HARTING to showcase modular solutions at Smart Factory Expo 2020

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HARTING will be discussing their range of innovative connectivity solutions at the online Smart Factory Expo from the 9th to the 13th November 2020.

Their product and market specialists will be on hand to discuss the benefits of modularisation in the modern smart factory, including adaptable production methods, reduced maintenance downtimes and shortened set up times.

HARTING are renowned for their modular solutions, which improve flexibility and allow users to perform non-disruptive maintenance. The Han-Modular® range enables you to produce a bespoke connector by combining individual modules for different transmission media, such as signals, data and power. You can even use the innovative Han® Configurator tool to quickly design interfaces for your specific applications.

 

 

 

 

 

In addition, there will be areas dedicated to robust and space-saving solutions for fast Ethernet, device connectivity and industrial cabling. The ix Industrial® is a compact interface that delivers Cat. 6A performance for 1/10Gbit/s Ethernet. The ix complies with IEC 61076-3-124 and conforms to the shock and vibration resistance levels set out in EN 50155 railway specifications, making it the perfect solution for a range of markets.

There will also be information about Single Pair Ethernet (SPE), one of the technological cornerstones that will shape the success of the IIoT. The factory of the future will require high data streams and the industrial sector needs connectivity solutions which adapt themselves to increasingly growing demands.

SPE, delivered via HARTING’s T1 Industrial connector, allows equipment to connect via end-to-end IP-based communications right up into the field level. The T1 Industrial supplies both data and power via Power over Data Line (PoDL) across a single pair of wires in an IEC 63171-6 industrial interface, bringing Ethernet from the cloud to every sensor and enabling Industry 4.0.

Space-saving and weight reduction benefits achieved by the move to a single pair of wires mean the compact T1 can be easily incorporated into smaller products and Ethernet interfaces can be designed onto simple sensors, cameras, reading/ID devices or similar miniaturised equipment.

In addition, you can learn more about HARTING Customised Solutions, which combines market-leading products and expertise to develop components tailored to specific requirements. They work closely with customers to plan, design, test and produce a wide range of bespoke products such as cable assemblies, hoods, housings and cabling from their manufacturing facility in Northampton.

To learn more about our products and solutions and register for your FREE ticket to Smart Factory Expo, please visit: https://www.harting.com/UK/en-gb/smart-factory-expo . We look forward to meeting you and discussing your requirements at Smart Factory Expo.

New “SLIMS” Narrow FeedThrough Connectors from Cliff Save Panel Space

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Cliff Electronics leaders in the design, development and manufacture of connectors and test equipment, announce the introduction of their new SLIMS FeedThrough Connector range. Offering a more compact alternative to their very popular 26mm wide XLR form factor product range, the new SLIMS connectors are just 19mm wide allowing up to 20 to be mounted in a 1U, 19” rack panel, rather than just 16 of the existing XLR design with cut out dimensions of 17.15mm (0.675in) x 22.86mm (0.9in) with mounting hole centres of 29mm.

 

The narrow form factor is widely used by audio, broadcast and communications manufacturers in the USA and becoming more popular in the UK and rest of Europe for increasing panel density and for products being exported to North America.

 

Designed and manufactured in the UK the first SLIMS versions to be made available are the widely used data connector types RJ45, HDMI and USB 2 and 3. Mounted in a black plastic shell the new SLIMS connectors may be mounted to the front or rear of control panels, have assembly options of 3.2mm plain holes, countersunk holes or 2.5mm plain self-tap holes. The mounting holes are on the central vertical axis of the connector.

 

Cliff’s FeedThrough connectors allow standard, off the shelf, connecting cables to be used for internal connectivity, simplifying and speeding up system assembly and facilitating easy repurposing of equipment.

 

Leaders in the design and manufacture of FeedThrough connectors, Cliff’s wide range of XLR form factor types allows designers to integrate audio, video, digital, optical, networking and data feeds into professional equipment for broadcast (studio and mobile), lighting, audio, medical diagnostic and treatment equipment, PoE and industrial applications, instrumentation and control connectivity.

 

The most popular connectors in Cliff’s FeedThrough range are CAT 5e RJ45, CAT 5e Shielded RJ45, CAT 6 RJ45, CAT 6 Shielded RJ45, HDMI Female – Female, USB 3.0 A-A, USB 2.0 B-A and USB 2.0 A-A. All widely used in data and audio-visual applications.

