Neutrik UK appointments David Morbey to new product marketing role

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Ryde, Isle of Wight, 19 February 2021. Neutrik UK has announced the appointment of David Morbey to the newly created position of Product Marketing Manager; creating a full marketing role at management level for the first time within the company.

Morbey brings more than 22 years experience of pro-audio product marketing, across a wide range of sectors and applications to the new position.. He comes to Neutrik having held UK, European and international marketing and product management roles with leading industry brands, including Allen & Heath, Denon Pro, Marantz Pro, Rane Contractor and Martin Audio, and across DJ, live sound, commercial AV, Custom Install and broadcast installation applications.

Managing Director Mark Perrins states, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to appoint David to this key strategic role within Neutrik UK and I am personally delighted to be working with him once again,” Perrins previously worked with Morbey for a number of years during his tenure as General Manager at D&M Professional.

“I am truly excited to be joining a talented team at Neutrik UK,” says Morbey. “Neutrik has a long history as a market leader and innovator in the field of connectivity, and I am looking forward to helping shape brand strategy and sales growth in new and non traditional market sectors for the company’s expanding range of connectivity solutions.”

ITSA member summary 2020

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As we all know 2020 was one of the most challenging years many of us can remember and this is reflected in the results of our membership.

Year on year comparisons are not necessarily reflective as the market was affected globally by a pandemic that had totally unexpected impact on every aspect of our members businesses.

In the background of all of this we also had BREXIT which had added to the uncertainty and there appeared to be a degree of “contingency stocking” taking place across many industries to protect against a no deal, in the end an 11th hour deal was reached so we all moved back from the cliff face but the true impact is still unknown. ITSA membership will be producing a report on the BREXIT deal and how it has impacted their businesses shortly.

Overall in 2020 our membership saw a UK revenue decline of around 10% but orders were down 14%, interestingly the Export data reported was very similar to this. Members revenues for 2020 had dropped back to 2017 levels.

Despite the reduction in sales for 2020 the feedback in the industry is that profitability was maintained or only minimally impacted due to short term cost savings in travel, exhibitions etc.

For obvious reasons certain market sectors saw huge negative impact, consumer was down 88% but this sector only represents a fraction of our members sales, broadcast was down 45% which is no surprise and the likelihood of this returning any time soon is virtually zero.

Distribution was also badly affected to the extent of a 15% reduction and this had a particularly noticeable impact on member sales.

There were some positives in the market with communications up 29%, probably due to investments to ensure increased demand for broadband width for home working could be supported and medical which was up 86% for obvious reasons. I would expect medical to feature heavily for the foreseeable future.

Value Add, which is a significant portion of members revenues, declined by 19% in 2020 with Fibre Optic down by 41% and Hybrid by 78%. Some of the Hybrid reduction can be attributed to members moving manufacturing elsewhere within their corporation.

For 2021 our members are looking at a possible small negative or flat first half and then potentially a stronger second half and he Government are expected to announce more infrastructure projects and incentives in the  March budget to help economy to recover. Most members are projecting that they will return to 2019 levels by the end of 2022, however, some analysts are predicting a 4 year recovery.

According to the latest data on  UK GDP the economy shrunk by 9.9% in 2020 and our members performance reflected this fairly closely. The ONS forecasts a 5.4% growth in GDP in 2021 which we feel is ambitious. Unemployment has risen to 5.9% and PSNB to £381 billion!!

For 2021 the ONS are forecasting unemployment to continue to rise to 6.7% but PSNB reducing to £202 billion. The huge debt the UK has built up due to the pandemic has to be recovered some how even though the government are talking about high net borrowing for the next decade!!

All things considered it goes without saying that there is a long road ahead for us to come out of this pandemic and for us to see markets recover.

HIS Markit/CIPS report

According to the final Markit/CIPS report of 2020 the UK manufacturing sector had a mixed end to 2020. Orders were positive mainly due to demand being brought forward to beat the BREXIT deadline and some recovery in global markets. There has been some notable impact on port delays and other logistical disruptions resulting in lengthening lead times.

The PMI index rose to 57.5 in December which was a 3 year high, however, this is mainly due to longer lead times and a substantial increase in stocks.

Manufacturing output rose for the seventh consecutive month but job cuts continued to increase for the eleventh consecutive month.

As with our membership there was a surge in orders at the end of last year but this mainly reflected customers bringing forward orders to guard against potential disruption due to the end of the BREXIT transition period.

It was reported that manufacturers experience substantial disruption to supply chains in December. Raw material shortages, port delays, freight capacity issues (air, sea and land) and BREXIT concerns all created the perfect storm.

Input costs rose at the quickest rate in two and half years reflecting shortages, vendor price rises, increased transportation costs, BREXIT uncertainty and exchange rate factors all leading to manufacturers increasing their prices.

Summary

We have just exited a year like no other, however, looking at our members data it seems we may have weathered the initial storm reasonably well. Whilst we have hope on the horizon with the vaccine roll out we are still looking at 2021 being a flat or minimal growth year for the UK interconnect market. A very positive aspect is that members parent companies continue to  plan investments, developments etc and it is really heartening that they seem to be taking this difficult period to look to the future and plan ahead.

