Title
Pig Breeding
Microcontroller improves accuracy and customisation time of heating system
Technologies used

Microcontroller

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    29 Non domestic cooling and ventilation equipment
Abstract
Devrietech BV, with 31 employees, is a small Dutch based enterprise which designs, manufactures, sells, installs and supports climate control installations mainly sold to pig farmers The climate product lines are heating and ventilation equipment. The company which was established in 1984 had a turnover of 2.7M EURO in 1997. One of the existing products is a stable gas heater, mainly sold to pig farmers. The existing product was mechanically oriented, analogue based and operated as a stand-alone system only. Competitors came on the market with products, micro controller based, with a higher functionality, complying with CE regulations, mandatory from 1997 onwards. Therefore, the market share of the old product of about 20% would cease if no action was taken. Market research showed that customers wanted more functionality, particularly temperature control over a narrow range. In addition, features such as a readout, digital setting, and remote control on their systems were desired. Compliance with CE regulations (EMC) was mandatory. These market requirements were all met with the micro controller based system, developed in this AE. Devrietech had no previous experience with the development of microelectronic based systems. The only experience Devrietech had with microelectronics was regarding the installation of ventilation, heating systems and climate-control systems in pig stables; the design and manufacture of the existing analogue system having been subcontracted. This AE covers the development of a micro-controller-based heater unit. The investment was 29.5K EURO, and the project ran for 9 months. The pay back was achieved after seven months, after 1000 units sold. The ROI of the product is 600 %, based on market lifetime of five years. Technical knowledge has been acquired through the implementation of a micro-controller of, specification, programming, communication protocol techniques, and planning. Devrietech learnt by applying, micro-controller technology, that future functionality can be met, adding additional value to our products. The risk of micro-controller-technology implementation is acceptable, provided that there is a good specification and a sound workplan, plus external support from an expert. What is as important as the technical side is how to schedule the work. Management must agree a schedule at the outset especially in small companies, where the market is constant interfering. Allocation of some days a week to development without interference avoids mistakes and gives greater employee satisfaction.
Company
Devrietech BV
Oosteinde 219
7671 AX Vriezeveen
The Netherlands

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided Devrietech BV 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.


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Syntens
Postbus 1001
NL-3900 BA Veenendaal
The Netherlands