 

“North America is the largest market for audio, broadcast and entertainment systems and has many data and industrial control system manufacturers.” Says John Hall, Managing Director of Cliff Electronics.” Our new SLIMS FeedThrough connectors will not only grow our component sales in the USA but will also be welcomed by other system builders selling their products there.”

 

The complete range of standard and FeedThrough connectors available from Cliff may be found on their website at https://www.cliffuk.co.uk/products/feedthrough/index.htm and are available from major international distributors.

 

For more information call +44 (0)1737 771375, email end_of_the_skype_highlightingsales@CliffUK.co.uk or visit Cliffuk.co.uk

HARTING discuss latest industrial technologies in new webinar series

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Following the success of the first Experts Camp back in May, HARTING have organised a second series of webinars to discuss the latest in industry innovations and connection technology. Below you’ll find more details of the topics HARTING’s specialists will present, including cutting-edge products, time-saving solutions and technologies for designing the future.

Modularity in Production looks at the benefits of modularisation and some of the methods used by manufacturers to achieve new levels of flexibility, including the ability to change production modules without disrupting other processes. HARTING will also present their innovative Han-Modular® connectivity solutions, which enable manufacturers to modularise their facilities and unlock economic and time saving benefits, including adaptable production methods, reduced maintenance downtimes and shortened set up times.

There are two webinars focused on Innovations in PCB Connectivity, where experts in printed circuit board design will showcase ground-breaking new products and concepts that will take PCB connectivity into the future. The first, Cutting Edge Board Solutions for Industry 4.0, will focus on miniaturised, bespoke solutions and the requirements of Industry 4.0 for printed circuit boards. The second, Board to Board Day, will highlight the new har-modular® range and present updates on the har-flex® family.

HARTING’s expertise in connector technology will come under focus with the Small Universal Connectors webinar, which looks at the Han® 1A series and the advantages of its modular system including flexibility, shortened installation times and reduced inventory. There will also be an examination of High-Quality Product Data and how it can improve efficiencies. HARTING is helping customers access product data via the relevant formats with the aim of providing complete connector configurations.

Finally, there will be an expansion of the popular Industrial Ethernet Trendsseries, which will cast a spotlight on Single Pair Ethernet (SPE), a ground-breaking new communication technology. The dedicated Single Pair Ethernet Day on December 2nd will consist of two sessions which will cover seamless connections between sensors and IIoT platforms and look at the entire SPE ecosystem.

To view the full range of on-demand and upcoming live webinars, please visit www.harting.com/UK/en-gb/web-seminar .

NCC Connectors suit applications with restricted space and offer high protection levels when connected and disconnected

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The Series 670 NCC Subminiature Connectors expand the binder product range with a system for applications with restricted space.

The newly developed products target the growing need for suitable, reliable circular connectors in many applications including lighting and test and measurement instrumentation. The Series 670 are 5-pin subminiature connectors with a bayonet closure and a cable bushing from 3.5 to 5.0mm. The flange-type socket is provided with soldered and dip-soldered contacts. A key feature of these connectors is that the contacts are completely protected against water, dirt and penetration by foreign objects when not connected. The NCC (Not Connected Closed) connectors use a spring cover to protect the contacts even when disconnected.

Permanent Protection
With the NCC system, the Series 670 achieves protection to IP 54 when not connected. When the subminiature connector is connected, the level of protection increases to IP 67. The core function of the NCC feature from binder keeps the contacts free from environmental effects and is also distinguished by its high durability. Sascha Döbel, product manager at binder, explains, “Our NCC subminiature connectors are designed for more than 1000 mating cycles. With this flexibility and long life combined with the additional characteristics of the Series 670, we put the focus on the increasing demands of a growing group of users.”

Compact Profile
Users with applications that demand frequent mating and demating will appreciate Series 670 subminiature connectors as will those users who need connectors with a compact profile for applications with the restricted space.

Strong Resistance
In addition to the key feature of environmental protection, the Series 670 plastic socket impresses with its high resistance to vibration and shock loads. The product is also particularly resistant to heat and cold with an operating temperature range from -25°C to +85°C. binder has made available connector housings in different colours which is ideal for those applications where identification and organization is important.

M12 connectors for AC and DC applications from binder

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binder’s new S-coded and T-coded power connectors are very well suited for power transmission. The two standardized types are designed as per DIN EN 610276-2-111 for applications such as motors and drives and for supplying power to AC and DC consumers.

