Title
Smart Trigger and Security for Shooting
Microsystems for secured shotguns. Integration of microsystem doubles sales in 10 years
Technologies used

Micosystems

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    29 Manufacture of weapons and ammunition
Abstract
Browning s.a. is a Belgian company based near the city of Liège. It employs over 500 people in Europe and 143 in its Belgian company. Browning was established in 1898 and branched out in Belgium in 1976. It designs, manufactures and markets weapons for sporting and hunting activities. The experience of Browning in microelectronics is very limited and the micromechanical industry is unknown to them. The current product technologies are the machining of steel, alloy and wood. Their decision to take up a FUSE project mostly derives from their hope to acquire the knowledge required to introduce electronics in their products and even to intensify its use. The entire group wants to be the market leader in secured guns in Europe and to show its leadership. Browning knows there are several stages to evolve in its market.

Browning manufactures and markets several types of weapons, such as Superposed shotguns (BX25), semiautomatic shotguns, hunting rifles and handguns. It also produces accompanying products such as ammunitions, apparel and accessories.

The technology developed with this AE primarily relates to the B125 shotgun. The product improvement aims mainly at increasing performance, because sport hunters often have the following complaints:

- relative slowness of the bullet after the trigger is pressed (8ms)
- delay before the next shot can be fired
- rudimentary nature of the mechanical safety systems
- great stress to be applied on the trigger and length of the trigger stroke

Browning intends to make a microsystem in order to increase the safety of its weapons and improve the efficiency of its control. The microsystem technology, which is well adapted to the new product, was chosen because of geometrical volume restriction in the 'secured weapons' (the drawback of this choice is a 3 to 4 months delay to deliver the prototypes). The features to be added include a shot-counting system with timestamps recording the date and time of each shot, an anti-theft device coupled to a recognition system identifying the official owner of the weapon, and a safety system enabling shooting only if some conditions are met.

The subsidy given by the EC is 96,000 EUR but the FU made substantial additional investments to acquire and control the new technology. The project duration is 16 months but some details must be added to the prototype. The payback period is 22 months. It is estimated that, thanks to this new technology, cumulated sales of shotguns will reach 950,000 units after 10 year, with more than half of the sales (550,000 units) made possible by the introduction of electronics. The ROI is about 370 % if industrialisation and commercialisation costs are included. Moreover, Browning hopes to accumulate those advantages by replicating the technology to all its products.

Company
Browning s.a.
Parc Industriel des Hauts Sarts Avenue n°3, n°25
B-4040 Herstal
Belgium

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microsystems technology provided Browning s.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.
Homepage: http://www.fuse-network.com
ARAMIS
Faculté Polytechnique de Mons
Service d' Electronique
Boulevard Dolez, 31
B-7000 Mons
Belgium