Title
Advanced electronic thermostat
Microcontroller with Fuzzy Logic for thermal control of electrical white goods.
Technologies used

    Microprocessor

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    332 Measurement instruments
    29 Equipment and Machinery
Abstract

COPRECI, S.Coop. is a 825-employee Spanish company, and one of the biggest within the MCC group (Grupo Corporativo Mondragón). The main products manufactured by COPRECI are electro-mechanical components used in the home appliance sector, like timers, drain pumps, pressure switches, gas and electric thermostats, gas valves and taps and high voltage transformers for microwave ovens.

This exclusively electro-mechanical technology has limited the adaptability of the product line to the new trends in home appliances, putting the company in a position of competitive disadvantage. The objective of the Application Experiment was to improve the performance, reliability, and control of a high-end range of thermostats for convection ovens through the introduction of electronic technology (microprocessor).

The new thermostat will improve the product performance by allowing tighter control of the oven temperature by means of a predictive algorithm based on fuzzy logic. One of the most challenging tasks of the project was meeting the difficult reliability standards required for devices with an electronic circuit working in a high temperature environment. There were other technologies as potential candidates to implement this project but the best trade off between performance and the capability to customise them was offered by the microcontroller.

The electronic module was developed at a cost of 66 KECU over a development period of 16 months The company expects to recover the total of this and the industrialisation investments (1700 ECU) in around 18 months. At the present level of the market demand and based on the market penetration Copreci expects a Return of Investment of 82% over a 5 year investment and 3 year product life cycle.

There are lessons learnt and experiences acquired in the technical, economical, strategic and choice of subcontractors areas.

Our main conclusion is that there are strong economic benefits from the introduction of new (innovative) electronic technologies in products. Given good partners (subcontractors) and support, cultural and technology barriers can be overcome. The risks of the Introduction of electronic technology to non-electronic products are by considering improvement of higher value added products as a first step.

Company

    COPRECI S. COOP.
    Av. De Alava, 3
    E-20550 Aretxabaleta (Guipuzcoa)
    Spain


Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microprocessor technology provided COPRECI S. COOP. 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
COTEC
C/Marques De Urquijo 26, 1 C, Izq.
E-28008 Madrid
Spain