We reamin confident that our members and their parent companies will come through this strongly and maybe with a different type of focus on “business” in the future.

As an association we have also weathered the storm, we continued to produce PR articles that have been very well received by the press and has given our association a definite profile lift, we continue to support the umbrella project for RoSH exemptions into the EU, a number of which directly affect connector manufacturers and are currently in the consultation period.

We gained another associate member in the form of ASTEC precision during 2020.

I think we should be pleased with how the association has continued to be promoted and the fact that we remain with a very solid footing for 2021 and beyond.

Telegärtner UK certified to AS9120

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Telegartner

In order to assure that Telegärtner is in a strong position to support customers in the Aerospace and Defence industries, Telegärtner UK has undergone a thorough audit process and been accredited to AS9120. This combined with Telegärtner Slovakia’s AS9100D certification will enable Telegärtner to offer a wide range of interconnect components and cable assemblies to Telegärtner Group customers in the Aerospace and Defence industries worldwide. Additionally, Telegärtner UK has become a fully registered supplier on the JOSCAR supplier accreditation register, which is a collaborative tool used by the Aerospace, Defense and Security industry for pre-qualification and compliance information.

 

“Telegärtner UK gaining AS9120 certification demonstrates our commitment to offering existing and potential customers a high level of confidence in our supply chain systems. A globally recognised standard providing access to the Aerospace and Defence sector provides Telegärtner UK with wider scope to offer broader solutions whilst mitigating risk to the customer. Fitting perfectly with Telegärtner Slovakia’s AS9100 certification this enables us to offer a comprehensive Telegärtner Group formula within this market.”, stated David Norrington, Deputy Managing Director of Telegartner UK.

 

“As a result of real team effort from everyone within the company, it is great to be able to announce that Telegärtner UK has achieved AS9120 certification, which hopefully reflects on what will be a positive 2021. Alongside being certified for AS9120 Telegärtner UK also completed ISO9001 recertification and as a company and department it is great to start the new year this way.“, said Alex Mills, Telegärtner UK Quality Engineer.

 

Alongside the supply of interconnect components for Aerospace and Defence requirements, Telegärtner can offer a wide range of cable assemblies manufactured according to AS9100D requirements. Assembly capabilities cover coax, multiwire, data and panel assemblies, wiring looms and overmoulded assemblies, each manufactured in accordance with customer specifications. In order to serve also non-Aerospace and Defence customers, Telegärtner Slovakia will also be running their ISO 9001 Quality Management system alongside AS9100, which will allow Telegärtner Group to continue offering the competitive rates for customers in all industry sectors while also being able to offer manufacturing that meets AS9100D standards. With rapid prototype and pre-production service paired with highly skilled production staff who work to IPC620C standard, Telegärtner Slovakia is able to offer high quality solutions and assist customers with all cable requirements.

 

“Swissmetal Industries is back on track”.

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SWISSMETAL INDUSTRIES SA Since avoiding receivership during the summer of 2019, André Rezzonico and his management team have managed to get this flagship enterprise back up and running. Despite the impact of COVID-19, Swissmetal Industries, a specialist in copper alloys has regained market share and continues to pursue its quality strategy focused on customer service.

When André Rezzonico and his business partner Pierre Steiger took over the assets (excluding real estate) and activities of the Baoshida Swissmetal Ltd on 1 August 2019, they knew they were embarking on a complicated adventure. It wasn’t easy to regain the trust of customers, but he also knew that despite everything, the quality of the products remained intact and that the customer base counted some leading companies. “As CEO of Lemco Precision SA, I was well-placed to know this, since my company is one of Swissmetal’s major customers”, he emphasizes.

A year and a half after he secured the rescue of the company – renamed Swissmetal Industries Ltd – of which he is Chairman of the Board of Directors, André Rezzonico has no regrets: “My goal of restoring the company’s image remains intact. I am an industrialist at heart, and I love a challenge, but it takes time and, indeed, André has faced many challenges over the past 18 months. Firstly, in the autumn of 2019, with a drop in orders for connector technology. Although a sector marked by cyclical variations, this decline was not expected… “Such a situation is never pleasant when you’re still recovering, but in the end, we managed to hold out”. Aviation business in the doldrums in keeping with the economy, Swissmetal has suffered the consequences of the coronavirus. Not surprisingly, firms in the aviation switch gear industry suffered the most during the year. André Rezzonico expects an improvement in 2021, but it will probably take until 2022 or 2023 for things to return to normal in this sector. André remains upbeat: “You can always find something good in every situation: you have to stay open and listen to the customers, look for solutions, diversify your activities, and become more versatile. You mustn’t be defeatist… on the contrary, you have to go for it!”. In order to get the company back on track.

