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Updated I/O box future-proofs Emerson's tank radar system

Technological developments and modified environmental regulations mean that many companies are facing the challenge of upgrading legacy systems to meet new standards. As the I/O box that forms part of Emerson's tank radar system for marine applications was nearing the end of its service life, Prevas was commissioned to assist with the development, industrialization and maintenance of a new version.

Updated I/O box future-proofs Emerson's tank radar system

“We decided early on to seek external consulting expertise as this is not a part of our core operations,” says Ola Håll, product administrator at Emerson. “We chose Prevas among several other suppliers because we perceived that it was the team that had the greatest understanding of our needs, timeframes and overall level of ambition.”

Emerson provides radar-based level measurement systems for tanks in industries such as petrochemicals, oil and gas. Their tank measurement system in large tanks ensures efficient and safe filling and evacuation, and prevents overfilling by accurately measuring levels, temperatures and pressures. Part of this system is an I/O box, which communicates cargo information to cargo calculators and other systems on board.

Development for long-term sustainability

The background to the project was the end-of-life for several components in the older I/O boxes designed in the early 90s. Needed now was the transition to lead-free manufacturing and compatible component in compliance with EU RoHS requirements. Emerson chose to start a project together with Prevas, with the focus on modernizing the existing and well-functioning product instead of creating something completely new.

“The I/O box consists of several circuit boards that can be combined in different ways to achieve a certain function depending on the connected equipment,” says Andreas Hansson, project manager at Prevas and responsible for software development for the project. “The goal was for the new boards to serve as spare parts for the older systems, and that the I/O boxes with the new, smaller and surface-mounted circuit boards would work in the same way and with exactly the same dimensions as before.”

The project started in November 2021 and key consultants from several Prevas offices were involved to meet Emerson’s needs in the best possible manner. Initially, a thorough examination of existing hardware and software was required as well as a strategy for adapting the old software to the new hardware. There were two options – either rewrite everything from scratch or make minor changes and adjustments. At the same time, Prevas hardware specialists worked to determine which components needed to be replaced and which processor to use.

Close collaboration for ensuring continuous production

The new design has been tested to ensure that it meets the requirements for spare parts for the existing system and that it complies with the RoHS and REACH regulations. The design has also been tested to the relevant environmental standards for marine type approval.

“Collaboration with Prevas has been exceptionally good throughout the project,” says Ola Håll. When we added an order for an additional circuit board midway through the project due to delivery problems caused by the pandemic, everything went very smoothly. The Prevas team reacted quickly and delivered a well-thought-out solution that enabled us to maintain continuity of production.

Production of the upgraded I/O boxes will take place locally in Mölnlycke, Sweden and Prevas will continue to provide maintenance and support to monitor and resolve any problems in production after the completion of the project.


RoHS directive – intended to reduce risks to human health and the environment by replacing and restricting hazardous chemical substances in electrical and electronic equipment. The directive also improves the capability for profitable and sustainable recycling from electrical and electronic equipment waste. RoHS stands for Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment.

REACH regulation – stipulates requirements for registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemical substances. REACH also includes requirements for users of chemicals and requirements regarding information that must be provided to customers. In order to offer chemical products and articles on the market, these requirements must be observed.

Sustainable product development, regulations RoHS and REACH, project management, software development, hardware development, industrialization, maintenance.

Contact us
Gustav Jansson, Business Unit Manager for Product Solutions, Prevas AB, e-mail

Development for long-term sustainability

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