Environmental noise measurements
A Digital Real-Time Sound and Vibration Meter
Technologies used

    Microcontroller, DSP, FPGA

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    332 Instruments & appliances for measuring, checking, testing, etc.

Castle Group Ltd is a UK company, based at Scarborough, with 13 employees, who design, manufacture and sell instruments for measuring noise and vibration. The company expertise is very strong in analogue circuitry, with an electronics design engineer and one software engineer. The new system design uses DSP and FPGA technologies to produce a small, powerful but energy efficient subsystem with advanced frequency capture features to provide real time signal acquisition and processing. The new product is a Real Time All Digital Sound and Vibration Meter to measure Noise and Vibration using advanced frequency analysis. The instrument is hand held and battery powered.

The instrument will be sold world wide for Industrial Safety noise and vibration legal compliance measurements, for environmental impact assessments and for machinery condition monitoring. Another area of application will be Hand and Arm Risk Measurement (HARM) for the assessment of Vibration White Finger (VWF) and other physical vibration damage in the workplace. VWF is one of the most common physical disabilities currently costing the state vast monies for compensation; it is caused by long term exposure to vibration from tools and machines and renders the fingers painful and insensitive to feel.

Completion has enabled products to be manufactured with advanced frequency analysis features more commonly associated with expensive laboratory class instruments. The project illustrates how a thorough understanding of the principles and capabilities of the new technology is vital for defining the new product specification.

The approved budget was 80K ECU and duration 8 months. The payback period is 1 year and the return on investment sevenfold. The project started 1 September 1996 and finished December 1997.


    Castle Group Ltd
    Salter Road,
    Layton Low Road Industrial Estate
    Scarborough, YO11 3UZ

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided Castle Group 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.
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Bolton Institute of Higher Education
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