Air Vent Control by Human Presence
Mixed Signal ASIC technology reduces control system costs by 75 %
Technologies used

Mixed Signal ASIC

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    34-35 Building Industry

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 code 45331).

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 air vents.

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 and costs.

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 to AERECO.

Economical results based on mixed signal ASIC development costs alone are :

  • Payback period is less than 7 months
  • R. O. I. is estimated to be 875 % in 2003

9, allée du clos des charmes Collégien
77615 Marne la Vallée Cedex 3

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Mixed Signal ASIC technology provided AERECO 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.

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