Solid-State Data-Logger
Pipeline Inspection Vehicle Tracking Using Microcontroller Technology
Technologies used


Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    31 Electricity Distribution & Control Apparatus
    332 Instruments & Appliances for Measuring, Checking, Testing etc
    333 Industrial Process Control Equipment
Dwyran Design & Development Ltd. design and manufacture sensors and monitoring units for the detection of pipeline cleaning and inspection vehicles known as 'pigs'. Current techniques used to detect 'pigs' include the logging of the magnetic field over a buried pipeline to a strip chart recorder to determine the passage of a 'pig'.

The objective of the application experiment was to develop a solid state alternative to the pen based strip chart recorder. The existing technology is limited by reliance on consumables (paper and ink), and a high power consumption that requires the carrying of a considerable battery pack.

The improved datalogger uses a microcontroller to monitor and record the passage of the pig as it passes beneath the sensor. Information is now displayed on a full colour VGA screen, which replaces the paper and pen recorder. A laptop or portable PC can be used to download the data for archiving and further analysis as required. These enhancements have improved the reliability of the datalogger in the field, and greatly increased the flexibility of the data storage and manipulation.

The company has gained experience in microcontroller project management, CAD tools, and microcontroller hardware and software design. The development of company in-house microcontroller design capability will enable the transfer of this technology to other products to expand and enhance the company's product range.

The total cost of the Application Experiment was 35.5k ECU. This comprised 24kECU for prototype development work; 9.8kECU for the industrialisation phase, and 1.7kECU for initial marketing costs. The projected 'lifespan ' of the new product range is seven years . Over this period, the return on the FUSE investment is projected 280%. The point at which the initial FUSE investment recouped is 27 months.

The experiment was completed in 18 months and required an effort of 113 man days.

Dwyran Design & Development Ltd
LL61 6YG

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided Dwyran Design & Development 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

Univercity of Glamorgan
Mid Glamorgan
Pontypridd CF37 1DL
United Kingdom