The S-coded connectors of binder’s 814 Series were developed for use in AC supplies  up to 630 VAC. They have a PE lead and can transmit, in the two-phase or three-phase version, power of up to 7.5 kW. The power connectors of the 814 Series are ideal for applications such as AC motors and drives, motor load switches and frequency converters.

M12 connectors for AC and DC applications

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The T-coded connectors of binder’s 813 Series are intended for DC voltages up to 63 VDC at 12 A. They are suited for use as power connectors for fieldbus or Ethernet applications such as Profinet. These power connectors can also be used to supply DC motors and drives or other power-hungry components with up to 750W.

The Series 813 connectors have four gold-plated contacts while the Series 814 plugs have two and three gold-plated contacts and one pre-mating PE contact. They are available in both straight and right-angle versions.

 

The cable connectors of both types come with the M12 interlock as standard. They protect to IP67 and IP68 and are designed for more than 100 mating cycles. The operational temperature range is -25 °C to +85 °C.

 

Both series offer moulded male cable connectors and female cable jacks, either premade or ready for assembly. For panel mounting, round and square housings made of metal and plastic are available. These can be screw-mounted from the front or back. The products can be connected by the customer and are also available with already connected stranded wire. In this way, binder allows its customers to find the connector suitable for their preferred method of installation.

 

More applications possible for binder’s versatile RD24 power connector series

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binder, a technology and industry leading manufacturer of circular connectors for a wide range of applications, has added new versions to its popular RD24 power connector series. Among the new Series 692/693 connectors is a version that can accommodate cables with diameters from 7 mm to 17mm and a panel mount version that binder has designed for use with thicker front panels.

Applications for these UL approved RD24 connectors include power connections for pressure and temperature transducers, welding equipment, CCTV, security installations and control systems.

The new cable connector has what binder describes as a “Vario” cable outlet that can handle different cables sizes. The design features an onion ring seal which has multiple, separable seals which, when separated, fits various cable diameters.”

Two specifications are available – 4 pole (16A, 400V) and 7 pole (10A, 250V) – both of which have a pre-engaging earth contact. binder is offering male and female versions for in-line mating or connection to standard panel-mount receptacles.

binder’s RD24 connectors protect to IP67 when mated and locked and options are available for screw, crimp and solder termination and contact resistance is ≤5mΩ.

The new panel mount power connector is available with 3+PE or 6+PE gold plated contacts with a maximum current rating of 16A or 10A and voltages of 400V or 250V.

The compact RD24 panel mount connector features screw termination and is rated to IP67 when mated.

HARTING Technology Group has been shaping the future for 75 years

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For 75 years, the HARTING Technology Group has been driving technological change and providing decisive innovations for the future. The vision formulated in 1996 by the family owners, ‘We want to shape the future with technologies for people’, remains the guiding star of our entrepreneurial activities. September 1st marks the 75th anniversary of the founding day of the family company. The manufacturer of everyday products such as waffle irons and irons has evolved into a worldwide leading supplier of industrial connection technology for the three lifelines of data, signal and power, a global player fielding innovative products and solutions focusing on Industry 4.0 and digitalisation.

 

Wilhelm and Marie Harting opened the ‘Wilhelm Harting Mechanical Workshops’ on September 1st, 1945, in a repair workshop covering 100 square metres in Minden, Westphalia. After returning from Berlin, where he had held a leading position in an aviation company, the trained engineer dared to take the step into self-employment in his home region. Wilhelm Harting initially concentrated on everyday consumer goods which were in short supply after the war such as immersion heaters, hotplates, energy-saving lamps and electric firelighters. These products sold like hot cakes and his wife delivered the goods by bicycle in the surroundings of Minden, being paid in bread, bacon, eggs and pulses. For copper and other raw materials, the company’s first buyer had set off to Cologne and Wuppertal with his rucksack. The return trip was on a coal freight wagon.

Wilhelm and Marie Harting

Harting’s original building

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stand at the first Hannover Fair in 1947 and the move to Espelkamp

The emerging company had a stand at the first HANNOVER MESSE in 1947 and received numerous orders for alternators, starters, regulators, fuel pumps and ignition distributors. Even back then, Wilhelm Harting, an energetic technician who always focused on the needs of his customers, had his sights set on new applications and markets. The company grew rapidly and needed more space. So, from 1950 onwards, the company gradually moved to the neighbouring refugee settlement of Espelkamp. The barracks of a former ammunition factory offered enough space for both the expanding company and to provide bread and work for many refugees and displaced persons. By 1955, the company had 500 employees and was able to double its turnover to 8.6 million D-Mark within a year.

