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									                               MARINE LANTERN
               microcontroller reduces production costs by 20%
 Hydrosphere Navaids has successfully utilised microcontroller technology in its
 marine lanterns, used in navigational buoys, to improve their functionality and
 reliability, whilst reducing maintenance costs. These product improvements will
 also enable the company to develop new sales opportunities in its marine market.
 The reduction in manufacturing costs will improve the company’s profit margin,
 and generate a return on investment of 250% within 5 years.

  Hydrosphere Navaids designs, manufactures and                               HYDROSPHERE NAVAIDS LTD
                                                                       Employees                3
  supplies navigational buoys and lights for the
                                                                       Turnover                 250 K€/year
  marine and offshore markets. The company also
                                                                       Industrial Sector        Lighting equipment
  develops bespoke navigational systems to meet                                                 NACE code: 31

  specific customer requirements. In addition,                         Technical expertise      PCB and discrete components
                                                                       before the project
  it installs and maintains its products.
                                                                       Technical expertise at   Microcontroller
                                                                       the end of the project


                                   Sales of Hydrosphere Navaids’ existing marine lanterns were in decline as
          Profit improvement       the products were becoming increasingly difficult to adapt to meet new
        relative to 1998 figures
                                   customer requirements. The introduction of microcontroller technology has
                                   stabilised the company’s market position by allowing it to meet its customers’
   15                              growing demands for increased functionality and reduced cost of ownership.
                                   The improvements and the reduction in production cost by 20% will enable
                                   the company to increase its sales and enhance its profit levels as shown in
                                   the chart. The prototype development was funded under the FUSE
    0                              programme at a total cost of 24 K€. The increase in sales will enable the
        1998 1999 2000 2001 Year
                                   company to recover these costs within 2 years. The return on investment is
                                   estimated at 250% over 5 years. The industrialisation costs were 7 K€.


  Hydrosphere Navaids’ previous marine lanterns used in navigational buoys and other
  marine signalling applications had to be individually constructed and set up at the
  assembly stage to provide the flash code patterns required by each customer. The
  introduction of a microcontroller technology has removed these limitations, and
  allowed the addition of the following improvements:
  • Higher product reliability as a result of the reduction in the number of components.
  • Built in test and monitoring of battery and lamp condition to simplify maintenance.
  • Reduced maintenance costs using a radio frequency communications link to enable
    remote monitoring.
  • Master and slave lantern synchronisation for application in jetty marker lights.

FUSE: Innovation with Microelectronics                                                                  AE116
                                                              How to go about it

 Hydrosphere Navaids selected microcontroller technology to
 improve the marine lamp controller because it offered the                                        PROJECT OVERVIEW
 following benefits:                                                              Main Activity                  Microcontroller development
 • Increased flexibility to allow customer specific requirements
                                                                                  Duration                       13 months
    to be met cost effectively.
 • Low cost in production volume of less than 1000 units per                      Effort                         94 person days

    annum.                                                                        Overall prototype              24 K€
                                                                                  development costs
 • Reduced assembly and manufacturing test times.
 • Low risk development path and suitable technology step for
    the company’s engineers.


 Hydrosphere Navaids conducted the project as a FUSE application                                     EFFORT & COST
 experiment with the assistance of a suitable subcontractor.
                                                                                  Task                       Company’s        Subcontractor’s
 The subcontractor provided support in:                                                                      effort (days)      costs (K€)
 • Specification and microcontroller selection.                                   Management                       18
 • Training in microcontroller design and programming.
                                                                                  Specification                    11              0.5
 • Hardware and software development.
                                                                                  Training                         10              4.5
 The main project tasks, effort and costs are listed in the                       Design                           45              6.3
 adjacent table.
                                                                                  Evaluation                       10

                                                                                  Total                            94             11.3


 Microcontroller technology provided Hydrosphere Navaids with the means of improving its marine lantern product and
 maintaining 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

      Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.

 The Technology Transfer Node                       The Company                              The FUSE Secretariat
 University of Hertfordshire, ERDC, College Lane    Hydrosphere Navaids Ltd.,                European Commission
 Hatfield Herts., AL10 9AB, United Kingdom.         Penmark House, Albert Rd, Aldershot,     DG Information Society – N105
 Tel: +44 (0)1707 284157, Fax: +44 (0)1707 284185   Hants GU11 1SZ, United Kingdom.          200, rue de la Loi
 e-mail:                                                                     B-1049 Brussels

FUSE: Best practice in Microelectronics                                                                                           AE116

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