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INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS

Credible Creativity

An embedded system is much more than electronics and software. For us, designing an embedded system means taking care of the complete system: its performance, compatibility and value for the customer. Our cross-disciplinary approach gives your product a real competitive advantage. That's credible creativity.

Services

Electronic Development

Electronics design for challenging applications: industrly, vehicles, defense and security

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Electronics Engineering

Electronics engineering has been the core business of Microteam since 1981. The first products were military electronics with exceptionally high requirements for reliability. Since then our emphasis has been in defense and security systems, measurement and control devices for industrial applications and commercial vehicles. Despite that, devices designed by us can be found in thousands of Finnish homes as well.

Product development

The product development service covers the whole chain from identifying the customer needs to production and maintenance. Our broad experience gives us the unique ability to combine know-how from completely different sectors: from embedded systems of very high reliability to cost-sensitive consumer electronics and from IoT to heavy machinery.

The service is not only electronics and software engineering: it’s also complete systems with an accompanying cloud services with maintenance.

Our services can either strengthen your own development or offer a complete ODM service, including the mass production on your label.

Engineering Service

Microteam offers also electronics design services for customers that want to keep most of the product development in-house. Like the product development, also these engineering services give you the benefit of our extensive knowledge.

Consultancy

Even small engineering problems may call for expert advice – may it be about selection of topologies or individual components, software engineering or EMC issues. The assignment can range from one detail in a design to the requirements set by the harmonized standards of the Low Voltage Directive, EMC Directive etc.

EMC Expertice

Electromagnetic compatibility is not only about fulfilling the EMC standards. Microteam’s EMC consultancy solves the interference issues in electrical and electronic devices.

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EMC Expertice

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) has been a strong area of expertise for Microteam from the beginning. Our own EMC laboratory was set up in 1990s for being able to fulfill the expectations of our customers – the need to exceed the immunity requirements of the automotive EMC regulations by a double-digit (in decibels) safety margin.

The competence in EMC is an integral part of our product development. The test site is co-located with our R&D laboratory. The design engineers do the EMC testing themselves. That’s why all our electronics design engineers are able to take into account the EMC performance during the design process. A laboratory of our own also enables us to do quick evaluations of RF emissions and immunity early in the design phase.

EMC Consultancy

EMC Reviews

An EMC review is an extremely cost efficient way to avoid unnecessary prototype builds: the caveats in the EMC performance will be found out and rectified before the first prototypes are assembled. Our EMC experts will review the design documents, locate possible problems and find solutions for them.

An early EMC review can save complete prototype rounds. Even very preliminary documents can be reviewed. Most of the common troubles, like groundings and the power distribution, cable routing, EMC properties of the enclosure, can be identified even before the first schematics have been finalized.

It is often beneficial to include a broader design review in the scope. This gives you added certainty of the overall functionality, reliability and manufacturability.

EMC Problem Solving

The EMC problem solving service is the solution for fixing electromagnetic interference, susceptibility to static discharges (ESD) and other EMC issues in a product that already has reached the prototype stage or even production. Rather often we can find a solution that enables applying the remedy in the units already manufactured.

Engineering Services

Our EMC expertise is also available as a design service. A particularly challenging part of the project, like an interface, a power supply etc., can be assigned to our engineers for the best EMC performance.

FPGA Real-time Solutions

Hard real time is only possible on an FPGA – also with Linux. The response time is always deterministic and guaranteed with an FPGA, be an FFT or a field bus.

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FPGA Real-time Solutions

True, hard real-time can only be implemented on hardware. That’s why Microteam employs FPGA chips for hard real time. An FPGA is a painless way of implementing communication protocols, digital signal processing algorithms and field buses – also in cost-sensitive applications.

Thanks to our electronics engineering competence, Microteam will integrate the programmable logic on the PCB with the best possible signal integrity. There’s no grey area between the IP block and the external connector.

