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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 SIGNIFICANT ECONOMIC BENEFITS 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 20 stabilised the company’s market position by allowing it to meet its customers’ 15 growing demands for increased functionality and reduced cost of ownership. 10 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 5 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€. PRODUCT IMPROVEMENTS 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 CHOOSING THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY 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. A PARTNERSHIP FOR SUCCESS 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 YOU CAN ALSO BENEFIT FROM MICROELECTRONICS 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 successfully. 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: email@example.com B-1049 Brussels Belgium www.fuse-network.com FUSE: Best practice in Microelectronics AE116
"MARINE LANTERN MARINE LANTERN"