Title
Silicon Microsystem improves stability, cost and applicability of Gamma Measurement Probe
Technologies used

 Microsystem

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    332 Instruments & Appliances for measuring, checking, testing etc.
Abstract
SR-Instruments Oy, the first user, specialises in designing, manufacturing and selling light and radiation measurement instruments. SR-Instruments Oy has two products, gamma probes, in the AE, and industrial x-ray inspection systems. Both product lines employ silicon-based scintillation crystal sensor technology. The company has a turnover of 0,615 M¤ and employs 7 persons.
The investment made to introduce the new product was 360K¤, of which 110 K¤ was the FUSE R&D investment. The duration to prototype was 12 months. The increased sales will enable the company to recover the FUSE costs in 24 months with an ROI of 820% over a 5 year product life
The existing product that was to be improved is a gamma probe used in geophysical measurements, mineral exploration and mining. Because of the technical limitations of discrete system components, the performance was only average, and limited the potential uses of the probe. The application experiment concentrated on improving the performance and stability of the probe.
The complexity of the improvement was relatively high compared to the company’s microelectronics experience prior to AE. The methodology to select both technically and commercially the most suitable technologies were chosen with a multi-step procedure. Extensive help, special premises, test equipment and experts with microelectronics experience were needed during the AE.
The experiment was divided to six tasks. These were management, training, evaluation, design, prototype manufacturing, testing and reporting. Prior the AE the tasks were tied to a time plan. In the original plan each task was to be completed before the next task is started. In actual work the above mentioned tasks overlapped each other. Especially testing and evaluation of achieved results occupied more time than planned. The learning processes consisted of formal training, as well as learning while conducting the AE. Part of the knowledge acquisition process is a result of information flow from the subcontractors and part consist of self-learning.
The new product is clearly differentiated from its competitors and existing product by microsystem technology. The advantages of the integration of the microsystem are clear from the performance point of view. In addition to the improved performance, improved ruggedness, better reliability and reduced size were achieved by integrating the key components. The small size, reliability and ruggedness are clearly advantages when considering the use of the probe.
The FU has managed to gain awareness of technologies that could benefit their products by networking with microelectronics companies. SR-Instruments acquired considerable amount of knowledge and expertise in designing and implementing customised packaging concepts, designing scintillation crystals and integrating the sensor modules. This all will enable SR-Instruments to design, develop and manufacture microsystems to be also used in the company’s x-ray inspection system products.
The target audiences who may benefit from the disseminated information include the manufacturers of devices or instruments based on sensors techniques. More generally this paper can give ideas to all small SMEs on networking and co-ordination of subcontractors, since small SMEs can not do everything on their own.
Company
SR-Instruments Oy
Kaikutie 1, FIN-99600, Sodankylä, FINLAND

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microsystem technology provided SR-Instruments Oy 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
Fincitec Oy
Lumikontie 2
Postbox 11
FIN-94601 Kemi
Finland