André restructured Management by appointing a two pronged team consisting of Angelo Di Silvio as Head of Production, and Thomas Chicoine as Head of Sales. “It’s essential for these two areas to work as a team You mustn’t be defeatist… on the contrary, you have to go for it!” ANDRÉ REZZONICO to implement our purchasing, production, and sales strategy. Even though we have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, this strategy, together with our action plan to improve the productivity of our machines and streamline our processes, has helped us to stay on course and even regain market share in 2020 in Switzerland”, for 2021, he expects growth, with developments in France and the United States, in particular: “This year, we are aiming for sales of 40 million €euro”. To regain the aura that Swissmetal once enjoyed, the Chairman of the Board of Directors is banking on a premium positioning in a niche market with high value-added alloys. And to prevail, it is not only necessary to strive for excellence, a successful industrial and commercial strategy is also required. which is indeed the case: “Swissmetal offers a triple-A product range for a base of triple A customers”. Despite the difficulties encountered, André Rezzonico is convinced that Swissmetal is on the right track and predicts sales of 100 million €uro within five years or so.

Neutrik NA2-IO-DPRO Mic Preamp Control Added To Yamaha CL/QL Series

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Ryde, Isle of Wight, 2 February 2021. Neutrik, the leading supplier of robust and reliable

professional connectivity solutions for audio, video, and data, is pleased to announce that with the recent version 5.6 firmware update for its CL/QL digital mixing console series, Yamaha has added preamp remote control options for Neutrik’s new NA2-IO-DPRO DANTE™ audio network device.

 

“There’s no doubt that the future within the Pro AV market is based on interoperability between different devices within an application. We have found the perfect partner with Yamaha to enable this feature for better ease of use and enhanced customer experience,” says Florian Frick, Product Manager for Neutrik.

 

 

 

 

With the CL/QL firmware update Yamaha added this specific support for Neutrik’s small but powerful I/O solution, adding more flexibility in a network setup for Line, MIC and AES signals.

 

“Yamaha is delighted to have been able to integrate control of the NA2-IO-DPRO into the CL/QL series with the release of our V5.6 firmware,“ says Motome Tanaka, Yamaha Manager, Marketing and Sales Group. “This collaboration further extends the options for CL/QL systems. In combination with the R series, customers can make their systems even more flexible.“

 

Using the DPRO on a truss for example is a convenient way to establish ambient miking with short cable runs; remote controlling it via Yamaha CL/QL consoles is a real improvement for a Pro AV work environment.

binder creates flexible hybrid solution for complex applications

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New M12-A connector combines power and signal contacts

binder, a leading manufacturer of industrial circular connectors, announces the first models in a new range of overmoulded M12 A-coded connectors. Its hybrid design means the single-cable solution contains both power and signal contacts

The versatility and flexibility of the new hybrid connectors makes them ideal for  applications in industrial indoor and outdoor areas where both power and signal transmission is needed in the smallest of spaces. In addition to sensors, actuators and camera systems, this also includes motors, drives and control systems.

Current and signal properties

The first available versions feature nine contacts –  two gold-plated current contacts rated to 12A at 63 V and seven gold-plated signal contacts rated 0.5 A at 12.5 V.

The power conductors are inserted in a cable connector moulded with polyurethane (PUR) and feature a cross section of 0.75mm2 (AWG 18). The signal transmission conductors are 0.14 mm2 (AWG 26).

As standard, the new connectors are supplied with 2m and 5m cables although custom cables lengths are also available from binder on request. For PCB applications, the connection to the printed circuit board is implemented using dip soldering technology (THR) for the power contacts and SMD technology for the signal contacts. The connectors can be processed in modern reflow processes.

 

 

 

 

Practical application and further development of the offer

The connector has been specifically designed for demanding outdoor applications. When mated, the connectors protect to IP67 and the operating temperature range is -25 °C to 85 °C. The screw connection of the M12x1 standard thread is made of stainless steel although an optional plastic version is available.

binder is also announcing a connector variant with six contacts among the other models that will soon follow. This combines two current contacts – up to 16A – and four shielded signal contacts for data transmission. This enables future DC applications with power requirements of up to a maximum of 1kW and with simultaneous data connection up to 100Mbit /s.

Smiths High frequency chip equalizers offer excellent slope linearity

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Smiths Interconnect’s new CEX series provides optimized solutions for gain variation over frequency.

Smiths Interconnect, a leading provider of technically differentiated electronic components, subsystems, microwave and radio frequency products announced the release of its new CEX Series of High Frequency Surface Mount Chip Equalizers optimized to offer precise compensation for unwanted gain variation over frequency in an RF signal chain.

The CEX Series of High Frequency Surface Mount Chip Equalizers is designed to offer customers a configurable design approach to get the right solution for specific frequency range and slope, fitting a wide range of requirements up to 40 GHz with a maximum slope of 4dB.

“The CEX series of chip equalizers complements our existing line of SMT high frequency board level components pushing the boundaries of size, weight and power with each new design and expanding our offering for Space, Defence and Communication systems”, says Bruce Valentine, VP of Business Development.

CEX Series of high frequency SMT chip equalizers are a totally passive solution with multiple slope and band options allowing RF designers to reach more precise compensation as the Series offers linear gain equalizers with a positive slope. The product’s uniqueness stands out against competitors with its customization capability in terms of both frequency range and slope.

