the disadvantages that are typical of an analogue control (component ageing, temperature drift, etc.) by means of a fast inner architecture capable of eliminating computing errors, increasing performances together with a high degree of integration of data and signal mutual exchange "peripherals". Moreover ATOS introduced for the first time in its product a dedicated CAN interface in line with the trends of the distributed control and automation The advantages that we realised are: - More precise and flexible control with linearization of control curve - Much more complex algorithms realised with digital filters - Strongly reduced calibration and trimming costs (-50%) - Increased reliability and flexibility (programmability) - Easy connection with process automation components via CAN Bus interface It is believed that the company's market shares, following the program's realisation, will be increased both on the home and the international markets (about 10 % and 12 %, respectively). The economic break-even period for the considered investment, according to our estimation, can be less than 1 year after the market introduction. The return of investment ROI can be as large as 5 times in 5 years. The total cost of the AE is 44kEUR and it lasted 6 months, as originally planned, from February to July 1998. The success of NINTER experiment induced ATOS to plan a complete technology update aimed to upgrade all electronic products with the new digital circuitry based on DSP components.
Company
ATOS S.p.a
Via alla Piana 57
21018 Sesto Calende (VA)
Italy

Detailed information

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DSP technology provided ATOS 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.

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