Chemical Fluid Analyser
Silicon Machined Micro-pumps and Sensors in an integrated Micro System (MST) improve test reliability and cost of ownership
Technologies used

MST (Silicon micromachining)

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    33 Instruments for measuring
Anasys, a small Dutch based company with 10 employees, was founded in 1988. It designs produces and sells laboratory systems and on-line analysing systems. The annual turnover is about 1,5 million Euro in the wet-chemical, food, gas, and medical market. Anasys' skills are related to production, installation, and maintenance of wet chemical analysers. Anasys has no experience with development of electronics or micro system technology. The equipment is used for environmental monitoring, process control, laboratory equipment in Petro-Chemical industry, and food industry and at laboratories of institutions for the of fluid constituents and concentrations. The existing products are built as a combination of detector technology (analogue), mechanical components (pumps etc.) and microprocessor units (control, data collection). The users of this equipment requests for more reliability in combination with much lower costs for maintenance. The instruments have to be also smart and useful for validation. The improved product uses micro-pumps and micro flow sensors. The objective of the Application Experiment was threefold: innovation of the existing product of Anasys, to gain insight in micro system technology and to miniaturise the on-line analysers, which allows measurements that are more accurate. The ammonia detection system is chosen as the first application because of reasons of the current market of Anasys BV, but the improvement in functionality is not limited to one product only. The liquid handling system comprises a micro pump, a flow sensor, leading flow channels and control electronics. The principle of operation is based upon Flow Injection Analysis (FIA), whereby a sample is injected or absorbed in a liquid carrier stream causing a specific detectable chemical reaction. With the micro liquid handling system a 'smart' analyser has been built that overcomes the limitations of the existing product regarding accuracy, reproducibility, and maintenance. By using the flow-sensor-controlled micro pumps, a constant flow at any time is provided and reduces the consumption of reagent. The Application Experiment took 13 months to prototype at a cost to FUSE of 115 k. This covered the total development cost of one prototype implementation. The product can be used over a period of 5 to 10 years, which is normal in this business. The ROI will come from sales of both the instruments and of the SD systems. An ROI is expected to be 4 times the investment over 5 years with payback of the 150 k investment in two and a half years. From this project, Anasys has learned that such a project can be run in parallel with their "normal" activities is possible. However, Anasys had to limit employees' tasks to two main tasks at the most, and do the tasks in 2-3 days in a row. This makes this type of projects possible for small companies. Other benefits are: the use of MST technology in the existing analysers and the ability to start developments of completely new instruments and the ability of Anasys to design and produce analysers with state of the art technology, which enables Anasys to achieve a stronger market position.
Anasys BV
Hulsbrookstraat 9
7665 CE Albergen
The Netherlands

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

MST (Silicon micromachining) technology provided Anasys BV 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

Postbus 1001
NL-3900 BA Veenendaal
The Netherlands