This was the period in which the success story of the Han® connector began. The Han® (HARTING standard), patented in 1956 and a registered trademark since 1957, became the standard, the epitome of the industrial connector and laid the foundation for the ascent of the medium-sized company from East Westphalia. In the following years, the Han® modular programme went on to write new chapters of the success story. Thanks to the Han-Modular® series, customers can achieve optimal design solutions for the supply of machines, systems and plants. This is enabled by the combination of individual modules for various transmission media – data, signals, power and compressed air – via industrial connector housings in standard sizes. Han-Modular® stands for highly flexible, compact solutions designed for high functionality and ease of use. Today, the
Han-Modular® represents THE market standard for modular industrial connectors.

Challenging years after the death of the company founder

Producing a wide range of innovative products such as jukeboxes, record players, tape recorders, electromedical equipment, cigarette vending machines and magnets, the family business continued to grow. Wilhelm Harting had a keen perception of industry trends from an early stage. He began to phase out the product portfolio of the fifties – except for cigarette vending machines – and firmly focused the company on the production of connectors. With this far-sighted decision he created the foundation for today’s company.

Wilhelm Harting died in 1962 at the age of 53. Marie Harting then took over the helm – a challenging position – and initially managed the company on her own, before being joined by her son Dietmar from 1967. In 1969 Jürgen Harting, the second son of the founders, joined the management. He died in 1973 in a tragic accident at the age of only 32 years.

Until 1987, Marie (who passed away in 1989) and Dietmar Harting jointly headed the expanding company. In March 1987, Margrit Harting took up her position as General Manager of the company. At the end of the 1970s, the internationalisation of HARTING had begun with the founding of a subsidiary in France. For more than a quarter of a century, Dietmar and Margrit headed the Technology Group, which was on its way to becoming a global company with production facilities in the USA, China, Mexico, Russia, India and Europe, among others. A good 70 percent of sales are now generated abroad.

Committed to the common good

Like the company founders, Dietmar and Margrit Harting are also committed to the region. They support projects, initiatives and associations in the fields of culture, sports, education and science. Margrit Harting, previously Vice President of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of East Westphalia in Bielefeld, has received several awards for these activities. She is Honorary Chairwoman of the Philharmonic Society of Eastern Westphalia-Lippe, Honorary Chairwoman of association for the promotion of the Minden-Lübbecke district, Honorary Chairwoman of the Local Cultural Agency Espelkamp, and honorary citizen of Leibniz University Hanover. In 2002 she received the Espelkamp Medal.

For many years, Dietmar Harting was active as a leading luminary in national and international associations and committees, including as President of the German Institute for Standardisation (DIN), President of the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI), member of the Presidium of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), President of CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) and Chairman of the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies in DIN and VDE (DKE). From 1995 to 1998, he was a member of the ‘Council for Research, Technology and Innovation’ under Chancellor Helmut Kohl and from 2004 to 2006, he was also active as a member of the ‘Partners for Innovation’ initiative of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Chancellor Angela Merkel respectively. Several organisations have honoured his high level of commitment with honorary membership or honorary presidency. In 2013, the Erich Gutenberg working group bestowed its “Praktikerpreis” (Practitioner Award) on Dietmar Harting.

In 1998, the entrepreneurial couple received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and in 2009 the Federal Cross of Merit First Class. In the same year, the city of Espelkamp acknowledged the Hartings by bestowing honorary citizenship on them. Dietmar Harting was also honoured with the Lower Saxony Cross of Merit 1st Class in 2004 and has been an honorary doctor of Leibniz Universität Hannover since 2010. In acknowledgement of his outstanding commitment as a designer and promoter of technology, science and business, he was awarded the Karmarsch Memorial Coin of the Leibniz University Society Hanover e.V. in 2019.

Barack Obama thrilled with the HARTING outfit at HANNOVER MESSE
The connections to the neighbouring state of Lower Saxony and to HANNOVER MESSE have been continuously expanded and intensified since the first trade show in 1947. Dietmar Harting was Chairman of the HANNOVER MESSE Exhibitors’ Advisory Board for many years and a member of the Supervisory Board and Executive Committee of Deutsche Messe AG. In 2008 he was awarded the Golden Trade Fair Medal.

