Electronics and Communications Institute (ECI)
The Electronics and Communications Institute (ECI) was established to carry out research and development in the two rapidly advancing fields of electronics and communications and to provide consultancy and industrial support services to the local manufacturing and technology industries. It is involved in the design and development of world-class original products as part of import substitution.
Electronics can be applied effectively in the following economic activities:
- Services (e.g. telecommunications)
ECI aims to be the leader in the design and development of products and solutions for the electronics and communications industry in Zimbabwe and the region.
ECI has three divisions as outlined below:
Electronics Design Division (EDD): EDD designs original electronic equipment for industrial instrumentation and control systems, process monitoring and automation. The areas of focus include security and surveillance systems, science education equipment, consumer electronic products, solar energy, irrigation control, water pumping, greenhouse control and microclimate monitoring.
Communications Design Division (CDD): CDD promotes R & D in communications and collaborates with local and regional bodies to spearhead technology development in communications and networking. The areas of focus include radio communication, internet communication technologies, telecommunications technologies, laser and infrared and power-line communications.
Repair and Maintenance Division (RMD): RMD provides electrical and electronic repair and maintenance services to SIRDC, the public and private sector organizations and industries. In the case of equipment declared obsolete by original equipment manufacturers, the Electronics Design team performs reverse engineering through designing new control systems using microcontrollers.
Industrial Support Services
Relying on very experienced technical staff, the institute supports the local industry through speedy repair and maintenance of old equipment. Very experienced designers within the institute frequently reverse engineer systems using the latest state of the art technologies as replacement for obsolete equipment using locally available, affordable microcontrollers. The institute is advocating change from the use of industry standard Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) within the industry to locally developed controllers based on microcontrollers.
The institute provides the following additional support services to the local industry:
- Printed circuit board layout design
- EPROM/EEPROM/Flash and PIC microcontroller reading and programming and
- Development of control programs
Technology Transfer and Training
The institute plays a central role in technology transfer though specialist training in the following:
- Instrumentation and Control
- Industrial Applications of Microcontrollers
- PCB fabrication
- Student industrial attachments.
The institute has successfully developed several products including:
- A wide range of scientific and industrial laboratory equipment
- A solar charge controller
- An electronic door lock
- An Automatic Weather Station
- A power inverter
- A chicken egg incubator
- Visual display maps for corporates
- Turnstile Counters and Giant Electronic Score Boards for stadia.
Areas of Collaboration
There are a number of projects of national strategic importance which have been conceived and undertaken by the institute. The institute seeks business partners and financiers to move such products/projects into the market place.
For Further Information Contact:
The Director, ECI
Tel: + 263-4-860334 (direct line)