The CEX Series is suitable for multiple markets and applications and offers :

  • Configurable design approach providing optimized solutions for gain variation over frequency.
  • Multiple slope options (1-4 dB) and excellent slope linearity (±0.25 dB or better).
  • Typical Voltage Standing Wave Ratio at 1.5:1 max and low insertion loss at 1 – 1.25 dB max.
  • Frequency offering up to 40 GHz supporting a wide array of markets and applications.
  • Proven thin and thick film process technology providing small size, lightweight and level of power in a cost-effective, easy-to-implement surface mount solution.
  • Electrical and thermal performances tested through simulation analysis and real-life tests to ensure Series qualification.

A set of design guidelines has been developed that can be used to create tailored solutions for specific application needs.

 

Exciting opportunity for an experienced UK Sales Manager

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Are you an experienced and successful Sales Manager?

Do you have over 5 years’ experience in the Interconnect market?

You may be just what my client is looking for.

I have been engaged by an innovative interconnect company with an international presence to help recruit a UK Sales Manager.

With over 40 years of know-how and experience in the manufacture and development of innovative electrical and electronic interconnect products and solutions this company is now looking to strengthen its senior management team by recruiting a seasoned UK Sales Manager.

The company are now looking to expand and diversify and are looking for a dynamic and experienced UK Sales Manager preferably qualified to degree level or equivalent in a commercial or technical discipline.

The ideal candidate will have over 5 years’ experience of selling and providing interconnect products and solutions to a broad market base and must have the ability to identify and drive the company’s strategy of diversification whilst ensuring the core business continues to be developed. An excellent knowledge of connectors, cabling, power and data is essential as is the ability to see business opportunities outside of the existing portfolio and applications, your demonstrable experience and success in this area will be key.

If you are a self-starter and dynamic sales professional with a can-do attitude and an ability to both work on your own and as part of a team then this may be just the opportunity you are looking for.

This is an exciting opportunity for the right candidate to join the company at a time where it is setting its growth strategy for the next 2-3 years and this in turn will bring opportunity for personal development and greater responsibility.

If you think this exciting opportunity is for you please contact the companies consultant, John Biggs in the first instance via e mail at biggsjo@outlook.com

 

January 2021.

 

New Rectangular Flange Connectors with Latching, Multi-Position A-Coding

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binder has added to its M12-A-coded connector product range. As a market-leading manufacturer and specialist in industrial circular connectors, the company has announced two new M12-A versions, which expand its Series 763.

With a broad and continuously growing product portfolio, binder is comprehensively covering the need for circular connectors in the most varied application areas. The M12-A segment alone includes hundreds of different solutions that are now supplemented with two new rectangular flange versions.

New connection options for sensors and actuators

The product range expansion for the rectangular flange code-positioning connectors includes another stranded-wire version with a new 26 mm rectangular housing and a version with solder contacts. The new 26 mm rectangular housing for the stranded-wire version uses the same drilling template as the M16 rectangular flange connector. In this way, it is possible to switch to M12 without changing the existing housing.

Developed for the advanced requirements of automation technology

For simple and reliable installation, binder is relying on a two-part approach consisting of the housing and the contact holder. With this, the coding nose of the contact holder can be positioned in increments of 45°.

With a user-friendly installation and sealing concept, the new versions comply with  IP68, even without a defined tightening torque. Besides sealing, the rectangular flange connectors are temperature-resistant over a range of -40°C to +85°C.

The M12-A positioning rectangular flange connectors are available with 4, 5 and 8 pins in the stranded-wire version with a 20 mm or 26 mm rectangular housing. They are also available in a solder version with a 20 mm rectangular housing.

HARTING Technology Group holds its own in anniversary year

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Sales revenues up slightly by 1.2 % to € 759 million / Supply chain maintained / Customer communication expanded / Festive ceremony in September with former German Presidents Gauck and Wulff / 205 new jobs created worldwide

The HARTING Technology Group, based in Espelkamp, held its own in the 2019/20 (September 30) business year despite the corona pandemic and the associated global economic plunge. Sales at the internationally active, family-owned company were up slightly by 1.2 % to € 759 million (previous year: € 750 million).

“We stood up to the global corona pandemic. We are satisfied with the result,” stated CEO Philip Harting. As the COVID-19 situation continues to determine economic and social life, the CEO expects a challenging fiscal year 2020/21 for the Technology Group.

Diverging developments in the regions

The regions in which HARTING is active worldwide developed differently in the 2019/20 financial year. Sales in Europe (excluding Germany) the Middle East and Africa, also known as EMEA, remained stable at € 278 million (previous year: 278 million). In the Asia region, HARTING sales rose vigorously by 9 % to € 202 million (previous year: EUR 186 million). Growth in the Americas region was even more pronounced, recording a 15% increase to € 82 million (previous year: 72 million). In Germany, sales were down by 8% to € 197 million (previous year: 214 million).

