Title
Aneorid Sphygmomanometer
Microsystem Technology Adds Significant Value To The Measurement of Pressures
Technologies used

Microsystems

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    331 Instruments and Appliances for medical equipment
Abstract
Speidel & Keller GmbH in Jungingen, Germany, is a medium-sized company with 44 full time employees and about 36 homeworkers. It has a long tradition in manufacturing of me-cha-nical hand held aneroid sphygmomanometers. These devices are used for the measurement of blood pressure. The company has been specialised to the manufacturing of high-precision products which are mainly used by the physicians and in the clinical area.
Here, Speidel & Keller is the market leader. In 1996 the company had a turnover of about 11 M€.

However, the competitive pressure increases more and more. Manufacturers from Far East and importers of digital and mechanical sphygmomanometers who buy these devices are dominating the private consumer market. But now they penetrate also more and more the professional clinic and physician market -our main business area- constituting a real threat. Currently, Speidel & Keller is the last European company which manufactures the movement for the sphygmomanometer completely itself.

The rationale for doing the Application Experiment was to improve the funtionality of our products in order to strengthen the market position in the professional area and - if possible- to reduce the costs. This was only feasible by substituting the existing mechanical solution by an electronic one which combines a silicon membrane pressure sensor integrated with passive electronics with a microprocessor for intelligent data processing, i.e. a microsystem. The product to be improved in this way is a pressure manometer with a fine mechanical movement which drives a pointer. The pointer shows the actual pressure on a round dial (analogue display), divided in small scales dependent upon the pressure range and required accuracy (which can vary). The manometer can be used in any industry where pressure has to be measured. However, the main application area will remain the medical sector.

Because Speidel&Keller had only experiences in mechanical and microelectronic designs based on discrete analogue and digital components, the necessary management and development know-how in the area of microsystem technology was transferred within the project.

However, we had to learn, that we could not achieve both: a cost reduction and a higher functionality. Finally, we decided for the higher functionality being the key for our competitive position. The costs for new solution will be about 6 € compared with 3,50 € of the existing product. The possibility to add additional features like data acquisition, data transmission or automatic controlled pressure reduction improves the system in orders of magnitude and allows a wider application range in comparable industrial or consumer fields.

The Application Experiment was successfully finished with a working prototype of the microsystem which was implemented into our conventional measurement system. For the substitution of mechanical instruments in medical applications a new battery powered system has been developed. It can be used now as a stand alone system or as a measurement module in a complex system. This development was based on the MCM technology.

The project ran for 16 months. The costs up to the working prototype were about 288k€.of which 153K€ was the FUSE investment and 135K€ Industrialisation costs. With the improved sales and profit a payback period of about 20 months and a ROI of about 250% are envisaged over a five year's life time of the product.
Company
Speidel&Keller GmbH & Co KG
Zollerstraße 2-4
D-72417 Jungingen

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microsystems technology provided Speidel&Keller GmbH & Co KG 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.
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