Industrial

KREON renders design, manufacturing and life cycle support in many different industrial areas, below are some examples illustrating KREON’s capabilities, industrial role and commitment to its industrial participation.

Case studies

Embedded Computer Diamond Sorting Machine

DebTech, the De Beers Group Technology company, provides technology to the De Beers group of companies. Diamond sorting machines form the core of the technology developed by DebTech. The CDX113 and CDX116 family of X-ray diamond sorting machines have been in design and production since 1997.

The CDX sorting machines form part of the Completely Automated Recovery Plant Concept (CARP) developed by DebTech. CARP automates the processing of the Concentrate; which is the output of the mining process. The Concentrate is cleaned, dried and sorted at the CARP without any human intervention.

KREON has been responsible for the embedded computer system within the CDX range since the start of the CDX development. KREON’s role in the CDX Sorting machine is:

  • Development of the detection algorithm.
  • Development, qualification and support of the embedded software, controlling the diamond sorting.
  • Design, manufacturing and life cycle support of the embedded digital signal processing card.

Cellular Base Station Power Controller

KREON has been the design authority since 2012 for a product that manages the power distribution of a Cellular Base Station to the different Cellular Providers, that are present at the site.

The primary function of the Power Controller is to prevent overloading of the electrical network to each Cellular Provider, by monitoring power consumption and re-distributing the power to each Cellular Provider in real time. This prevents tripping of the circuit breakers and ensures that the Cellular Providers can provide uninterrupted service to their subscribers.

The Power Controller also monitors and reports on key performance -, health – and status parameters of the Cellular Base Station. The reporting is done either via the GSM network or Ethernet with several protocols available such as SNMP or MQTT.

Vehicle Access Controller

Navigation Control Computers

Driving specialised vehicles such as the large, dump trucks which are operated at mines, requires special control and monitoring of the operator. The control and monitoring include answering the following questions:

  • Is the operator scheduled to drive the vehicle at a specific time?
  • Is the operator trained to drive the vehicle?
  • Are the operator’s certificates, such as health and drivers’ license in place?
  • Is the vehicle on-route?
  • Is the above operator in the vehicle?

KREON developed a Vehicle Access Controller that controls the starting of the vehicle after several checks have been executed, based upon the biometric data of the operator. All the up- and down link data; biometric, licenses, location data etc; are communicated to a back-end management system using a GSM link.

Riot Control Vehicle

KREON has been responsible for the development and manufacturing of the control system for a Riot Control Vehicle. The Riot Control Vehicle is deployed during public unrests, to control the crowds by means of a water cannon. The output of the water cannon can be mixed with dye or pepper gas for proper crowd control. The vehicle can also be protected from rioting crowds by dispersing pepper gas or foam around itself.

Services

A strong Quality Management System is followed to ensure cost effective development, good manufacturing and secure life-cycle maintenance, all whilst upholding exceptional quality in workmanship.  These are the services embedded into KREON’s philosophy of quality management.

System Engineering

Kreon Technology follows a proven system engineering approach to ensure that our clients’ needs are met by the system developed.

Engineering Management

Kreon Technology firmly believes that continuous communication between the project team, project manager and client ensure that risks are timeously assessed, and contingency plans are in place. We use tailored, engineering management tools to plan and monitor the cost and schedule of projects.

Hardware Development

We have been involved in numerous hardware development projects, ranging from relatively simple micro-controllers to complicated high-speed, real-time Digital Signal Processor (DSP) designs. The design process we follow, broadly consists of applying steps based on project requirements.

Software Development

We also specialise in the development of hard real time embedded software. We have successfully completed software developments in technology areas such as Digital Signal Processing, Image Processing, Industrial Control, and Telecommunications.

Turnkey Manufacturing

Kreon Technology has well-established processes for component procurement, PCB sourcing and assembly of low-to-medium quantities of, high-tech manufacturing and testing. In-house developed, automated test equipment is used to perform board level testing, testing of integrated sub-assemblies and qualification of systems.

Production Test Equipment

An Integrated Product Support environment is used for Testing and Maintenance. Products are tested using automated test systems with a SQL data base for test instructions and test results. This results in a reduced cost of testing. The test environment ranges from bed of nails to final, high-level functional testing with automated acceptance test logs and build history documents. Product maintenance and life cycle maintenance are done using the same environment.

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System Engineering

Our System Engineers perform a Functional Analysis to develop a Concept of Operations and Functional Architecture.

The Speciality Engineering group within Kreon Technology performs inter alia simulations and algorithm developments to serve as inputs to the Requirement Management and Synthesis processes.

The Requirements Management process uses the Functional Architecture, as well as inputs from the Speciality Engineering analyses, to develop requirements. These requirements are validated via the Validation and Verification process in conjunction with our clients. The interaction between Functional Analysis and Requirements Management is iterative, as the Functional Architecture and Resulting Requirements are decomposed to a level representable of the necessary requirements that is descriptive of the needed system characteristics.

