Controlled water and power bollard
FPGA will increase the company markets hare in 5 years
Technologies used


Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    41 - Collection, purification and distribution of water

SOFABODI is a well-known company of 6 people established at La Ciotat in Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur. The company, created in 1995, designs and manufactures management systems and utilities bollards for marinas. This equipment is mainly sold to yachting port sectors.

The market demand is changing to "intelligent" bollards. The main objective of SOFABODI is to market a " checking & payment " system of water and electricity consumption installed in the yachting ports bollards. The management system will allow yacht men to pay their real consumption with prepaid smart cards and harbourmasters to control the use of electricity and water. A second objective is to target new customers. Such a system also finds applications in private facilities like camping or in public facilities as river marinas, market places, fairground areas, and camp areas for nomads.

SOFABODI has already designed and manufactured a utilities bollard controlled by a micro-controller and contact smart card but they have never developed FPGA. The functioning of these old bollards was hazardous especially the electronic counting of the water consumption and secondly, it was necessary for the harbormaster to collect manually the information contained in the bollard. By using both the already known micro-controller technology together with an FPGA and a new counting technique, the SOFABODI Marina 2000 bollard is now reliable; Moreover, new strategic features have been implemented : the wireless data communication which is a strong demand of the market, the contacless smart card including the electronic purse.

Before the AE, the FU had a French market share of 10%. FUSE has allowed SOFABODI to:

  • add a new functionality to the actual bollard : a whole management marina system
  • keep its place on the marina's market and become the market leader
  • capture new markets as river marinas, camping and collective facilities

The project lasted 12 months and required a 45,000 EUR budget. The expected ROI is 253% over 3 years. The payback period is estimated less 1 year.

Voie Ariane - ZI Athélia II - Lot 9
F-13704 La Ciotat

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

FPGA technology provided SOFABODI 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
Chambre de Commerce Nice Côte d'Azur Departement DPCT
60 Rue Dostoievski
Postbox 85
F-06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex