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Electrical engineering

Linked to the wiring

Small company innovates and produces current and magnetic field meters

Electromagnetism is the raw material that brought the electronics engineer Carlos Shiniti Muranaka, and the physicist Marília Emura and the mechanical engineer Marcelo Lancarotte together to found the company Globalmag, an equipment producer, namely electromagnetic field and electric current meters. The three partners who established the company in 2001 at the Technology Company Incubator Center (Cietec) in São Paulo, in February inaugurated their headquarters in the city of Cotia. Their experience, both academic and professional – they are all graduates from the University of São Paulo and from the Technological Research Institute (IPT)  – led them into the precision instrument’s market.

The main achievement of this small company, which still does not have any other employees, was the development of equipment called transductors. “They transform a large electric current (amperes) into voltage (volts) based on electromagnetic principles”, explains Muranaka. Globalmag already has a series of devices that measure current without having to interrupt the measured wire or to switch off the equipment. “By way of flexible transductors or current pliers, it is possible to measure electric current without paralyzing the plant.”

The major challenge was to build transductors for a steel making plant, whose name they did not reveal. “There were forty eight (48) conductor meters used in the plants furnaces for currents of between 5,000 and 9,000 amperes (as a comparison, the main light fuse we have at home is some 60 amperes)”, says Muranaka. “They had no way of measuring this current without paralyzing their production”, adds Lancarotte. This usage and other similar meters are byproducts of a project financed through FAPESP’s Small Business Innovation Research (PIPE) program. “Our initial intention was to produce a transductor that would measure continuous current (used by equipment that makes use of batteries) and alternating current (that is inside transmission tower wires)”, adds Lancarotte. “We were able to sell twelve units, but the market preferred those made in China, almost a third cheaper.” Although more sophisticated, the Brazilian product did not have the same scale of production as that of the Chinese.

Besides the transductors, they have produced an electromagnetic field meter that tests the quality of magnets of speakers and of acoustic equipment and of the so-called magnetic traps, used in industrial backwashing of cereals and other food, which eliminate possible contamination by ferrous materials. The device is portable and also measures the residual magnetism of tools that need to be de-magnetized. “In this case we disputed the market with our piece of equipment that was cheaper, more robust and more precise.” With the production and sales of the electromagnetic field meters and the transductors, the company had a gross income last year of R$ 150,000.00 with an annual growth of  30%.

Another performance field for the company was a contract signed during 2003 to represent the company Lake Shore, with its headquarters in the United States, a producer of equipment for scientific and industrial use in the area of magnetism and low temperatures.

The Project
Development of transductors for high precision current using a micro-processing feedback network  (nº 01/03194-3); Modality Small Business Innovation Research (PIPE) Program; Coordinator Carlos Shiniti Muranaka – Globalmag; Investment R$ 93,250.00 and US$ 3,856.30 (FAPESP)