Incremental Encoder
Optical microsystem with ASIC technology allows high performance and small size at a lower cost
Technologies used
Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    333 Industrial process control
    332 Instruments and appliances for measuring, checking, testing, navigating and other purposes
 The company Eltra is a small company (41 employees with about 3.5 MECU annual turnover) that design, produces and sells encoders in a large industrial applications. Typical ELTRA’s customers are manufacturers of NC machines, robotics and several industrial machines (wood machines, plastics machines, print machines and so on). The company’s current product range is based on the use of discrete analogue devices to converts the shaft rotation into a digital electronic signal. The technology limits the use of the currents products for new motors (like brushless) and then is a significant factor in restricting the company’s growth. The objective of this application experiment was to improve the existing ELTRA products by introducing mycrosystem technology in order to increase performance and reduce their cost to increase competitiveness on the market.
The proposed microsystem is a MCM component made of a special ceramic substrate on which are assembled as unpackaged bare dice an opto-ASIC (analogue ASIC including an integrate photodiode) and up to four discrete phototransistors
The design of the package has foreseen the possibility of using either an opto-ASIC or a plain electronic ASIC with an external photodiode available as bare die. In such a way the new assembly with its "universal” approach enables to replace the huge variety of the discrete components.
Advantages of this new package are fewer components, cost reduction, easier assembly, better yield and performance, improved noise rejection and smaller size. In addition it has to be mentioned that this microsystem can be utilised also in high resolution encoders therefore opening wider market opportunities.
This AE has resulted in an increased know-how and the awareness that even sophisticated technologies can be managed by inexperienced companies if they are properly assisted and trained.
The total cost of the application experiment is 110 kECU and it has been completed in 12 months. The payback period is estimated in about one year from the introduction into the market.
The global return is estimated to be 5 times the initial investment with an equivalent yearly interest rate of about 29%.
Eltra S.r.l.
Via Monticello di Fara 32bis
36040 Sarego (VI) Italy

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

??? technology provided Eltra S.r.l. 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.

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