Some examples of our FPGA implementations:
  • CoaXPress protocol (2 x 6,25 Gbps) for a machine vision camera
  • Signal processing for an air surveillance radar
  • Multi-channel FFT and IFFT transforms in microseconds
  • Parametrizable, distortion free RMS limiter
  • Extremely fast short circuit protection for middle voltage networks
  • Programmable fuse with true I²t emulation and ultra-fast short circuit protection
  • Computer and field buses: PCI, SSC, Transputer link

FPGA + Linux: Flexible Real time

The Bedrock concept combines the speed of an FPGA and low unit price with the ease of SW development of Linux. A commercially available low-cost evaluation board (like BeagleBone or Raspberry Pi) can be used for the initial SW development. Later on, the application can be transferred with minimal changes into the real hardware. This combines with the hard real time provided by an FPGA chip that is accessed through one well-defined API. This all comes with our understanding of the harsh environments of industrial and automotive sectors.

Networked Controllers

Developing networked control systems in machinery and vehicles can be easy, error-free and fast – all the three at the same time. Control units linked via a CAN bus function seamlessly together without the need for manual bus configuration.

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Networked Controllers

Microteam has introduced innovative solutions for controller networks in commercial vehicles and industrial automation since 1992. Our technology provides the solution for the typical difficulties encountered in producing and maintaining distributed controllers:
  • How to ensure spare parts supply 30 years ahead?
  • How to tailor each produced unit uniquely even if the production volumes run in thousands per year?
  • How to make software reuse really work in real life?
  • How to ensure that a CAN bus is always configured correctly and never congested?
  • How to know exactly which software version has been installed in which unit produced over the years and possibly updated in the field?
  • How to arrange diagnostics and service as easy and fast as possible?

ECUt

Microteam offers as a off-the-shelf component the advanced I/O ECU and the Media ECU that make up a complete control systems for a vehicle or a machine. The CAN bus may also be connected to third-party ECUs.

If these do not fulfill all your needs, it is always possible to develop a tailored or full custom ECU.

Motion Control

The MXC-6 MN multi-axis controller is a powerful yet compact controller for heavy machine tools. The controller features 6 interpolating axes and versatile I/O, like analog and digital inputs and outputs, Ethernet and CAN buses. A PCI slot is available for extensions, like field bus interface cards. All the I/O and motion control is detached from the main CPU, providing extra safety and fault tolerance.

Target-independent Software

Target-independent software has been reality in Microteam since 1992. Still today we manufacture devices that are plug-in replacements for those sold in the beginning on 1990s. Plug-in replacement does not mean compatibility of the external connectors and mechanical dimensions only: also the binary code is 100 % compatible without recompilation. Thanks to virtualization, this works even though the electronics have been redesigned more than once during the past 25 years.

The programming environment is IEC 61131 compatible and thus familiar to automation engineers.

Automatic Distribution of Executables

ECUs programmed using the Lucid concept for a seamlessly working distributed control system. The software robot at the heart of Lucid automatically places each piece of software to the particular ECU that is the best fit for the function from the viewpoint of the whole system performance. Therefore, the software developer does not program individual ECUs but the functions that the complete system must provide.

Machine Vision

Machine vision as a part of an embedded system or a machine is a cost-effective and robust solution. Microteam’s machine vision solution cover everything from algorithms to design of complete cameras.

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Machine Vision

Machine vision and associated technologies are often regard as expensive, difficult and complex systems that are one off solutions. Microteam has a different view. A machine vision systems should be inexpensive to build and maintain, series producible and structurally simple. Rigid cables and expensive frame grabber cards don’t fit this image. So, no programming environments and libraries tightly bound to one manufacturer.

For us, machine vision at its best is a single-box solution: a smart camera that contains a familiar, easy-to-program Linux computer and the well established OpenCV library. If more computing power is needed, this can be accompanied by a powerful industrial PC. The machine vision application software is implemented using established technologies, rather often using C++ or C# languages.

Embedded Machine Vision

Embedded machine vision is ubiquitous. The lane departure warning and forward collision warning systems in new cars, precision positioning functions of machinery, online inspection of welding seams… The applications are numerous and the unit price must be low. In many cases it is more appropriate to call it an optical sensor or instrument than a camera.

