Embedded firmware and a case of too much baggage?

We at Enventure Technologies offer manufacturing support at all levels, from hardware design to master data management and environmental compliance services. If you’re wondering why one company covers so many diverse areas, you need look no further than the engineering arm of the British Aviation Authority (BAA).

ERA Technology is a prestigious UK company involved in system design and development for, among other clients, BAA; a long-term client with whom they developed automatic X-ray screening of baggage handling systems. As you can imagine, such hardware potentially falls foul of quite a few RoHS directives.

Recently, ERA’s advanced FPGA programming and mechanical engineering prowess was placed under the spotlight when they trialled a new inline, automated screening system design which handles bags and sorts baggage once it has been screened by the X-Ray machine. The system relies on FPGA programming to control the baggage conveyors, interact with the X-Ray machines, interpret results and act upon them. From screening to sorting, each piece of baggage is closely tracked using photoelectric cells, which must take into account the size, shape and movement of each piece of baggage.

The entire system is a dream of high-speed PCB design and mechanical engineering. From the conveyor system and controls, to the system software, significantly reducing loading time and number of screening machines, compared to offline systems.

But just look at what was, and still is, involved in master data management alone: RoHS/WEEE compliance; system hazard analysis; risk assessments; performance specifications; supplier audits; CAD design specifications; component cross references, software reviews and manufacturing BOMs, to name a few.

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