European Semiconductor growth continues

7 12 2011

WSTS (World Semiconductor Trade Statistics) have reported ‘remarkably positive’ European growth rates towards the end of 2011 for a number of the main semiconductor product categories.

European semiconductor sales have increased by 3.2% compared to the same period in 2010, on a year-to-date scale.

Specifically, September saw an increase in the sales of sensors and actuators by 3.6%. MOS memory also grew notably by 3.8% in total.

On a global scale, semiconductor sales in September stood at $25.76 billion. This represents an increase of 2.7% from August.

These results come just months after excessive inventory actually played a big part in serving as a real boost for the global semiconductor industry in the first quarter of this year.

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.

In total, this represented a 2 year high and just goes to show that excessive inventory is not always a negative thing necessarily.

For additional information on products including semiconductors, centrifugal fans, axial compact fans and a host of other electronic components, visit

Challenger Components also work with a number of established brands such as Nicomatic, ebm-papst and 3M interconnect. All of these companies have proud reputations for producing a range of high quality goods to the electronics sector.


Antistatic protection

8 08 2011

The purpose of an antistatic wrist strap is to keep a person safely grounded when they are working with sensitive electronic equipment.

It has the primary effect of preventing the build-up of static electricity on their body. The build-up of static electricity can eventually lead to electrostatic discharge (ESD), which can be very damaging for a number of electronic devices.

The strap is made up of a flexible band of fabric which has a number of intricate, conductive fibres incorporated into it. The strap itself will be bound with a stainless steel clasp and the fibres are generally made of carbon due to their propensity for helping to prevent the build-up of electrostatic discharge.

The straps can be used in conjunction with a specially designed antistatic mat which will be placed on the workbench.

There is an intricate and intelligent process to how you use a wrist strap while working. The strap is connected to the ground through a retractable cable which has the ability to absorb high voltage charges while ensuring the prevention of any potential shocks.

Wrist straps can connect Earth Bonding Points via either a 4mm plug or a 10mm press stud. When working with higher voltage, extra protection can be added to protect the user from excessive currents.

Ankle and heel straps can also be used to help protect users from currents and allow accumulated charge to seep away from the body.

These items work in an equally intricate way, dissipating electrical charge to specially implanted floor tiles to increase protection.

They are particularly good for anyone who needs to be mobile when working as it is preferable to avoid a grounding cable in this cable.

For full information on all the antistatic equipment available, visit

Air Ionizers – What are they and how do we use them?

22 07 2011

Put simply, an air ionizer is a small device that uses a high level of voltage to electronically charge air molecules. But there is a lot more to it than that.

Air ionizers are most commonly used within air purifiers. The majority of commercial air purifiers that you would encounter today are designed to generate negative ions. That is how they work!

Negative ions (otherwise known as anions) are particles made up of one or more electrons, conferring a net negative charge to the particle.

Within the air purifier, the airborne particles are attracted to the electrode in an effect which has been compared by many to static electricity.

One of the most common mistakes that people make is confusing ionizers with ozone generators.

This is understandable since both operate in similar ways within whatever appliance they are found in.

However, while ozone generators are optimised to attract an extra oxygen ion, ionizers use electrostatically charged plates to ultimately produce gas ions.

The battle against hospital infections

One of the most innovative ways in which air ionizers have been utilised in recent times is by a hospital in Britain.

St James’s Hospital in Leeds carried out a trial in 2003 where they installed a negative air ioniser to counteract a succession of bacterial infections within an intensive care ward.

It was a groundbreaking use of ionizers at the time and led to the infection rate within the unit eventually dropping to zero at the end of a yearlong trial.

The results stunned many leading medical professionals and have led to further tests involving air ionizers to see what other ways they can be positively applied.

Visit for more information on air ionizers and to see what different types are available.


Military Connectors and Aerospace Electronics

22 06 2011

Military and aerospace electronics are under threat as budget cuts become a possibility as wars in the Middle East continue to wind down, a research paper investigates.

The military and aerospace industry has previously been a relatively stable market for system suppliers – providing a steady revenue source paired with considerable room for growth over the past several years.

The latest Research Network paper investigates this industry – as new threats over budget cuts in the US are making change a possibility.

These industries have been less susceptible to the ups and downs of the commercial and industrial markets in the past – this is due to a steady stream of government spending, fuelled by the ongoing war efforts and ever-present need for newer and better technology.

The U.S is the world’s largest military and aerospace market, and if the wars in the Middle East continue to wind down and economic spending remains tight, budget cuts are likely.

The U.S defence departments plan already to cut 78 billion dollars in defence spending over the next five years, with some European countries following suit.

The military sector however, continues to account for the majority of spending in this market, and has grown by six percent from 2010 reaching 2.33 billion dollars this year.

This is also expected to continue growing at an annual growth of six percent over the next five years to reach three billion dollars.