To this day, the technology group ranks as one of the very few companies to have been present at the trade fair every year without interruption. In 2020, the world’s largest industrial show had to be cancelled for the first time due to the COVID19 pandemic. Chancellors, heads of government, presidents, ministers and other prominent figures regularly gather information on the latest technologies at the HARTING stand. The highlight in 2016 was the joint visit by US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Barack Obama was particularly interested in the yellow HARTING trade fair sneakers. Margrit Harting then sent him a pair to the White House.

Philip Harting has headed the technology group since October 2015

In October 2015, after almost 50 years in the management of the Technology Group, Dietmar Harting handed over the reins as Chairman of the Board to his son Philip (46). Today, Philip Harting and his sister Maresa Harting-Hertz (Member of the Board for Finance, Global Purchasing and Facility Management) work closely with their parents Margrit and Dietmar Harting on the Board. The body includes three managers from outside the family, Dr. Michael Pütz (Member of the Board for Human Resources and Legal Affairs) and Andreas Conrad (Member of the Board for Production and Logistics), as well as Dr. Kurt Dirk Bettenhausen (Member of the Board for New Technologies and Development).

The Board continues to keep a firm focus on the vision formulated in 1996; ‘We want to become a global company’. To this end, the expansion of the global network of development, production and sales companies is being consistently driven forward. “We must be close to our customers, see the world through their eyes, know their wishes and needs and develop solutions together with them. If we produce locally, we can deliver promptly,” as Philip Harting surmises. HARTING focuses on the automation, mechanical and plant engineering, transportation and robotics markets as well as on the key topics of Industry 4.0 and digitalisation. The HARTING Quality and Technology Centre (HQT), which opened its doors in 2014, is where new technologies are developed and tested, and contributes to the company’s stringent customer alignment. Consequently, the company is following the maxim of founder Wilhelm Harting: ‘Quality is when the customer comes back and not the product’. Customers all over the world are now supplied from the advanced, ultra-modern European Distribution Centre (EDC), which was inaugurated in 2019.

Harting Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenges and opportunities in connection with e-mobility

HARTING has successfully opened up new markets with its technologies in the core business of connectivity, such as e-mobility and resource-saving power generation. The HARTING Automotive subsidiary develops and produces charging equipment for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. HARTING is also making its key contributions to sustainability in the generation of regenerative energy and has long featured as an experienced and reliable partner to the wind turbine industry. The company manufactures connectors and applications that are designed to withstand the extraordinary stresses of offshore and onshore plants, including environment, climate, corrosion and other environmental influences.

In recent years, HARTING has increasingly relied on cooperation activities, networks and partnerships such as the MICAnetwork and the Future Alliance for Mechanical Engineering, with which Industry 4.0 and digitalisation are being driven forward, while shaping and co-determining the networking of processes and objects. The Technology Group regards partner networks as an ideal platform for the further development of Integrated Industry. In this way, the future can be shaped and designed with technologies for people.

Does the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive Help Reduce Environmental Impacts?

This article was shared by the RoHS Umbrella project and makes interesting reading.

You can access the paper and also the supplementary here:

Astec Precision become the latest ITSA Associate Member

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Astec Precision was established in 1998 to supply miniature precision turned parts for high specification industries. We have since grown to become leaders in our field, and now boast one of the largest and most advanced Swiss type sliding head capabilities in the UK.

Commenting on becoming an associate member, Astec’s Managing Director Craig Hyslop stated “A large portion our business is Interconnect, and several of our customers are members of the ITSA. We have shared interests, and see our membership of as a means of collaborating, increasing our knowledge, and networking to ensure we are always able to support our customers”

ITSA Chairman John Biggs added “I would like to welcome Astec Precision as an associate member of the association, and are delighted that another high quality UK manufacturer has joined the ever expanding membership of this unique association”

 

The UK electronics industry is facing a perfect storm according to connector suppliers’ body ITSA

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  • Member revenues down just 3% but order intake down 16%
  • Huge growth in Medical while Comms and Mil/Aero sectors holding up
  • HARTING’s Peter Hannon elected ITSA Deputy Chairman

August 4, 2020. While some aspects of the COVID 19 pandemic lockdown have been eased, the crisis continues to have a major impact on the UK electronics industry and what many describe as a perfect storm is gathering to really challenge the UK. As well as the pandemic, there’s BREXIT to consider and the potential fallout from the current tensions between the US and China.

