Design of a microprocessor control board
50% cost saving achieved using proprietary microprocessor board
Technologies used


Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    332 Instruments and appliances for measuring, checking, testing etc.
    333 Industrial process control

Lab Impex Systems is a small company specialising in the design and supply of nuclear radiation monitoring systems, primarily to the health physics area of the nuclear industry. Many of these systems are based on the CMS-1 Continuous Monitoring Station. This product uses an expensive bought-in 68000 microprocessor board. The main objective of the experiment was to design our own board and achieve a cost saving of 50% compared to the existing design. Another objective was to develop the expertise necessary for further processor based products to be designed in-house.

The project lasted 10 months, at a cost of 35KECU, and resulted in the demonstration of a fully tested prototype. The payback time is expected to be 18 months, and the Return on Investment (ROI) 970%. The new board is now in production and the 50% cost target has been achieved. The new design is also physically smaller, and has enhanced functionality. Sales of the more competitive product have increased dramatically since completion of the experiment, and market share is expected to increase by 3% per annum. Product life is expected to be 5 years.

The design team have gained knowledge of embedded microprocessor design techniques, CAD tools for PCB design, and Surface Mount Technology. They are confident in their ability to tackle similar projects and a new processor-based product is already being planned.

A major lesson from the FUSE experiment is that with adequate knowledge and support a complex new development need not mean a high risk of failure.


    Laboratory Impex Systems Ltd
    Impex House
    15 Riverside Park
    BH21 1QU

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided Laboratory Impex Systems 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
Bournemouth University
Poole House, Fern Barrow
BH12 5BB Poole
United Kingdom