Title
Microcontroller terminal for time keeping
High Tech portable Time keeping unit allows work-time control of difficult to access workplaces while increasing domestic share and enabling penetration into EU market
Technologies used

Microcontroller

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    30 Computers and Other Information Processing Equipment
    332 Instruments and appliances for measuring
Abstract
V.S.V. is based in Trento and employs 5 people. It is involved in the design and production of boards and equipment for use in industrial automation applications. The Company has been active in this field since 1992, and developed the first terminal for workplace time-keeping in 1994. In this sector our current product is a 220 volt system that is permanently connected to a personal computer and uses discrete logic devices.

The company’s objective was the redesign of their workplace timekeeping system using for the first time microprocessor technology and SMD technology. The new unit has low power consumption, data logging facilities and is portable allowing its use, for example, on building sites and yards.
The portable workplace timekeeping unit constitutes a unique instrument of its type and is covered by a European Patent EPA. VSV’s existing product covers about 1% of the market in Northern Italy and has to compete with several other similar products in the area. The new product should open new market opportunities in Italy and especially in Europe.

The existing product has been completely redesigned in this FUSE Application Experiment, which has led to development of a new generation of workplace timekeeping portable units.

The development of the capabilities to design microprocessor and SMD systems will enable VSV to make wider use of the new technology in the other company’s products.
The microprocessor project started in February 1998 and was concluded on schedule in November 1998. The investment was 65 KEURO for training, specification, design, building and testing of the prototype, based on microprocessor and SMD technology. The portable workplace timekeeping unit
ASTER Technes is the hardware component of a wider product called TECHNES, which also includes the software component LOGIS Technes for Personal Computers.

The economic break even point is estimated to be 18 months from start of production.
A Return of Investment (ROI) of about 415 KEUR is expected over a 5 year investment cycle.
Microprocessor and SMD technologies were selected to reduce the size and power consumption of the new portable unit and to improve its software features. It constitutes a step forward for our organisation and capabilities.

Main lessons learnt by V.S.V. in this Application Experiment are:
  • Time and Method planning: it is necessary in any advanced development project to guarantee that new technologies become the property of the Company.
  • External Technology Expertise is vital to speed up the learning process, but it must be governed by clear contract clauses.
Company
V.S.V di Conotter Luciano
Piazza Leonardo Da Vinci 4
38100 Trento ITALY

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided V.S.V di Conotter Luciano 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
COREP
Corso Duca Degli Abruzzi 24
I-10129 Torino
Italy