Title
Automotive CAN-BUS Multifunction Electronic System
Microcontroller doubles product functionality at lower cost
Technologies used

Microcontroller

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    34-35 Parts and Accessories
Abstract
Assembled Supplies (Electrical) Ltd, England, is a company with 140 employees including a Sales Director and 3 electronic engineers. Established in 1964, ASL became part of the "West Hartlepool Steam Navigation Group" in 1997. ASL manufactured customer designed and specified conventional copper cable wiring systems using mechanical and basic electrical means to provide minimal functionality for use the in truck, bus, and trailer markets. The Company's R&D section was established in 1997 and the design of their first "Analogue 12/24 volt Multi-wire Electronics Wiring System", is currently used by OEMs as a complete electronics wiring system to control the electric appliances in caravans and buses. Since then the company has designed and manufactured a number of products using discrete analogue circuits for these markets. ASL has a turnover of 8.5 MEuro p.a. operating in the "Parts and Accessories" industrial sector (Prodcom code 34). This project is for "other Electrical Equipment" sector (Prodcom code 3162).

The selected product is an electrical control circuit providing general lighting, road lighting, security and water control systems and internal system control, all with enhanced functionality for use in caravans, trailers, buses and off-road vehicles. The objective of the project was to apply CAN-BUS microcontroller architecture to replace the analogue multiplexing electrical system with simpler wiring system to produce a flexible algorithmic solution in a shorter time to market. The wiring complexity was reduced from 52 down to 4 wires, giving the advantages of high noise immunity, increased reliability due to less components, reduced manufacturing cost with enhanced functionality, and reduced assembly time. ASL would be the first user introducing this new technology in these market sectors. The introduction of microcontroller technology to the company and the relevant digital system hardware design and programming experiences gained during the project were essential for further product development and market expansion.

With a total cost of 74.88KEUR, the company has implemented this project in 12 months (1st October 1998 to 30th September 1999), using the microcontroller technology with on-chip CAN controller to drive a CAN-BUS communication system network. As a result of 20% reduced product size and 90% reduced wiring, ASL benefited from a 30% manufacturing cost reduction and easier customisation product. Various versions of this project are now internally replicated for truck, trailer, and boat bringing the overall cost to around 94KEURO. The ROI is 10 folds (8 folds of the overall cost) in the expected 5 years life of the product and payback period is about 1 year from the introduction to market.
Company
Assembled Supplies (Electrical) Ltd,
Albany Road,
East Gateshead Industrial Estate,
Gateshead,
Tyne and Wear NE8 3AT
UK

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided Assembled Supplies (Electrical) 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.


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
Bolton Institute of Higher Education
Technology Development Unit
Deane Road
BL3 5AB Bolton
United Kingdom