Title
Smart Digital Central Heating Controller
Microcontroller technology provides improved performance in Central Heating Control
Technologies used

 Microcontroller

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    312 Electricity Distribution and Control Apparatus
Abstract

AUTOTECH is a small private company specializing in the development, and production of high quality automation devices for industrial and consumer usage. AUTOTECH was established in 1985. It has 5 employees and an annual turnover of 200 KEURO.

The company's prior expertise was the design and production of analogue systems. The AE caused microelectronics design expertise to be applied to the company's personnel.

The company produces and sells a specific range of products including:

  • Virginia Tobacco Curing Computer
  • Analogue Central Heating Programmers
  • Precision thermostats
  • Precision temperature indicators

The target market of the AE product is basically the 50.000 buildings of Athens as well as the buildings of all areas of Greece and Europe. AUTOTECH has developed a digital device that serves as a central heating controller and is based on the new technology INTEL microprocessors. The combination of low cost and high performance make this device the most advanced digital central heating controller. Being expert in the development and marketing of central heating controllers, this new device comes to strengthen AUTOTECH's position in the market place.

The technology of that central heating controller was analogue because the company had not the capability to develop products with digital technology in that days. The production capacity of the company with the existing infrastructure and personnel in that product increased gradually from 120 pieces to about 250 pieces per year.

The introduction of micro controller device technology into AUTOTECH central heating controllers will reverse the expected decline in product sales due to the combined effects of technical obsolescence and improved competitor products. The adoption of the micro controller technology will enable AUTOTECH to achieve further sales growth, partially by the replication of the micro controller development in new product areas.

The application experiment was completed in six months and the prototype development costs of 39,495 K Euro will be paid back in 18 months. The ROI (return on investment) over the anticipated 3 year life of the product is estimated to be about 296,24%.

The digital controller programs the function of the central heating unit after measuring the temperature of the water in the boiler, the temperature of the environment and the temperature of an internal room. Micro-controller device technology was adopted because it:

  • Provided the combination of digital, analogue and serial data interfaces.
  • Offered reasonably low cost in the anticipated volumes of less than 500 units per year.
  • Provided the flexibility for adoption in other application areas.
  • Offered low design entry costs.
  • Offered controlling of more parameters effecting in the best operation of the heating system.
Company
AUTOTECH Ltd
Papanastasiou 109
12241 Aigaleo
ATHENS
Greece

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided AUTOTECH Ltd. 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
Archimedia SA
73, Poseidonos Avenue
P. Faliro 175 62
Greece