Figures released by the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR), state the best the UK can hope for this year is GDP down by 10.6% and at worst a figure of 14.3%.

Either way, according to ITSA Chairman John Biggs, the fall in the UK’s GDP will be more than a staggering 10%.  ITSA (Interconnect Technology Suppliers Association) represents many of the leading companies in the UK’s interconnection industry and is ideally placed to comment on how this key component sector sees the UK electronics industry halfway through a challenging 2020.

“As well as COVID 19, we seem to have put Brexit to one side with the possible consequences of a troublesome closure later this year. Then there’s the US trade war with China and the inevitable repercussions following the decision to remove Huawei from the UK’s 5G network.” Says John Biggs.

“Having said that, ITSA members only saw a 3% decrease in their revenues in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, but, order intake was down by 16% with a UK Book to Bill of 0.69:1 and this will inevitably impact on the remainder of 2020 revenues.” Biggs adds.

There is a consensus amongst the members that 2020 will see a revenue decline of between 6%-12% while activity is expected to rebound by 8.7% in 2021 but remain below where it was prior to the pandemic for at least the next 3 years. Those members who report export business showed a much lower decline in orders of -3% and a Book top Bill of 0.93:1.

Some positive news

Despite the general negative impact on members UK business there are several markets which continue to be positive. Medical saw an increase of 102%, Communications up 45% (linked mainly to Data Centres capacity supporting more home working), and Mil/Aero where legacy projects continued.

Members distribution revenues dropped by 19%  but all members reported a good increase in activity throughout June and into July.

However, despite all of the above all of ITSA’s members are feeling positive about the next 12 months and are mostly looking at business levels being flat in 2021 and perhaps not returning to 2019 levels until 2022/3.

Peter Hannon elected Deputy Chairman

Peter Hannon, Managing Director of HARTING UK has been elected as Deputy Chairman with immediate effect. Commenting on Peter Hannon’s election, John Biggs said “ While I have no plans to relinquish the ITSA chair, it is really good to know that someone of Peter Hannon’s standing is available to take over. He and I have known each other for  many years and, as Managing Director of HARTING UK, he was a founding member of ITSA.”

A certified accountant, Peter left his Somerset roots behind to join Texas Instruments in 1988 and, by the time he left to join HARTING UK in 1998, he was Finance Controller for the TI company Power Innovations which is now owned by Bourns.

He joined  HARTING UK as Finance Director and became Managing Director in 2005. He has been  Vice Chair of Cynthia Spencer Hospice in Northampton since 2010. Among his many interests, Peter lists walking, hiking, travel and bird watching.

Last year he made it to Everest base camp, hiked up Kilimanjaro in 2014 and made three successful climbs of Yorkshire’s 3 peaks.

Commenting on this news, Peter said “I am delighted to take up this new role at a significant point in the Association’s development and the economic climate in general. I look forward to working closely with John and being a voice for our Interconnection members in the UK”

 

 

 

Some positives among the COVID-19 gloom cannot disguise a hugely challenging year ahead for the UK connector industry

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• T&M, Medical, Mil/Aero and Comms sectors still positive
• Commodity prices and supply chain issues are challenging
• ITSA members revenues drop by 10% in Q1

May 19th 2020. It has taken just a little under three months to turn what had the real potential to be a positive 2020 for the UK electronics industry into one that has shaken every business to the core. The shutdown in China, for example, has had a significant effect on the supply chain while the dramatic changes in commodity prices will have an obvious impact on materials and manufacturing as well as incoming costs and outgoing prices.
“The result of these and other challenges has meant that ITSA (Interconnect Technology Suppliers Association) members have faced a difficult first quarter.” Says ITSA’s Chairman John Biggs. “And there can be no doubt that the UK connector industry has a particularly challenging year ahead.
“In terms of numbers, ITSA members saw revenues drop by 10% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 but of more significance is that orders dropped by 14% giving a negative book to bill of 0.87:1 which will inevitably lead to lower revenues later in the year. Member’s distribution revenues dropped by 20% and this is likely to follow elsewhere in the market as we progress through 2020.
“We have witnessed dramatic effects on the price of commodities such as Oil, which dropped to the lowest level for 18 years and Gold, where prices have increased by between 5-8% depending on which quarter we compare it to in 2019. Prices for Silver have fallen by more than 15% since January while Copper has been at a 52-week low.” Adds Biggs

According to ITSA, several markets have continued to be buoyant. These include Test & Measurement, Mil/Aero and Medical. Not surprisingly, T&M and Medical have both been positively affected by the technology demands to combat COVID-19 while Mil/Aero is almost certainly due to the need to fulfil existing programmes.
The communications market is clearly being driven by 5G with members seeing 29% growth. The deployment of Fibre into networks continues at pace and ITSA members enjoyed a 45% increase in this product area with Q1 being the highest level for 8 years.

