Manufacturing companies think twice about benefits of offshoring

25 11 2011

One of the most common trends to have emerged within the electronics manufacturing industry over the last decade has been the obsession with offshoring.

Companies were keen to make savings wherever they could and the idea of offshoring several aspects of their work initially seemed to have a multitude of obvious benefits.

However, recent events have given a number of these companies cause to have second thoughts. Phil Inness, Chairman of the Electronic Manufacturing Services Association, has assessed why they may now have cause to regret their actions.

“There has been a mass of migration work offshore in the last ten years,”suggested Inness. “Some of this should have gone overseas without question, while some should not have but did. Companies now realise that offshoring isn’t going to be a fix for all evils and there is much cleverer decision making today.

“The may have realised certain savings, but then ended up with obsolete stock or found the work was wrong and had to be put right, with all the time delays involved.

Now, there’s smarter procurement; if someone wants 73 units, they can order 73 units from aUKcompany and have no wastage. If you go offshore, you may have to order 100 units or more to get the price breaks.”

It appears thatUKcompanies failed to recognise the benefits of keeping the work within these shores, only to learn the lesson down the line in financial terms.

Leading electronics manufacturers

Challenger Components have over 50 years of experience in the electronics manufacturing industry and a variety of additional electrical components. They also work alongside a number of leading brand names within the electronics manufacturing industry such as Amphenol, 3M and ebm-papst.

For full details of all the products available from manufacturers such as those named above, contact



UK electronics receives boost from leading industry figure

23 11 2011

A leading figure within the electronics manufacturing industry has suggested that, contrary to a number of recent reports, the sector is in ‘pretty good shape.’

Phil Inness, Chairman of the Electronic Manufacturing Services Association (EMSA), feels that the UK contract electronics market is probably worth approximately £1.4 billion a year.

“The market is in pretty good shape and is certainly growing in excess of 5% a year,” claimed Inness.

One particular reason for this might be the demand which continues to be generated by the aerospace sector.

A recent report suggests that aerospace remains one of the most important manufacturing sectors for the entire UK electronics industry.

Mark Prisk, the minister for business, has reiterated the importance of the aerospace sector, particularly in terms of the supply and manufacture of components.

“Aerospace companies in the UK directly employ around 100,000 highly skilled individuals and support many more jobs across the wider UK economy,” stated Prisk.

“We are number one in Europe and number two in the world, with a 17% global market share,” continued Prisk, speaking at the first meeting of the Aerospace Growth Partnership.

Manufacturing contributes approximately 18% of the UK’s GDP, with aerospace being one of the main reasons for this.

The sector’s annual turnover is rated at approximately £22 billion, with export business accounting for 70% of that turnover.

Figures like this emphasis the link between the importance of a flourishing aerospace sector and the UK electronics industry.

Leading electronics manufacturers

Challenger Components have over 50 years of experience in connector products and a variety of additional electrical components. They also work alongside a number of leading brand names within the electronics manufacturing industry such as Amphenol, Nicomatic and 3M.

For full details of all the products available from manufacturers such as those named above, contact


Increased connectivity of components equals increased precision

22 11 2011

Have you ever looked into the inside of a computer? If not, next time you upgrade your computer or it has any sort of work done to it why don’t you observe what the technician is doing. 

You are likely to see all manner of cables inside, which will include a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. Still, there aren’t any jams despite the traffic of cables because of one specific factor, the jacketed cables.

Jacketed cables are a safe and convenient way to connect the various components inside the computers. With a lot of components in the computers that are arranged in a compact case, it is possible that they will come into contact with each other. This is likely to result in malfunctioning because each component is very sensitive in nature.

Technicians avoid this by protecting them with the jacketed cables. The smaller size of the components and the close constellation do not permit individual cables to each component. So, there will be a number of cables in a jacketed cable that enables the technician to connect the components with each other for a smooth functioning of the computer. 

Only a small portion of the cables are exposed and they are safely soldered to the components to ensure that there are no exposed ends.

The jacketed cables save a lot of time and, with standard colour coding of cables enabling the technicians to connect them to components with precision, they are valued highly within the electronics components industry. Jacketed cables are compact in nature, which also helps in reducing the space required inside the computer to connect them. 


Challenger Components

For additional details on electronic components and to see the vast range of connectors which are available, visit

Challenger Components Ltd offer electronic components from a variety of trusted and established brands such as 3M, Amphenol and ebm-papst.



What does your business need from a connector?

11 11 2011

A recent report from Global Industry Analysts suggests that developments in technology and a marked increase in the production of miniaturised microprocessors could potentially lead to a sustained growth within the electronics industry over the coming years.

A recent report from Bishop and Associates found that, on average over the last five years, worldwide administrations have consistently spent 2.7% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on military expenditures. This suggests that demand within the military sector for specialist connectors is likely to stay strong.

Demand for cable connectors is also expected remain strong in the near future. Analysts expect the worldwide market for the military/aerospace cable assemblies market to have grown by approximately 2% by the end of 2011, to a total value of approximately $12.9 billion.

