ĆAC Microtec and CSEM develop electronics for the offshore and mining industry

Uppsala, Sweden / Neuchâtel, Switzerland - 21 March 2012. ĆAC Microtec - a Swedish company specialized in the miniaturization of electronics - and the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) - a private Swiss research and technology organization specializing in microtechnology - have been awarded a EU Eurostars project to develop high-temperature motor control products for the offshore and mining industry. The technology enables the control of drill rigs that are exposed to extreme conditions such as high temperatures and vibration.

ĆAC Microtec and CSEM have an established collaboration in the development of a space-compatible motor controller for the European Space Agency (ESA). Both companies have good connections with international manufacturers of electric motors and expect to have the first products ready for trials and testing in 2013.

"This is yet another example where the industry now sees opportunities to quickly benefit from ĆAC Microtec's unique product know-how in robust miniaturized electronics, as we enable solutions that have not previously been possible. We see a number of various industrial applications, offshore being one such interesting area," says Kjell Bohlin, CEO of ĆAC Microtec.

The miniaturized motor control products must tolerate temperatures in excess of 200°C, have a size of less than 20 mm in diameter and all control logic integrated together with the motor, so that just power needs to be transmitted over long distances.

The products are based on ĆAC Microtec's in-house developed fault-tolerant 32-bit processor OpenRISC Fault TolerantTM R model, the company's advanced DC/DC power converter and leading hybrid electronics that the company has developed in collaboration with the Swedish National Space Board, NASA and the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration. CSEM will contribute with its experience in advanced motor control and system integration, including sensor-less motor control algorithms.

"As a result of this international collaboration and thanks to the funding of the Eurostars Programme, we will avoid parallel development work," remarks Philippe Steiert, Director of Regional Centers of CSEM. "With this project we will be able to deliver new technology earlier to the market to support the deep-drill and mining industries."

"For a considerable time we have been developing very advanced control technology for electric motors for Mars vehicles for the European Space Agency and we are now bringing this technology to industrial mid-volume markets," says Johan Bäckström, Sales Executive at ĆAC Microtec.


The on-board computer RTU100-CS is an example of miniaturized electronics from ĆAC Microtec

The on-board computer RTU100-CS is an example of miniaturized electronics from ĆAC Microtec