ITSA members end a challenging year on an incredibly positive note.


2021 has been another exceptionally challenging year for ITSA members, with the pandemic continuing to affect all walks of life, our members have continued to adapt in order to maintain their businesses and protect their staff.

In many ways, regardless of how the pandemic develops further, it is unlikely our members will revert to the “old way” of conducting business for the foreseeable future if at all.

What the last 2 years have show is that we can adapt and be innovative about conducting business and continue to be successful.

We are now heading to the end of 2021 and despite everything ITSA members have enjoyed a bumper year with revenues highly likely to be back at 2019 levels, or just above, and even more impressive are the very strong forward order books. This has been achieved against a backdrop of not just COVID but also increasing costs in all areas including, incoming materials, energy and utilities, transportation, employment etc. We have seen the recent reports that inflation is running at 5% or more and this does not look like stalling without some further intervention from the Bank of England.

None of the above success could have been achieved without the support of our members loyal customers, suppliers, partners, and employees and on behalf of ITSA we would like to thank everyone for their loyalty and support in 2021 and look forward to continuing to collaborate with you in 2022 and beyond.

ITSA is incredibly positive about the year ahead and would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2022.


Best Wishes                                                               Best Wishes

John Biggs                                                                 Peter Hannon

Chair                                                                           Vice Chair

ITSA                                                                            ITSA

Smiths Interconnect launches new PCB connector for rail and industrial applications


Intercompact Series optimized and qualified for next generation Electronic Control Units

Smiths Interconnect, a leading provider of technically differentiated electronic components, subsystems, microwave, optical and radio frequency products for demanding applications announced today the release of its new Intercompact Series, a light weight, compact signal and ethernet PCB connector solution designed and qualified to provide a stable connection in demanding rail and industrial applications.


The Intercompact Series is Smiths Interconnect’s answer to the rail and industrial market growing demand for compact, high-speed, and reliable connectivity for ECU boxes, in the respect of severe material and electric current requirements.


“The new generation of Electronic Control Unit boxes requires a sophisticated interconnect solution able to support steadily all I/O signals​ that the advanced devices handle.“ said Mark Kelleher, Vice President and General Manager of the Connector Business Unit at Smiths Interconnect. “The new Intercompact Series is designed to offer a dependable interconnect solution that is more compact than those currently available in the marketplace, offering significant space and weight savings to our customers” he added.


The Intercompact Series is an innovative solution for PCB to PCB and floating mouting rack and panel applications currently offered in both signal and Ethernet versions.

Designed to meet the requirements of the rail and industrial environments, it is also suitable for other demanding markets such as defence, space and test & measurement.


The Intercompact Series offers:

  • 60 and 41 way signal configurations with Hypertac® Hyperboloid contacts.
  • 42 ways signal and 1 or 2 high speed quadrax 100 Ohm contacts as Ethernet versions. Additional contact positions can be offered depending on the specific application requirements.
  • Compliance with the main European Railway standards (EN45545-2, NF F61030, EN50155:2017, STM-S-001ind.D and more).
  • Compliance with MIL-C-28748 and MIL-STD-202-301 standards and EIA and IEC standards for Contact Resistance and Environmental
  • Insulators in Liquid Cristal Polymer material for an optimized insulation resistance in severe environmental conditions.

NEUTRIK extends fiber optic connectivity solutions with FIBERFOX


14 December 2021. The Neutrik Group has announced the addition of the FIBERFOX range of expanded beam technology connectivity systems to NEUTRIK’s portfolio of fiber optic solutions.






Designed to meet the requirements of MIL-DTL-83526 military specifications – enabling multiple interconnections with other expanded–beam solutions – the NEUTRIK FIBERFOX Fiber Optic Connection System is the ideal solution for use in harsh environments, with performance of the expanded beam fiber optic connectivity being exceptional in wet, dirty, dusty, high and low temperature environments.


Effectively maintenance free with a theoretical unlimited lifetime, FIBERFOX can withstand in excess of 10,000 mating cycles without maintenance or insertion loss and can be cleaned using just clean water and a lint-free cloth. IP68 compliant – certified waterproof up to a depth of 6m – the connectors feature a screwed locking mechanism.


Capable of both front- and rear-mounting, the connector eliminates the need for adaptors and female and male mating halves. The system is available in 2-channel and 4-channel variants, with either configuration compatible with the other configuration, and other MIL-DTL-83526 specified systems.


FIBERFOX offers considerable technical and market advantage across a vast array of applications including AV networking, lighting, touring sound and event production, video, broadcast, and in wider industrial and strategic sectors including defence, security, transportation and petrochemicals.


ODU toolmaking is put to the test


For the first time, ODU GmbH & Co. KG took part in the 2021 German industry competition “Excellence in Production” and was one of the top finalists  – something to be proud of.






Reinhold Hechfellner with some of his toolroom team

For 18 years, the WZL machine tool laboratory at RWTH Aachen University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology have presented the best tool and mould manufacturers in the German-speaking countries with the “Excellence in Production” industry competition.

This year 265 companies competed and ODU paricipated for the first time.

All participants initially fill out a two-stage questionnaire and then receive site visits.

Eleven finalists from the tool and die industry are selected in four categories, based on detailed comparison and visits to the respective companies.

ODU were finalists in the category ‘best in-house tool shop with 50+ employees’.

In their submission, ODU demonstrated production on modern robot-integrated production lines, utilising its own injection moulds, overmoulding tools, stamping and progressive dies as well as assembly tools up to fully automated systems.

Ultimately, the category winner was ZF Friedrichshafen, but the jury also selected Robert Bosch in the Czech Republic and ODU from Mühldorf for a certificate.

Calling our category a lion’s den sums it up pretty well. We were in direct comparison with larger companies. We were there for the first time, but we did well and, above all, are broadly positioned – from punching tools to automatic machines, we make everything and have thus been able to hold our own”, said Reinhold Hechfellner, Head of Global Tools at ODU.