A Longline Fishing System
Microcontroller Technology Opens New Market Opportunity
Technologies used


Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    29 Specialised Equipment and Machinery Manufacturers
    333 Process Control Systems

The Dexter Products Company is a long established family owned company employing 9 people in the design, development and manufacture of general engineering products. The company's turnover is 500 K Euro per annum. Dexter Product's main market is the UK, with over 70% of its product sales being in this market. Exports are achieved to European companies via approved agents in these countries, and to the Indian subcontinent via an agent.

Approximately 45% of the company's product range is for the fishing industry, and these products include sports fishing equipment, lines and hooks, and specialised equipment designed to meet the needs of commercial fishermen. The company's other products include handcuffs and precision turned components for OEM suppliers. The company had no previous microelectronics expertise.

The company's Microliner monofilament longline fishing system is designed for commercial applications. The fishing method utilises a very long thin line populated with many baited short hook lines to catch the fish. This method of fishing is commonly used by fishermen, especially in Norway, but is limited to use on boats of typically less than 15 metres in length. This constraint is determined by the fact that the hauling systems on these vessels must be manually operated.

There is a significant commercial opportunity for the supply of mono-filament longline systems for larger commercial fishing vessels, but this manual operation constraint required to be removed..

The objective of this application experiment was to introduce electronic control of the spooling and hauling systems employed in the company's longline fishing systems so as to enable these systems to be employed on larger vessels with minimum operator intervention.

The functions performed by the microcontroller include:

  • Maintaining a constant tension in the line as the mono-filament line is deployed to lay the line in the optimum manner.
  • Tension control of the line during hauling. The tension of the line storage must be carefully controlled so as to prevent line damage when the line dries out after being wound in a wet state.
  • Line tensioning monitoring to detect events such as line snags when hooks are caught or obstructed, and the automatic reduction in spooling speed or stopping of the reels to enable the obstruction to be removed.
  • The provision for operators to control the line shooting and line hauling speed.
  • Facilities to enable line maintenance and repair.

The introduction of a reliable mono-filament line fishing system will generate additional sales for the company. The additional sales revenue will produce a payback period for the prototype development costs of 58 K Euro, 53 K Euro of which was funded under the FUSE programme, of approximately 21 months. The return on investment (ROI) over a 5 year product life is estimated at 611%.


    Dexter Products Company
    Llannerch Road
    N Wales
    LL33 0 EB
    United Kingdom.

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided Dexter Products Company 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
Univercity of Glamorgan
Mid Glamorgan
Pontypridd CF37 1DL
United Kingdom