The imaging and machine vision competence of Microteam is the solution for introducing machine vision into low-cost embedded devices. Customer specific cameras are always an option. Our experience on designing cameras extends beyond 20 years, including full stack implementations of the CoaXPress interface and the Genicam standard over CoaXPress and GenCP (Camera Link).

Integrated Machine Vision

Integrating machine vision in custom machines and robots is a unique strength of Microteam. Being independent of any vision technology vendors, we are always able to choose the optimal implementation from illumination to motion control. An example of integrated machine vision is the fine-positioning solution for a transport vehicle for spent nuclear fuel. The fine-positioning system very precisely steers the transport vehicle over the final disposal well, ensuring the safe final disposal of nuclear waste.

Machine Vision Algorithms

Microteam always selects the solution offering the best fit for the assignment. We are not bound to use any individual camera or software vendor. Thus our solution is based on the problem at hand and not on the abilities of certain tools

The algorithms we use are as well the standard algorithms from the OpenCV library, or those of our own. The platform can be Windows, desktop Linux or embedded Linux.

Software

As a developer of embedded systems, Microteam's offering covers the full range from hard real-time systems to large networked solutions with cloud connectivity, web user interfaces and embedded machine vision. Microteam has a long and proven background in introducing intelligence into demanding industrial electronics.

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Embedded Systems

Embedded system software is a combination of close-to-hardware programming, communication, real-time technologies and user interfaces – and often also web programming and databases. In Microteam, development of embedded systems covers everything from simple 8-bit microcontrollers to Linux-FPGA combinations. In addition to embedded systems, we offer production control and custom SCADA software for both Windows and Linux platforms.

Hardware-oriented programming

Each and every software developer in Microteam is able to read schematic diagrams – and quite many are also capable of designing electronics. That’s because we are a product developer house of more than “full stack”. Being close to hardware does not mean only Linux drivers or embedded C programming, but also tight integration with the hardware. This is a critical requirement in IoT applications that have extremely low power budget.

The most hardware oriented software is programming of process cores realized on an FPGA chip. We’ve done for example Transputer virtual machines both on a high-performance microcontrollers and as a hard FPGA implementation.

User Interfaces

The user interface of an embedded system may be anything between a couple of led indicators to a large touch display. Very often it is a HTML interface accessed via a web browser. This way even a very rudimentary device can sport a versatile and easily configurable user interface.

Demanding Software Solutions

A good example of particularly demanding solution is the software robot that works at the heart of the Lucid software development platform. The software robot automatically distributes the automation software into multiple ECUs (control units), creates the bus configuration between them, and analyzes at compile time the complete system e.g. for guaranteed execution time and unintentional feedback paths. Despite this, Lucid is not “just” a software robot but a complete software development system. Lucid itself supports multi-site operation. It can be used by businesses with globally distributed SW development teams and manufacturing facilities, or with a network of subcontractors, to make the development and production work seamlessly.

Real-time Software

Real time Linux (RT-Linux) is a term that is typically used without an exact definition of real-time. Even though in some cases an operating system can reach a reasonable level of real time, true real time calls for more. Microteam’s list of references contains for example digital filtering and transmission of the measured signal at 1 µs precision on a multiplexed RS-485 bus at the full bus throughput, all this implemented on an MCU with unit cost of 1 Euro. Even harder real time is done on an FPGA: examples of this are an extremely fast multi-channel FFT transform or demanding communication protocols like CoaXPress.

Our Bedrock concept enables combining hard real time and the ease of Linux SW development.

Machine Vision

Microteam always selects the solution offering the best fit for the assignment. We are not bound to use any individual camera or software vendor. Thus our solution is based on the problem at hand and not on the abilities of certain tools. The algorithms we use are as well the standard algorithms from the OpenCV library, or those of our own. The platform can be Windows, desktop Linux or embedded Linux. Machine vision related communication protocols are also our assets. We’ve done full stack implementations of the CoaXPress interface and the Genicam standard over CoaXPress and GenCP (Camera Link).