CELVER Elettronica S.r.l. is a small Italian company of 5 people
(all involved in electronics), founded in 1986. It is located in Carrara,
Tuscany, where it designs and produces electronic systems for industrial
automation in the sector of tools and machinery, and particularly for
the automation of machines used to cut and work stone and granite materials.
CELVER specialisation in this particular sector is undoubtedly related
to its geographical location in an area that is leader in the world for
working stone and granite materials and for designing and building machines
dedicated to these processes. CELVER markets its products to all the major
manufacturers of this kind of machinery. CELVER has always been particularly
attentive to product innovation and it was one of the first companies
introducing, at a reasonably low price, the microprocessor technology
on the control electronics for stone and granite cutting machinery. For
many years CELVER's product named CTG (Control for granite gang-saw) was
a benchmark for competitors using commercial electronics, which could
not compete in terms of performance and economy, especially with regards
to the man-machine interface.
The evolution of the electronics market progressively reduced CELVER's
competitive advantage and the Company has been forced to revise its main
product to face the strong competition on product performance and price.
The old CTG product was based on microprocessor architecture with 5 PCB,
discrete THT (Through Hole Technology) components with limited memory
and limited I/O expansion capability and only one HW controlled fast counter.
The decision to improve the existing product by integrating into one single
dedicated control board the functionality carried out by the five THT
boards was thanks to the performance offered by the FPGA technology. The
technological upgrade of the Company's product will result in:
· restoring their advantage over competitors in terms of cost/performance
· reaching new market segments, where the knowledge of the process and
the availability of an economic HW will permit to overcome the entry barriers.
For instance, the increase in performance achieved together with a reduction
in costs will give the opportunity to address the market segment of diamond
tipped disk stone cutting and stone polishing machines, which were not
accessible before due to the poor performance of the previous product.
The low cost allows also the application of the new system in other industrial
sectors outside the marble and stone processing markets, such as those
for wood and ceramic processing.
The new GASTONE single board control has additional digital and analogue
I/Os, larger memory and up to five HW controlled fast counters and makes
widespread use of surface mounting components.
The project was started in January 1998, taking 6 months for its development.
In June 1998 a tested GASTONE prototype was available. The new product
is available on the market from January 1999 while the old product is
expected to end production at the end of the same year.
The effective investment required to design, build, and test the prototype
has been of 40,75 KEURO. The ROI is calculated in a 225% over 4 years
and a payback period of 35 months is foreseen.
The Application Experiment performed by CELVER not only provided it with
a new and competitive product, but also forced the company to learn a
new design approach and the use of VHDL language, the importance of simulation,
advance specification and documentation and planned testing. All this
was a great cultural step forward for CELVER's designers and is moving
the Company toward formalised Quality Standard. CELVER is now applying
the FPGA technology gained thanks to this Application Experiment to other
on-going developments like those for a strain-gauge active interface and
for a slab scanner.
The results of this project could be of interest for SMEs that develop
control systems for cutting machinery or for other big sized machinery
as for concrete manufacturers, mining industry, etc., and wherever customer's
specific problems are solved with home-made solutions based on redundant
and too expensive off-the-shelf components.
|You can also benefit from microelectronics
FPGA technology provided CELVER Elettronica 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.
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.