The First User San Giorgio SEIN is a specialist in electromechanical
and electronic naval instrumentation with over 40 years of experience
in the market and about 20 employees. Its catalogue includes more than
50 types of different instruments which are mounted on leisure, sport
and professional boats and big ship bridges and several OEM customers.
San Giorgio SEIN produces also instrumentation for data logging of
the various engines and navigation parameters. The data loggers can
be connected to a host for integrated boat control and navigation systems
or can output the measured values and some messages on remote displays.
With this Application Experiment (AE), San Giorgio SEIN wants to keep
and possibly to increase its market share which is currently around
5% at European level and 15% at domestic level.
The instruments and sensors produced by SEIN before FUSE were mainly
based on analogue and digital data processing and electromechanical
signalling (analogue meters). The total actual production of San Giorgio
SEIN instruments exceeds 30000 units per year.
The functionality of many of the instruments is quite similar, therefore
it is possible to design just one complex configurable digital circuit
able to implement different types of indicators, in order to obtain
a new set of advanced naval instruments by designing just one proprietary
circuit. Furthermore, using just one circuit to implement several instruments,
some of which are now implemented through advanced microcontrollers,
will result in a more advanced and fashionable instrument therefore
also the profit margin will increase significantly.
Given the complexity of the digital circuit to be designed and the high
estimated production volume (30.000 units/year), the selected technology
for the application experiment is a standard-cell configurable ASIC
with an A/D converter on board, capable of communicating via UART interface
and of driving LCD's, traditional analogue meters and air-core meters.
The circuit complexity is about 15.000 equivalent gates.
Cost and duration of the application experiment are 15 months and 96
Actually the total production of instruments having similar characteristics
is 7000 units/year. Considering the unique features that will be introduced
using a complex digital circuit (check control, alarm control, programmed
maintenance service), the market share of San Giorgio SEIN will increase
not only in Europe, where San Giorgio already is a market leader, but
also world-wide, Another goal of the innovation is to improve the external
looking of the instrument a feature that is key for competition since
seems quite appreciated in other manufacturers products. The number
of instruments, which will be produced, should grow from 7000 units/year
to at least 30.000 units/year, which means an increment by 300% of San
Giorgio SEIN overall instrument production.
Considering a projected lifetime of the products of 8 years, the resulting
payback period is 24 months and the projected increase in profitability
is about 600K EUR, which means more than 6 times return of investment.