Title

FREQUENCY RESPONSE ANALYSER
Mixed ASIC and FPGA technology enable 95% reduction in volume size of instrument

Technologies used

    FPGA, Mixed Signal ASIC

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    332 Instruments for Measurement
Abstract

Beran Instruments is a privately owned SME with 28 employees and a turnover of 2.3M€, located in Devon. Since it's formation in 1984 it has specialised in the design and manufacture of low volume electronic instrumentation aimed at specific niche markets. Its range of products include Frequency Response Analysers, Accelerometer Calibrators, and Vibration Condition Monitoring Equipment, and Dynamic Analysers, principally destined for the aerospace and power industries. It therefore operates in the Prodcom Code 332 market sector (Instruments for Measuring). These products have, until now, utilised microcontrollers as well as discrete analogue circuitry and the design skills within the company covered the use of microcontrollers, Digital Signal Processing , and high performance analogue design.

The products are used wherever there is a need to assess the response and performance of equipment with respect to vibration, and this includes Power Stations, factories as well as aircraft and ships.

The Company recognised a new opportunity which would assist its growth and consolidate its existing product range. The opportunity existed for the Model 402 Frequency Response Analyser to be re-designed in order to meet the requirements of a number of aircraft maintenance programmes. However in order to seize this opportunity the size of the product had to be drastically reduced - from it's existing format to a module conforming to the VXI standard. To release this new opportunity, the Company had therefore to embrace some new technologies and overcome some financial barriers.

This experiment enabled the Company to invest in design and development of a mixed signal ASIC and large FGPA. These technologies enable an existing product to be reduced in volume by 95%, allowing us to access a whole new marketplace and improve sales of the existing product. Growth of the Company is expected to continue at 20% per annum, with significant increase in employment opportunities.

The total cost of the experiment was 177,000 €, and it lasted for a period of 18 months. A further 6 months was required to complete industrialisation of the product at a cost of a further 177k €. ROI, with a 5 year lifecycle, is expected to exceed 181% (including industrialisation costs), and the payback period is less than 2 years for the complete project.

Company

    Beran Instruments Ltd
    Hatchmoor Industrial Estate
    Torrington
    Devon
    EX39 7HP
    United Kingdom


Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

FPGA and Mixed Signal ASIC technology provided Beran Instruments 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.


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