A total of 205 new jobs created worldwide

The number of employees (including trainees) rose to 5,473 during the 2019/20 financial year (previous year 5,268). This corresponds to an increase of 3.9% or 205 jobs. In Germany, nine positions were not filled again (- 0.3%), while 214 employees were hired at other production facilities and subsidiaries (+ 8.0%). Consequently, a total of 2,604 people were employed in Germany and 2,869 people were employed across the globe on September 30, 2020. Growth in the Americas and Asia is reflected in these figures.

Rapid and flexible response to the pandemic

Right from the outset, the Technology Group reacted quickly and flexibly to the ensuing pandemic. From the very beginning, the protection of employees as well as the supply of customers took top priority. This includes supplying well-known manufacturers of medical and respiratory equipment with customer-specific cable assemblies. “We are and remain a reliable partner,” as Philip Harting emphasised.

This applies to customer and market communication, which was duly converted and expanded to digital formats. Since spring, events and web seminars have been held in a dedicated studio and streamed to customers, distributors and media worldwide. “Since we are globally networked, we can react very quickly to changing conditions – and we are close to our customers,” emphasised Philip Harting. Based on this new form of communication, HARTING is positioning itself for the future, as the CEO underlined.

The Technology Group will closely monitor the further course of the pandemic. A corona pandemic team evaluates the developments daily and recommends or takes measures, as Dr. Michael Pütz, member of the Board of Management responsible for Human Resources, highlighted. For example, he mentioned the free corona tests in certain clinics in the Minden-Lübbecke district or the free mouth-nose masks for employees. “The extended home office working in cooperation with IT also worked very well and is being very well accepted by our employees”, said Dr. Pütz.

Focus on future topics DC industry, Single Pair Ethernet and E-Mobility

The HARTING Technology Group has clearly recognised the future topics of Single Pair Ethernet (SPE), DC industry and e-mobility and is driving them forward at full speed. HARTING coined the term Connectivity+ in summarising these three topics.

HARTING is focusing on the topic of DC infrastructure and is working on the next revolution in industrial power supply in the DC industry research project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics. Enormous energy costs can be saved by opting for direct current and HARTING is developing the appropriate connectivity for this purpose. Extensive areas of renewable energies and also storage technology are DC dominated. In conjunction with energy recovery measures, the growth in renewables is leading to an overall decrease in energy consumption from the AC grid. Industrial companies harnessing DC generation are saving on energy costs and contributing to meeting CO2 emission targets. At present, around 40 industrial companies are involved in the DC-INDUSTRY joint project. “Central requirements for future interfaces will be derived from the work in the joint project,” emphasised Dr. Kurt D. Bettenhausen, Board Member for New Technologies and Development. This is an approach that creates added value for customers.

HARTING has also continued to push forward with e-mobility: As a pioneer for reliable, clean and environmentally friendly e-mobility, HARTING offers tailor-made solutions and components for all relevant markets, as well as developing and producing charging equipment for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The HARTING Technology Group provides charging solutions for Volkswagen’s modular e-drive system (MEB), the Audi e-tron and the Porsche Taycan. HARTING also offers a wide range of connectivity solutions in the periphery, i.e. decentralised energy storage for mobile applications, which contribute to the sustainable, CO2-reduced mobility of the future.

Further advances are also being made with IIoT and the associated Ethernet connectivity topics. HARTING recognised developments in this area at an early stage and created connectors for Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) that set new standards. Partnership is a top priority here: HARTING is cooperating with the SPE Industrial Partner Network for a universal SPE Eco-System and creating the powerful infrastructure for the digitalisation of industry. SPE brings cloud data down to the field and application level and back again.

Renewed high investment volume

In the financial year just gone, the HARTING Technology Group were once again committed to considerable investments. “With a total of around € 65 million, we have almost reached the record volume of the previous year,” as Maresa Harting-Hertz, Chief Financial Officer, responsible for Finance, Purchasing and Facility Management, underlined. In the 2018/19 financial year, capital expenditure reached a record level of € 66 million.

In the 2019/20 business year a large share of the investments were funnelled into the digitalisation of production at the subsidiary HARTING Electric in Espelkamp. In Romania, capacities were expanded in Agnita for Automotive, while the Connectivity & Networks area was extended in Sibiu. The plant in the USA (Elgin) has now also expanded production facilities in order to supply markets and customers faster. “We are now even more flexibly positioned worldwide to better factor in and respond to regional needs. With these investments we are clearly staying on course for growth,” emphasised Andreas Conrad, Chief Operations Officer.

75 years of HARTING: Festive ceremony in the Botta building in Minden

Our anniversary marked this year’s highlight: The Technology Group celebrated its 75th anniversary on September 1 in the Botta Building in Minden with unique, festive ceremony in the presence of former Federal Presidents Dr. Joachim Gauck and Christian Wulff. Guests from business, politics and administration had accepted the invitation of the Harting family, the owners of the company. Philip Harting emphasised that the company would have liked to have celebrated this highlight even more elaborately together with customers and employees in order to thank them for the long-standing partnership and support – but Corona had not allowed this to happen.