Reliability is, of course, a major consideration to bear in mind, as is easy identification (very important when working on complex electrical circuits and systems) and how easily it can be connected to other devices.

Price will also be a huge factor for a number of companies considering the economic climate which we are all operating in at the moment.

You may also want the connector to meet specific needs as well, such as the ability to withstand high vibrations. Several connector manufacturers have recently stated their desire to hear more defined specifications from companies prior to constructing products, in order to meet client expectations as accurately as possible.

Challenger Components has 50 years experience in providing electrical components to a variety of industries. They use a variety of recognised and globally trusted suppliers such as Amphenol and ebm-papst to provide connectors, industrial fans/blowers and static control solutions to customers all over the world.

To learn more about the products Challenger can provide and the companies they are associated with, visit

Flooding in Thailand alerts electronics manufacturers

7 11 2011

Large scale flooding in Thailand could have a devastating impact on the electronic components industry with a number of companies due to be affected significantly.

The production of several products including semiconductors, hard disk drives and various additional electronic components has been halted due to the unprecedented size of the flood damage.

It is, as yet, difficult to assess just how significant the impact of the halt to manufacturing will be on the electronics market globally. It may be that the number of companies involved is minimal, or that those within Thailand can recover quickly to limit the damage.

However, either way it seems likely that the damage will affect production of semiconductors in both the final quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2012, at least.

The situation is comparable to the damage done by the Japanese earthquake which struck earlier this year and affected production for several electronics companies.

On that occasion though, it appears as though things could have been much worse

For the electronics industry specifically, the long term damage could have been particularly bad given the amount of equipment such as connectors and components which the country produces.

Even though it would normally be considered a negative sign, excessive industry served as a real boost for the global semiconductor industry in the first quarter of 2011.

The level of inventory helped to alleviate the damage done by the Japanese earthquake which hit the country, and the electronics industry, so hard in February of this year.

The shortage of basic components such as semiconductors was not nearly as bad as it could have been.

The statistics show that the days of inventory (DOI) among chip suppliers stood at an estimated 80.3 days at the end of the first quarter in 2011. This was up by 1.1% from the 79.4 days in the final quarter of 2010, and it was also an increase of 9.1 days from the same period in 2010.

For information on the connectors available from a number of leading providers, visit


BNC Connectors profile

4 11 2011

BNC connectors are an essential electronic component. They can be used within radio, television and radio-frequency equipment. They are also commonly used for signal connections.

What is a BNC Connector?

A BNC connector is a common RF (radio frequency) connector. BNC stands for Bayonet Neill-Concelman and is named after its creators and the bayonet locking mechanism it uses.

How do they work?

BNC connectors work at radio frequencies, hence why they are an RF connector. They operate in the megahertz range and are typically used with coaxial cables – leads which are commonly used to connect televisions and other such equipment.

Their operation allows them to provide a more stable transmission and reduces impedance. They are therefore an essential electronic component for the household.

BNC connectors have a number of uses in both homes and businesses. Their most common uses include:

• The connection of test equipment.

• Signal connections for aviation electronics.

• Signal connections for radio antenna.

•Video signal connection: both analogue and serial digital interface signals.

What types are available?

You can usually find a selection of two types of ohm rating: either 50 or 75ohm. The 50ohm variety is aimed at 4GHz frequencies and the 75ohm at 2GHz ones.

The different types of BNC connector are typically compatible with one another, reflecting their original design. However, at frequencies below 10MHz negative effects can be caused and signal reflections can occur at frequencies higher than this.

Challenger Components

For additional details on electronic components and to see the vast range of connectors which are available, visit

Challenger Components Ltd offer electronic components from a variety of trusted and established brands such as 3M, Amphenol and ebm-papst.


A-Z of electrical components: L – LED’s

31 10 2011

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) play a significant role within the electronics manufacturing industry.

An LED is a semiconductor light source. It plays a crucial role across a vast range of sectors which rely on the electronics manufacturing industry.

Companies like Amphenol would not be able to offer the range of connectors and various other electronic components which they currently do, without the use of LED’s.

They offer numerous advantages compared to other light sources such as;

-Great robustness,

-Long lifetime,

-Low energy consumption

-Greater durability.


The power of LEDs

They can be used in automotive and aviation lighting. Infrared LEDs are also used in the remote control applications of products ranging from televisions to DVD players.

They are also vital for the connector industry specifically. Another major advantage of LEDs is that they are difficult to damage with external shock, unlike fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs which are very fragile.

They can often be very small (such as 2mm or smaller) and also have the advantage of lighting up very quickly when you want to use the application.


Challenger Components

Amphenol’s LED products are specially designed for use in a number of areas including; audio and video entertainment systems, outdoor displays and billboards, architectural lighting designs, aircraft cabin lighting.

Amphenol are established as one of the largest manufacturers of interconnect products all over the planet. Amphenol are renowned for designing, manufacturing and marketing electrical, electronic and fiber optic connectors, as well as interconnect systems.

To hear more about the products available from Amphenol, and other leading electronics manufacturing brands, visit

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