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 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.