“Creating Values for People”: Sustainability and climate protection

“We want to create values for people” is the third part of the corporate vision formulated in 1996. The entrepreneurial family has always felt particularly committed to social responsibility – and lives up to their commitment. The company has been working for a good four decades to reconcile ecology and economy and had introduced an internal environmental award as early as 1989. In addition, the Technology Group consistently focused on the energy transition and is a founding member of the Association of Climate Protection Companies.

Since 2012, HARTING has been harnessing 100 percent CO2-free energy in the manufacturing area. The construction of two biomethane-fuelled cogeneration plants for plants 2 and 9 in Espelkamp represents additional steps taken to reduce the CO2 footprint. This will further improve our energy balance and efficiency. “Sustainability and climate protection are the DNA of HARTING; we are consistently sustainable by conviction,” as Philip Harting underscored.

Restrained outlook

Philip Harting was cautious about further developments of the current 2020/21 financial year. In view of the COVID-19 situation, the prospects have clouded. The business climate is very much dependent on the further global development of the pandemic and how quickly vaccinations will reach large sections of the population. “As a result, global demand varies from region to region. We will continue to navigate by sight,” says Philip Harting. Nevertheless, he believes that moderate sales gains in the low single-digit range are possible. “We have convincing products, customer-oriented positioning and a first-class team – so we can do it.”

HARTING Ltd announce new UK Managing Director

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HARTING Ltd, the German electrical and electronic connector technology company, will be under new management from January 2021. Current Managing Director, Peter Hannon, announced his retirement earlier this year and will step down in December. He will be succeeded by Simon Asbury, who will step up from his current role as Director of Sales and Marketing.

Simon Asbury has worked in the electronics and electrical sector since 1988, gaining experience in a range of engineering and sales roles. He joined HARTING Ltd in 1997 as a Sales Engineer, before taking over management of HARTING’s distributors.

In 2001 he became Field Sales Manager, with responsibility for the electrical arm of the business, before a promotion to Director of Sales and Market Development in 2007. Since 2018, he has held the position of Director of Sales and Marketing.

Following the announcement, Simon commented; “I would like to begin by thanking Peter for his successful time as Managing Director of HARTING Ltd; myself and the team wish him a long and healthy retirement. I am delighted to be appointed as the next Managing Director of HARTING Ltd. Alongside the great team in the UK, we will continue to develop our digital strategy including marketing, ecommerce and technical support. We will bring market-leading connectivity and networking solutions to our customers to enable them to digitise, modularise, miniaturise and customise their products and operations. We will also continue to invest in our manufacturing facility in Northampton to bring design support and manufacturing close to our UK and Ireland customers.”

Simon has worked alongside with Peter for several years, which will allow a smooth transition of the business and continuity of leadership.

Peter Hannon has worked for HARTING for over 22 years, joining initially as Financial Controller in September 1998. Three years later he became Finance Director, before being appointed Managing Director in October 2005.

Commenting on his time at HARTING, he said: “Fifteen years has flown by and a lot has happened during that time. The company has matured and grown significantly and it has exciting plans for the future. I thought it was time for someone else to have a go and I am delighted that HARTING have chosen Simon as the next Managing Director. I am proud of what the HARTING UK team has achieved together and there are excellent prospects for the future under Simon’s leadership.”

ITSA – Connector sales growth in some sectors belies a tough year ahead

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  • Member sales down 9% YTD compared to 2019
  • Medical sector remains “healthy”
  • Fibre sales down 37%

ITSA represents UK connector and component companies supplying into the UK electronics industry. Since connectors of all types and formats are fundamental to virtually every technology-based product or system, what ITSA’s members are experiencing is a pretty accurate barometer of how the UK electronics industry is doing in these unprecedented times.

John Biggs – ITSA Chairman

November 13, 2020. Back in August we reported that, while the easing of the COVID 19 lockdown had many positive benefits, the pandemic would continue to have an ongoing and negative impact on the UK electronics industry. Just over three months later, the numbers reported by ITSA members for the third quarter clearly demonstrate how significant the impact has been. News that a vaccine could be available by the end of the year was a single major plus in these difficult times.

The other issues creating concern in August were BREXIT and the tensions between the US and China. Either a deal or a no-deal BREXIT still remains possible but we are hopeful that the US election result will be a positive step towards improving the relationship between Washington and Beijing. Hopefully, there will be some positive news from these developments.

On a less than positive note, forecasts compiled by the Government show the average prediction for this year’s UK GDP is now -10.1% with unemployment expected to hit 8.3% by the end of the year and only improving to 6.6% by the close of next year. The figures also show that the UK economy is expected to rebound by only 6.5% in 2021.

ITSA Members report sales down 9% YTD

According to ITSA Chairman John Biggs, its members sales were down 9% YTD when compared to 2019. “Of bigger concern is the fact that orders are down 19% and book to bill is down at 0.83:1.” Says John Biggs. “This will inevitably lead to lower revenues in Q4 and beyond and also reflects the fact that members are not enjoying long term order schedules. Member’s export revenues are only down by 5% but orders are down a huge 22%.” Adds Biggs.

