Portable, battery operated device for measurement and metal detection
Reduction of production costs by a factor four
Technologies used


Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    332 Manufacture of instruments and appliances for measuring, checking, testing, navigating

IXTREM is a well-known engineering and consulting company of 10 people specialised in electromagnetic techniques. The company, created in 1992, designs and manufactures sensors and integrates electronic modules inside systems, which are bought from a supplier.

The company has a small electronic technical team composed of one engineer and one technician. Their experience is limited to the design and the manufacture of small basic electronic modules (amplifiers, filters, current generators...) and to the maintenance of electronic boards which are supplied outside the company. They have no experience in microelectronic except PCB knowledge.

IXTREM has focused its activities on non-destructive testing, magnetic and electromagnetic measurement techniques and their applications: magnetic labelling (cells and animals), magnetisation, demagnetisation, intense magnetic field, measurement of magnetic field, magnetic sorting, magnetic detection (metal and mines) and magnetic environment and methods. IXTREM has developed instruments and sensors to correctly answer to these different applications.

Especially IXTREM has developed an equipment called Maxwell. Maxwell boards are interfaced in PC bus ISA to make a powerful monitoring system for data acquisition and signal processing using DC or sinus signal frequency range from 10 Hz to 10 MHz. Maxwell plate-form is mainly dedicated to non-destructive testing application (eddy current and magnetic flux leakage).

The object of the FUSE project was the development of a portable battery operated device for measurement and metal detection. Main electronic components in this new product are a Motorola Coldfire DSP and a XILINX Spartan XL FPGA, that supports the processing of high speed DSP functions and in addition includes the necessary interface logic. The technology transfer was mainly in the area of DSP functionality whereas the FPGA work was subcontracted. The main objectives of the AE were related to cost reduction, improvement of some specific functions (multiplexing, data processing and representation), size reduction, avoiding a PC environment which is expensive and too complex, and targeting of new markets.

Most of their customer are located in mechanical, metallurgical, aeronautic and armament industrial sectors. With the new product, the company has decided to target new sectors like agriculture, environmental sector, food industry to find new markets.

The project lasted 12 months and required a 60'000 EUR budget. The expected ROI is 1'204 % over 5 years. The payback period is assessed at 2 years.

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Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

DSP and FPGA technology provided IXTREM 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
Chambre de Commerce Nice Côte d'Azur Departement DPCT
60 Rue Dostoievski
Postbox 85
F-06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex