Catering Kitchen Range with Induction Generator
Microcontroller reduces costs by 25%
|Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
||Machinery for food, beverage and tobacco processing
MKN Maschinenfabrik Kurt Neubauer GmbH & Co. as first user,
is a medium-size company with 240 employees which develops and manufactures
products for commercial kitchens - mainly in the field of electrical heating
technology. The main emphasis here is on mechanical development, design
and manufacture of the appliances; user-specific electronic components
are being developed and manufactured to our requirements by co-operation
partners. MKN supplies the market in Germany for thermal catering-kitchen
appliances via specialist dealers, and it exports throughout the world.
In Germany MKN is market leader in thermal appliances for catering kitchens.
With its induction hob products it has an estimated market share of around
20 % in Germany - and around 5 % in Europe. The appliances with induction
hot plates make up around 8 % of the company's turnover. MKN also supplies
further cooking equipment for kitchen ranges.
Objective of this project was the improvement of an induction generator
module for catering kitchen ranges with a power range from about 3 to
10 kW by introduction of a microcontroller for control of the electronic
power converter instead of using the existing analogue technology and
digital standard logic. It was an additional target to reduce cost by
using SMD instead of conventional devices. Also the height of the complete
module should be reduced by around 60% to make it possible to use the
induction generator in on top hobs. This reduction of a height of 150
mm to 60 mm was actually made possible by reducing the number of PCBs
from 3 to one, which was only possible by using a microcontroller.
The microcontroller allowed functions to be realised which were much more
simple and reliable than the current analogue technology. For instance,
the optimised controller allowed the power dissipation of the power output
element to be reduced. The improved product can be adapted to changed
conditions and demands primarily by modifying the software. This considerably
The AE was started on 01.07.98 and ran for 12 months. EU funding totalled
The costs for the whole generator module could be reduced by around 25
%. The planned reduction in price for the hobs in which it will be installed
enhances competitiveness and the opportunity to increase market share.
The payback period is around 3.5 years. The return on investment is about
300% for an overall product lifetime of 10 years.
As a result of the AE, MKN learnt how to successfully use a microcontroller
for control technology applications, and how to use the opportunities
brought about by such a system.
MKN Maschinenfabrik Kurt Neubauer GmbH & Co
D- 38286 Wolfenbüttel
|You can also benefit from microelectronics
Microcontroller technology provided MKN Maschinenfabrik Kurt Neubauer
GmbH & Co 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.
||Guiding Technology Transfer Node
|For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.