Medical and Value Add Solutions grow

Sectors that have shown good billings include medical with members reporting an 83% increase, while value added solutions have shown positive signs during the last quarter at 7% growth. According to ITSA, this  should be looked at in conjunction with pure product sales as there is a definite trend of moving from component sales to solution sales.

The communications sector was up by 37% which, in ITSA’s opinion, reflects the need for more bandwidth for home and remote working. Test and Measurement, which links very closely, to communications and medical was up by 51%.

Broadcast really suffered in Q3 running at 50% of last year’s rate. With no end in sight for restrictions on concerts, outdoor festivals, theatres etc this market will continue to struggle.

One of the largest ITSA member market is Mil/Aero which accounts for 30% of members sales and  has only shrunk by 5%. However, distribution, which accounts for 33% of sales, is showing a drop of 20%.

UK Manufacturing recovered in Q3

According to figures published by  HIS MARKIT/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI, the UK manufacturing sector continued to recover in September with a PMI of 54.1. Output and new orders increased as intake improved from both domestic and overseas markets.

Output increased for the fourth consecutive month albeit slightly lower than August.

This improvement was driven by many economies around the world reopening from lockdowns due to COVID 19 (this may well reverse very quickly in light of the alarming spike in new COVID 19 cases around the world and the introduction of new lockdowns).

Increases in inbound costs are driving manufacturers to increase selling prices, the main reasons here are higher raw material costs which saw Gold up over 21% YTD.

Most manufacturers maintained a positive outlook for the year ahead with 60% expecting output to be higher in 12 months from now. This optimism has to be tempered in view of the escalating COVID 19 spike and further local and national lockdowns.

binder high density connector for sensor and automation applications

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The new 12-pin M8 male panel-mount connectors with dip-soldered contacts of the Series 768/718 supplement the selection from binder with high-performance products for signal and data transmission.

In the automation industry, M8 connectors are considered the standard because of their specific properties. This is because they make it possible to transmit signals and data in the field with a small footprint and sensors that are becoming ever smaller. The M8 product portfolio of binder is now being expanded by a series offering extremely dense, 12-pin male panel-mount connectors with dip-soldered contacts.

Versatile
The Series 768/718 products were designed for signal and data transmission applications and are being used in the newest automation systems, sensor arrangements, industrial cameras as well as measurement and control technology. The male and female panel-mount connectors are easy to install and can be screw-mounted at the front. They are available in different designs with or without a shielding plate. The rated current is 1 A, the rated voltage is 32 V and the operating temperature range extends from -40°C to +85°C.

A new face
The 12-pin male panel-mount connectors of the Series 768/718 got a facelift with the C-coding and, when locked, provide IP 67 protection. The screw locking system of the connectors complies with DIN EN 61076-2-104.

The housing is made of polyurethane (PUR) and has gold-plated crimp contacts that can be dip soldered. A nickel-plated, zinc-diecast threaded ring ensures a sturdy connection of the connectors designed for more than 100 mating cycles.

ODU Connectors White paper: Rugged Connectors for the Battlefield Environment

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Manufacturers of military electronics have many options available to them for making equipment of the highest quality. In this new paper we evaluate some of the limiting factors related to the design and manufacture of equipment used by soldiers and in ground robotic systems, drawing special attention to connector selection.

Connectors are often critical to the performance of a finished system so five popular styles of threaded and twist-locking connectors are evaluated.

 

 

 

Download white paper: here

Also available is a white paper on High Speed Miniature Connectors for military use.

ODU has taken a different approach, replacing standard connectors by a ruggedized connector family of their own design, which results in a diameter as little as 11.9 mm for protocols up to 10Gbps.

This paper examines the challenges faced in designing ruggedized connectors for high speed data transfer – not only with regard to size, but also factors such as ease-of-use, performance, durability and transmission reliability.

Download white paper: here

download links

https://www.odu-uk.co.uk/fileadmin/redaktion/downloads/downloadcenter/Whitepapers/2020-10-27_ODU-threaded_WP_EN.pdf

https://www.odu-uk.co.uk/fileadmin/redaktion/downloads/downloadcenter/Whitepapers/2020-10-28_High-Speed-Connector_WP.pdf

HUBER+SUHNER UK division receives Supply Chains for the 21st Century Bronze Award for operational excellence

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HUBER+SUHNER (UK) Ltd. has been recognised with the Bronze Performance Standard Supply Chains for the 21st Century (SC21) award by ADS, the UK trade organization for Aerospace, Defense, Security and Space, for its commitment towards technical excellence and the continual improvement of its production performance.

HUBER+SUHNER achieved this accolade through implementing stringent measures which resulted in 90 – 94 percent of on time deliveries, a high-quality product performance level of 98 – 99 percent and a manufacturing and business excellence score of between 0 -399. The award also recognises the company’s commitment to creating a Continuous Sustainable Improvement Plan that is focused on performance activity and regularly reviewed by customers.

