AERECO is a private company (400 000 Euro capital) which employs 60
persons (two engineers in electronics). Its turn over is about 6 M Euro.
Since 1983, AERECO's business is to design, manufacture and sell through
distributors room air vents for centralised building ventilation systems.
Its industrial sector is Building Industry (Construction Work - Prodcom
Nowadays, to minimise power consumption and to avoid noisy and expensive
private ventilation systems, the regulations trend of main industrial
countries encourages centralised ventilation extracting air through
These room air vents are of two types : fixed air vents to extract
a constant flow of air, and controlled air vents to extract a variable
flow. While its competitors mainly sell fixed air vents, AERECO sells
controlled air vents either by push button or light detection which
are associated with expensive discrete components electronics.
AERECO undertook to develop a human presence control system, the object
of this AE : an infra red (IR.) sensor detects human presence / absence.
This information is sent to a new electronic circuit which controls
an electric motor opening / shutting an air vent to extract an air flow
according to pre-set cycles.
This new product functional analysis led to specify a mixed signal
ASIC air vent control system with low production costs, small circuit
size and low power consumption. This power consumption was specified
to allow air vent battery operation to obtain a significant competitive
advantage : a drastic reduction of air vent on site installation time
This ASIC device has been developed into a standard control circuit
for all the AERECO products. This was obtained by adding a separate
input for another sensor (light sensor for instance) to be used in lieu
of IR. sensor. The new human presence controlled air vent :
- fits the demand of consumers and retailers,
- corresponds to the new regulations in France and abroad,
- does not rely on human action to insure ventilation,
- is independent of light level in the room,
- is battery operated which simplifies on site installation and reduces
fitting time and costs,
- has a better profitability.
The mixed signal ASIC system development was completed within 12 months
for a total development cost of 75,65 K Euro. instead of budgeted 96
K Euro. This cost reduction was due to subcontractor who recognised
his fault at the origin of first run failure and didn't charge the redesign
Economical results based on mixed signal ASIC development costs alone
- Payback period is less than 7 months
- R. O. I. is estimated to be 875 % in 2003