Title
Cosmetics and microelectronics
Skin elasticity measurements enhanced
Technologies used

Microcontroller

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    331 : Medical and Surgical equipment and orthopaedic appliances
Abstract

Goodyer Scientific Instruments Ltd (GSI) have been successfully trading since 1991 in the specialist field of real-time instrumentation for laboratory and industrial use. GSI have a skill base in Real-Time Software and Precision Mechanical design with an in-depth knowledge of sensors, actuators and related components for use in the design of real-time systems but no electronic hardware design expertise. They provide contract design services in the fields of Real-Time Software and Precision Mechanics. GSI Ltd design and manufacture low volume high cost specialist Test and Measurement Equipment, mainly concentrating on systems for use by the cosmetics industry, and for use in prototype vehicles. Direct employees are 2 with 4 additional associates. Annual sales are 230KEuros. The Industry Sector is 3310: Medical and Surgical Equipment.

The project involved the design, evaluation and production of a micro-controller based data acquisition system to log data from, and to control, a Skin Rheometer used by the cosmetics industry to determine the effectiveness of skin creams, which work by changing the hydration levels in the skin. Hydration levels can be inferred by measuring the change in skin elasticity. The system measures the elasticity of human skin in-vivo using a micro-mechanical motor/lead screw arrangement that moves a lateral probe attached to the hand or forearm of a subject, under force feedback closed loop control.

The existing product used a PC, the new design uses four PC104 cards;

- An Analogue/digital conversion card with extensive facilities,
- A PC replacement card with 486 and 20Mb flash memory,
- A VGA interface card, and n A display card with full colour camcorder type LCD display.

The project started in March 1996 cost 57 KEuros and lasted 10 months. The payback period on this investment is estimated to be 2 years and will give an ROI of 5-fold.

As a result of the AE the Skin Rheometer was redesigned as a smaller, lower cost modular product. The cost reduction is estimated at 50% and a reduced footprint of 100% was achieved.

Company
Goodyer Scientific Instruments Ltd
20 Gladstone Rd,
Hathern, Leicester LE12 5LE U.K.

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided Goodyer Scientific Instruments 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

Bolton Institute of Higher Education
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