As the defense industry becomes increasingly competitive, the HUBER+SUHNER engineering and production teams based in the UK, have embarked on a series of Manufacturing and Business Improvement Activities over the last year to ensure better quality and delivery performance for defense customers. One of these activities resulted in reduced set-up times and waste, as the upgrading of work processes guaranteed the consistent production of parts to meet tight mechanical tolerances required by the industry.

“We are delighted to have been recognised for the hard work on upgrading our manufacturing processes, which have been independently assessed, to assure that we have a dedicated workforce that seeks to deliver outstanding results and the best quality through continuous improvement,” said Nigel Mitchell, Sales Director Radio Frequency at HUBER+SUHNER. “The team are now aiming to achieve the next tier Silver Award next year to ensure HUBER+SUHNER is always providing the best service possible for defense customers.”

The SC21 scheme is a nationally recognised programme, endorsed by all major UK defense companies, designed to accelerate the competitiveness of the sector by raising the performance of its supply chains. Since its launch 13 years ago, all participants have agreed to incorporate consistent measures that meet customer needs in a highly competitive global market with the main aim to see zero defects and 100 percent on time delivery at all stages of the product or service lifecycle.

Smiths Interconnect’s contact technology launched on NASA Mars Perseverance Rover

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NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, Mars Perseverance Rover was launched on July 30, 2020 and will touch down on Mars on February 18, 2021.  Designed to be the most sophisticated rover NASA has built, the Mars Perseverance Rover will use advanced systems to explore the diverse geological landscape, discover ancient habitats, gather rock and soil samples that will be returned to Earth and demonstrate cutting-edge technology for future human exploration.

 

 

 

Mars Perseverance Rover is loaded with state-of-the-art scientific instruments, advanced computational capabilities for landing, upgraded sensors, computers and algorithms. It will enable the Rover to quickly and autonomously realize its location on Mars and modify its course during descent. This technology will be able to provide invaluable assistance for both robotic and crewed missions landing on future planets and essential for future robotics and missions to Mars.

Smiths Interconnect provides the Mars Perseverance Rover with high performance ruggedized cPCI 2mm connectors addressing NASA’s need for a high reliability connector solution to meet the mechanical, electrical and environmental performance requirements. Rigorous testing was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for extreme environmental conditions, including thermal excursions, corrosive atmospheres, excessive shock and vibration, contact engagement/separation cycling, and other key NASA requirements.

“Smiths Interconnect is proud to support the Mars Perseverance Rover with a connectivity solution specifically engineered and optimized to mitigate the effects of heat and shock and vibration, while   maintaining exceptional levels of signal integrity” said Paul Harris, VP Sales and Marketing, Smiths Interconnect.

The cPCI 2mm connectors is based on Smiths Interconnect’s unique Hypertac® hyperboloid contact technology, renowned for its immunity to shock, vibration and fretting.  Tested to high level space and aerospace standards, the series delivers high performance in mission critical applications such as military land systems, shipboard, spacecraft, and defence applications.

The cPCI series is qualified to NASA GSFC: S-311-P-822 and assigned NASA Goddard part numbers.  It provides:

  • High speed signal integrity up to 3.125 Gbps
  • High-temp LCP insulators that meets NASA outgassing requirements
  • Keying features to ensure proper and secure mating
  • An integrated shield to maximize EMI/RFI leakage
  • Compatibility with reflow soldering processes
  • Low insertion and extraction forces for reduced board strain and improved serviceability.

Smiths Interconnect Expands Test Laboratory in Suzhou

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Smiths Interconnect proudly announced the expansion of its Qualification and Test laboratory at its site in Suzhou, China.

 

 

 

 

 

The investment represents the latest in Smiths Interconnect’s ongoing investments in the new Suzhou facility following its establishment in 2018, as a Centre of Excellence.

The laboratory now offers a one-stop shop for critical qualification and testing of Smiths Interconnect’s semiconductor test products manufactured in China.

The test lab area was re-designed and additional test capabilities were added to enhance the company’s ability to quickly deliver products to the customer base in the Asia Pacific region and worldwide:

 

  • A 67GHz Vector Network Analyzer to validate RF test performance of semiconductor test sockets.
  • Two new multiple cycle testers that can support 5,000+ pin count, to validate electrical performance of high-count spring pin test sockets;
  • A new Current Carrying Capacity tester to characterize temperature rise vs. current for electrical contacts.
  • A Thermal Measurement system to evaluate heat-sinks for their effectiveness to cool highpower devices such as micro-processors.
  • A laser cleaning machine to provide field maintenance recommendations and determine the products life cycle.

 

“The new test capabilities are a great addition to our existing equipment of Probe Card Analysers for WLCSP Probe heads” said Frank Zhou, Director of Product Engineering, APAC (Asia Pacific). “Our testing equipment enables us to quickly develop and deliver high quality, high performance semiconductor test products that meet our customers’ needs”.

 

Suzhou is a key facility for Smiths Interconnect’s semiconductor business. It now includes R&D, prototyping, manufacturing, failure analysis, test and qualification.

 

The multi-phased development will continue to receive investment over the coming years as Smiths Interconnect expands its test capabilities to meet the growing business needs.

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 .

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