Chrome content measuring system "CHROMLINE"
FPGA technology improves the quality of leather
Technologies used


Best practice


Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    332 Instruments and appliances for measuring checking, testing, etc.
    333 Industrial Process Control
    19 Tanning and dressing of leather

Amtec’s business fields are the design, manufacture and sales of equipment for non-destructive measurement of the thickness and the composition of coatings. Also the measurement of metal content in different materials, e.g. chrome in leather and in tanning solutions is performed. The long term objective of the Application Experiment (AE) was the introduction of FPGA technology into amtec’s business. The specific objective was the substitution of the discrete implemented control unit by programmable logic in amtec´s existing chrome content measuring system for tanning solutions. It was not possible to use the existing system for on-line chrome content measurement in tanning solutions of industrial processes. The implementation of FPGA technology overcomes this limitation and opens new important market segments for the product. The new solution allows a measuring time in the range of 4 to 5 minutes, which is most important for real-time measurement of chrome content in tanning solutions. Using the improved product, the tanner can be sure at the end of the tanning process that the wet-blue leather has a chrome content which guarantees the highest quality.
The capability of the product to be used in the on-line analysis of a production process will result in new markets and economic benefits for the product known as CHROMLINE. In the first seven years after the completion of the AE amtec plans to sell about 500 systems. The product was demonstrated for the first time in November 1997 at the TANNING TECH in Bologna.
In this AE, amtec’s specialists learnt how to select the optimal technology for a given product specification, to design and simulate digital systems on system level using VHDL and to implement the corresponding digital circuitry into FPGAs. Furthermore, the technical management of such a design and the possible interfaces for a later migration to an ASIC were learnt.
The planned costs of the AE were 50.000 ECU, and the planned duration 9 months from 1.10.96 to 30.6.1997. It was finished in time and within the cost limits. Based on the forecasted sales figures the payback period will be between two and three years. The ROI, assuming a 3 year product life, will be around 250%.


    amtec Analysenmeßtechnik GmbH
    Wachsmuthstraße 3
    04229 Leipzig, Germany

Detailed information

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FPGA and VHDL technology provided amtec Analysenmeßtechnik GmbH 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.

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