Synthesis then develops the physical architecture or design solution to those requirements.

Interface Management plays a key role in ensuring that the various internal system pieces are coordinated and integrated with external systems. As the total system is decomposed via iterative interaction of Functional Analysis, Requirements Management, and Synthesis; physical and functional interfaces are identified and managed.

The system is developed according to the baseline design and verified with the Qualification process.

The results of these activities are continually brought under Configuration Management. Although the discussion of this simplified view and description of the System Engineering process was sequential, it is truly iterative and employed continuously throughout the lifecycle of a system.

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Engineering Management

Consists of the management of the engineering and technical effort to transform a set of requirements into an operational system. This includes:

  • The planning and control of technical program tasks
  • Integration of engineering specialities
  • The management of a total, integrated effort of design engineering, computer software engineering, test engineering, logistics engineering, production engineering, and speciality engineering to meet cost, technical performance and to schedule objectives.
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Hardware Development

The decision to develop hardware for a specific application would be driven by several factors.

If there is a suitable solution available as COTS, this would be recommended with consideration paid to:

  • Is it technically suitable i.e. functionally, environmentally, its power consumption and its thermal profile?
  • Is it economically suitable i.e. cost, lead time, batch quantities?
  • Is its life-cycle compatible i.e. if required to be around for many years, how can the supplier guarantee this?
  • Is it legally compatible i.e. are end-user limitations applicable?

If the COTS solution does not fulfil these requirements, a custom solution will be developed, and with it will come the following benefits:

  • The client will have full control over the technical specification.
  • A proper life-cycle management, specifically with regards to obsolescence control and associated update decisions.
  • Unit cost trade-off vs specification vs manufacturing processes and batch-sizes.
  • Manufacturer selection, batch size decisions, and stock control.
  • Owner of IP.

The hardware development process would entail the following steps, usually in conjunction with a client:

  • Technical specification.
  • Cost estimates, development and manufacturing budgets, and project planning.
  • Detail design, including FPGAs, PCB layout, and simulations where applicable.
  • Prototype manufacturing.
  • Qualification and certification as may be required.
  • Preparation for further manufacturing, including possible volume manufacturing.
  • Establish Test procedures and equipment, possibly including database for life-cycle management.
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Software Development

Kreon Technology has development experience, from complex, real-time missile embedded applications to power – and space, conservative low cost, high reliable embedded sensors.

In support of our embedded software developments, Kreon Technology continually applies the latest Windows™ Application Programming Interface technologies. Visual development tools are extensively used for Man-Machine-Interface applications and device drivers are developed where high-speed data throughput is essential. Kreon Technology also develops all device drivers for card products embedded in the PC, providing our clients with top-notch support.

In support of the systems engineering process, our software engineers work in close collaboration with the systems engineer and hardware engineer throughout the concept design and detail design phase. Software performance areas are identified early in the project and appropriate techniques are applied to the software design and coding phases.

Key Software Development Areas

Software Development Process
Our software standards conform to the quality guidelines enforced by RTCA/DO-178.
Embedded Processors
ARM family of processors, e.g. multi-core Cortex A9; Power PC; Texas Instrument family of processors and micro-processors.
Embedded Operating System
Linux, Android, In-house Real-Time Multi-Task Kernel for hard, real time high-end embedded applications.
Application Software
  • PC (Windows and Linux): SQL Database based Telemetry and Test Equipment applications.
  • Embedded: Complex real-time processing, e.g. control, signal processing, encryption.
Driver Software
Drivers for Windows using Microsoft WDK and Linux.
Coding Languages
C#, ANSI C, Visual C++, Visual Basic, Java.
Methodologies
Unified Modelling Language (UML); Kreon has successfully applied this methodology in embedded software designs. Extensive use of Kreon’s In-house Object Orientated Programming Style for embedded application.
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Turnkey Manufacturing

The approach is as follows, within the constrains that each project may allow:

  • Prototype manufacturing is done in-house.
  • Rework and some levels of maintenance are done in-house.
  • Kreon has established professional relationships with local manufacturing companies for volume manufacturing; this would be the preferred route if there are e.g. time constraints.
  • Kreon has also established professional relationships with international manufacturing companies for volume manufacturing where this may make more sense for a variety of reasons.
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Production Test Equipment

An Integrated Product Support environment is used for:

  • Initial Product Acceptance Testing during manufacturing and
  • During Product Maintenance.

Products are tested, using automated test systems with a SQL data base for test instructions and test results, resulting in reduced cost of testing.

The test environment ranges from bed of nails - to final high-level functional testing with automated acceptance test logs and build history documents.

Product maintenance and life cycle maintenance are done using the same environment in conjunction with an automated maintenance ticketing system.