COVID-19 – ITSA member’s response

All members of ITSA have naturally had to adjust and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic with varying degrees of severity according to John Biggs. Some members have had to furlough staff while others have taken the decision to keep their people on board either because of demand or with support from their parent company.
Many members also responded to the challenge and are involved in supporting the medical equipment needs of the NHS. This clearly shows the level of adaptability still apparent in the UK and the present urgent requirement for COVID-19 testing for example brings into sharp focus the need for localised capabilities on into the future.
“The government is predicting that the UK economy could shrink by over 5% but that it would bounce back by Q3 or Q4 2021. This seems somewhat optimistic.” Says John Biggs
“At the moment, it is common to think about the “New Norm” which will exist after the lockdown starts to be released. This will likely take many forms but for businesses it will be a case of how best to manage their activities in a World where the traditional face to face will not be the “Norm” for many months to come.” He concludes.

ITSA contribute to the Umbrella Project’s EU submission on RoHS and Reach

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ITSA are delighted to be able to support this important initiative by the Umbrella Project

Umbrella Project_Relationship RoHS and REACH

 

 

ITSA hosts its first industry editors meeting in London

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ITSA held its first editors meeting in London on the 20th February. This was the first meeting of its kind and was the beginning of a comprehensive PR/Marketing plan which will continue throughout 2020.

The meeting was attended by several ITSA members together with editors from Electronics Sourcing, Electronic Product Design & Test, Electronics World, Components in Electronics and Electronic Specifier.

Feedback from the meeting has been very positive with a high degree of interest in further promotional activity as well as planned interviews and greater exposure of ITSA, its members and its aims and goals for the future.

There will be more information in the coming weeks.

ITSA reports that 2019 ends well for the UK connector industry

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2019 – ITSA Members posted 5% revenue growth over previous year
• 2019 – Highest revenue year since 2014
• 13% increase in distribution revenue stream

February 20. The European electronics market had what many have described as a “difficult” 2019 with only single digit growth, while the UK market fared marginally better. One of the many sectors that make up the UK marketplace, the connector industry, saw modest growth by the end of the year after a poor first half.
The first two quarters of 2019 saw connector revenues decline reflecting the weakness of the global economy and the high levels of uncertainty caused by Brexit. This according ITSA (Interconnect Technology Suppliers Association).
“It was also a reflection of UK companies adjusting their component inventories which many had built-up as a contingency against the possible consequences of Brexit” says John Biggs, Chairman of ITSA.
“In the second half of 2019, the UK connector sector stabilised as confidence returned to the market and key infrastructure projects were released.
“Against this backdrop our member companies saw a revenue growth of 5% over 2018 and enjoyed the highest revenue year since 2014. A key driver of this growth has been the increase in the distribution revenue stream which increased by 13% and now accounts for 37% of ITSA UK revenues” John Biggs adds.

Key market performance
There are several key markets for ITSA members including MIL/Aerospace, mass transportation and communications and these continue to perform in different ways. During last year, MIL/Aerospace showed a 5% decrease at component level but this was more than offset by an increase in Value Add. Despite project deferrals and Government cutbacks, this sector has continued to grow and remains a long-term focus for ITSA members.
The communications market has shown a gradual decline in revenues at component level as more and more companies focus on offering Value Add solutions. This can be seen clearly with members reporting an overall increase of 36% over 2018 but with 2019 posting the highest revenue level for Value Add since the formation of the association. Clear winners here are Fibre Optics which posted a 63% increase and RF which grew by 31%.
The mass transportation market has also grown significantly over the past five years and although members saw flat revenues in 2019 this is a very project driven market and revenue trends will continue to fluctuate.

All the above should have meant a positive 2019, however, bookings remained very weak and posted three consecutive quarters of negative book to bill ending the year at 0.93:1. This is again a reflection of organisation adjusting their demand and inventories in line with the market uncertainty.
The level of contraction being seen by ITSA members reflects well against the overall trend in UK manufacturing which has reportedly posted its weakest year for seven years