Electronic distributors are having to adapt to different market trends – of which shorter business cycles with a renewed focus on reliability, and demand for commercial ‘off the shelf’ solutions are particularly popular. – These solutions enable the customer to purchase and modify a system instead of buying custom components to build that same system.

Visit: for more information and to discuss your electronic component requirements in more detail.

Tamper Resistant Receptacles and Connectors

27 05 2011

Tamper resistant connectors and receptacles ensure the safety of all those dealing with electrical outlets. Find out more about tamper resistant connectors, and where to find the best suppliers and manufacturers in the UK.

Cooper Wiring Devices produces a wide range of tamper resistant receptacles for a variety of applications including industrial, commercial and residential ones where children are particularly vulnerable to harm.

The electrical wiring device manufacturer is set to appear on an episode of Designing Spaces on June 3rd to discuss and provide tips on installing tamper resistant devices.

Tamper resistant receptacles offer permanent peace-of-mind with a shutter system that prevents foreign objects from being inserted into one side of the face, while accommodating two or three prong plugs into the electrical component.

Products produced by Cooper Wiring Devices in the receptacles range include the newest of which is a line of standard and decorator combination device – this includes both a 15A 120V/AC switch with a 15A 125V/AC receptacle with UL-listed tamper resistant shutters. These shutters are designed to prevent the insertion of foreign objects.

A recessed tamper resistant receptacle, a tamper resistant floor box receptacle and tamper resistant multimedia wallplates with receptacles are other products which can prevent harm to people working with electrics.

Designing Spaces is a home improvement television series that travels all around the country redesigning spaces. They span decorating ideas to do-it-yourself projects and step by step home improvements.

Tamper Resistant Connectors UK

Challenger Components provides electronic solutions to a wide variety of markets requiring the use of electrical applications such as connectors.

They supply Cooper Interconnect products as well as electrical components from a variety of other well thought of manufacturers including Amphenol, embpapst, Nicomatic, and Credence Technologies.

Visit: for more information and to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Smart Grid: The Electronic Component of the Future

23 05 2011

By 2016 research suggests the global alternative electrical power storage market will reach 423 million dollars.

Electrical power is now being commonly generated using smaller alternative sources like wind, solar, tidal and geothermal, as opposed to traditional methods of coal-fired, oil-burning, natural gas, nuclear, and hydroelectric, a new report from Electronics Publications reveals.

As these grow in dominance, off peak generation becomes important to address problems which would occur when the sun does not shine or the wind does not blow.  As such, electrical designers have begun to investigate ways to store alternative power so that it can be used when needed and not just when it is being generated.

This is termed the utility scale ‘alternative electric power storage’ and includes the use of batteries, fuel cells, capacitive storage, and flywheel energy storage.

Storage approaches include using stationary facilities, mobile arrays, and increasingly, smart grids.

What are Smart Grids?

These are electricity networks using digital technology where electricity is delivered from suppliers to consumers using two way digital communications.

This as the report suggests used to conserve and store energy when needed, commonly in people’s houses.  They are being addressed by governments as a means to conserve energy and prevent global warming which burning of traditional fuels has started to cause.

In 2011 it is predicted this global alternative electrical power storage market in 2011 will be worth more than 325 million dollars.  It is also expected this market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.4 percent between 2011 and 2016.

Electrical Components Suppliers

Challenger Components has 50 years experience in supplying quality electrical components.  They aim to deliver energy efficient models where at all possible to cut energy costs and prevent global warming.

Visit: for more information and to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Cable and Connector Supplier at OTC 2011

18 05 2011

Cooper Industries is a global provider of electrical products such as cables and connectors, and recently have showcased their latest solutions at OTC 2011.

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) ran at Reliant Park in Houston on May 2-5 this year, where cooper divisions showcased a new range of oil and gas products.

The electronic solutions are specifically explosion proof to meet the drive to reinvest in innovative technologies for the customer’s benefit and its global manufacturing base.

One division of Cooper Industries even showcased their Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Systems for the marine, oil and gas industries.

The products are in line with their reputation of designing equipment characterised by low installation and maintenance costs and superior durability.

Cooper MEDC designs electrical equipment for potentially explosive atmospheres which were also at the show.  These types of equipment are used in places in offshore projects such as platforms, floating production, storage and offloading, and drill rigs.

“With a breadth of products and solutions for the oil and gas industry from many of its divisions, we are proud to be integrated, best-in-class partner, able to meet customer needs with our innovative products and solutions,” said Kirk Hachigian, Cooper Industries CEO.

Cooper Interconnect

Cooper Interconnect is a well known manufacturer of cable and connectors for industries which require durable and reliable connections.

The equipment is often put under high pressure and has to work reliably through changes in extreme temperatures.

The industries they provide these solutions for run in line with those that Challenger Components supplies relevant products for, such as industry and medical appliances.

Challenger Components supplies cables and connectors manufactured by Cooper Interconnect depending on the customers’ requirements.

Visit: for more information and to discuss your requirements in more detail.

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