Title
Exhaust Gas Temperature Sensor.
Size and weight reduction with MCM-technology for Exhaust Gas Temperature Sensor
Technologies used

MCM

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    31 Electrical Equipment for Engines and Vehicles n.e.c.
Abstract
NIRA Automotive AB designs and supplies production of automotive electronics. NIRA combines hardware and software in their products to stay on the cutting edge of Electrical Equipment for Engines and Vehicles n.e.c., PRODCOM 3161. The company has long time experience of design and industrialisation of automotive electronics for hash environments. The company has also become very strong and competitive in its market segment. NIRA Automotive AB was founded in 1985. The annual turnover 1998 was 2.700 kEUR and the number of employees 20. The company delivers both services and products to mainly Swedish automotive manufacturers as Volvo but also German automotive manufacturers as Audi and BMW. The company mainly concentrates on development, consulting and manufacturing of automotive electronics. Our most important products are engine control systems for gas turbine engines, electronic diesel injection systems, anti-spin system for both cars and motor cycles and electronic sensor for exhaust gas temperature in high performance turbo engines. As the company works within several areas and almost exclusively within niche markets, it is very hard to approximate the shares of the market. The company has currently 100% of the Swedish market, within the segment of control systems for gas turbines while no representation abroad exists. When it comes to electronics for the vehicle industry there are a few very big companies that spend a tremendous amount of money on marketing but these companies mainly concentrate on the large volumes. NIRA Automotive AB has instead choosen to produce smaller series with advanced technology in niche markets. When we introduced the exhaust gas temperature control, EGTC, we focused on one customer namely Volvo and as the idea at the introduction 1989 was totally new, we had during a certain time frame 100% of the market, which at that point of time only was a few thousand units per year. As this sensor is costly and mainly suitable for extremely high performance engines the market potential is still rather small. This is the reason why there exists only a limited number of competitors. We currently approximate the market to be about 70.000 units in 1999. The goal is to achieve a level of approximately 15 % of this market. The objective with the AE is to improve the electronics in the product of our called: "Exhaust Gas Temperature Control, EGTC". The old product is based on ordinary hybrid technology with surface mounted standard components and after this AE it will be replaced with a multi chip module (MCM). The new product will be called ETS, Exhaust Temperature Sensor. The main objectives are: By using MCM on a ceramic substrate the unit will now withstand higher environmental temperatures. The unit is now more resistant to vibration. The new design has reduced the number of trimmings. A "more digital" design has been realised. Thanks to the MCM technology the unit can be easily manufactured and big quantities can be handled. This will open up to NIRA new market segments Actual market size for the new markets is hard to estimate, as the figures are kept confidential by the car manufactures. However we have received some information from the companies in Sweden and Europe that we work with. When it comes to the Swedish market, SAAB and Volvo, around 170.000 turbo engines are produced 1999 and about 200.000 are expected for 2000. If we assume that 30% of these are high performance engines, which would mean a market for an ETS product of about 34.000 for 1999 and 40.000 for 2000. The EGTC is the important part when measuring the exhaust gas temperature in a turbo charged internal combustion engine. In a high performance car engine it is very important to limit the temperature in the turbo. Through a closed loop fuel amount regulation control system, it is possible to cool the engine with extra fuel, to achieve a very exact and measurable exhaust gas temperature. The EGTC is in such an application placed very close to the exhaust gas pipe on the engine and the measuring part, which is a thermo element, is placed inside the exhaust gas pipe. Due to the extremely harsh environment consisting of heat, vibrations, humidity etc the mechanical as well as the electrical quality demands of the sensors are high. The experiment lasted 12 month from 1st of July 1998 until 30th of June 1999. This was faster than according to the original plan and the FUSE funding was 129 kEURO. The payback time for the project will be 34 months. The return on the FUSE investment will be 168% within a period of 4 years. Prototypes have successfully been manufactured and evaluated and the new unit are in production. NIRA Automotive AB has during the process learnt from this AE: To choose suitable substrate for a harsh environment. To design the electronics suitable for MCM technique. To choose suitable suppliers of dies. To choose for the application suitable bonding technique. To choose for the application suitable globe top material.
Company
Nira Automotive
Box 4013
SE-421 36 Enebyberg
Sweden

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

MCM technology provided Nira Automotive 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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