Three Uses of Halogen Free Cables

16 12 2011

Halogen free cables are an integral component designed to offer users increased safety and protection. Used within a range of industries as well as inside our homes, these components are multi-purposeful and efficient.

Why halogen free?

All cables are enclosed within a plastic casing and plastics which contain halogen can be dangerous when exposed to high temperatures and heat, such as in fires. This is because the materials release a poisonous gas in these instances. If this gas comes into contact with water then hydrochloric acid is formed – making the situation extremely volatile and dangerous for those involved.

For this reasons, halogen free cables are becoming a standard component in a number of industries but especially those which are widely connected with the general public. This makes the uses of these types of cable extremely varied and diverse.

Uses of halogen free cables

• Rail travel: both rail and aircraft travel and construction use halogen free cables. The added safety benefits make this an essential component, helping to ensure the public are protected. As electrical fires and other faults can arise on these machines, using cables which will not exasperate the situation is vital.

• Public buildings: as these will be frequented by a number of individuals on a regular basis, ensuring public safety is paramount. For this reason, halogen free cables are often used as they can reduce the risk of damage in the event of a fire. These buildings will often have an extensive supply of cables and leads and therefore investing in these products is highly important.

• Electricals: the fast majority of electrical items will be connected via cables and leads and, therefore, the potential for damaging effects occurring during fires is high. Using halogen free cables for these products will reduce this risk and will help to lower the dangers posed to individuals. As these devices will be found throughout personal homes, places of work and public areas it is vital that they use the safest possible cables.

For further details regarding halogen free cables, visit


A-Z of electrical components: H – Halogen-Free Cable

31 10 2011

Low smoke zero halogen (LSZH) is a material classification which is mainly used for cable jacketing in the electronics industry. More specifically, it is used within the wire and cable sector of that industry.

LZSH cable jacketing is typically made up of thermoplastic or thermoset compounds which emit low halogen levels when exposed to extremely high sources of heat.

In the event of a fire, a halogen-containing plastic material can release a poisonous gas that can lead to hydrochloric acid.

In contrast, halogen-free cables will not produce any sort of dangerous gas/acid substances even when exposed to a strong flame.

Halogen-free cable is also lighter in the majority of cases. This means overall cable network system weights can be reduced.

Industrial cables

A vast number of different applications within the electronics industry require industrial cables to function efficiently and precisely. Industrial cables can be used to describe various types of cable that is used in this particular sector.

A cable can be most accurately described as when one or two wires run parallel to each other to form a single assembly. The wires are assembled in this way to take up less room and to make sure they remain organised.

Industrial cable can be used in mechanical terms to lift heavy applications through tension – these are often called wire ropes.

In terms of electrical engineering, cables are used to carry electric currents and there are two specific types of electric cable.

-One is used for installation in industrial sites and other buildings, and the other for power transmission at distances greater than a few kilometres, usually referred to as power cables.

-Another type of cable is optical cable which uses optical fibres which are protected by a protective jacket

For more details on the cable used within the electronics manufacturing industry, visit

Electronic Components Listed for Enhanced Capital Allowance

4 07 2011

The Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme is part of the Government’s programme to manage climate change.

Electronic components listed on the Energy Technology List (ETL) qualify for the allowance claim from the government, but until recently, EC motors were not on it, even though EC motors are significantly more efficient than induction motors.

Managers of the ETL ECA scheme predicted EC motors were niche and dying out, however hundreds of thousands of small EC and tens of thousands of large EC motors are now accepted as a solution to reduce Carbon emissions and energy.

The Energy Technology List (ETL) was first published 26th March 2001, to provide businesses with enhanced tax relief for investments in equipment that meet published energy saving criteria.

A new motor criterion of Permanent Magnet Motors (PMM) was created in December 2010 by the Carbon Trust.  These PMM that exceed the listed threshold and are above 0.75 kW are eligible for inclusion on the ETL.

Ebm-papst EC motors are the first PMMs to be listed on the ETL.

Ebm-papst EC motors are motors with a separate drive or motor with an integrated variable speed drive.

These EC motors are the easiest to select, install and use, while others require the cost of installing and commissioning additional drives before the motor will operate.

The ebm-papst EC motors are PMMs with integrated VSD and exceed the IE3 threshold even when taking into account the variable speed drive.  They, on their own, meet the iR4 threshold.

Electronic Component Suppliers

Challenger Components stocks ebm-papst products for their clients who require specific electronic components such as EC motors.

Challenger Components has 50 years experience in connectors, static control, and cooling solutions.  They also use well known manufacturers such as 3m Interconnect and Credence Technologies.

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


Electronic Component MEME Microphone

28 06 2011

The mobile phone market is revealed as being the largest consumer of MEMS microphones as popular consumer applications require them in their new designs.

A new report ‘MEMS Microphones’ released by Electronics.CA. Publications predicts the market will experience rapid growth between 2011-2016.  It is estimated by 2013, shipments will increase to over one billion units and more than two billion units by 2016.

MEMS microphones, the study explains, are widely used in applications such as mobile phones and laptops, and more and more mobile phones are now using two or more MEMS microphones for Active Noise Cancellation (ANS).

Other consumer applications such as laptops and camcorders for example are using multiple MEMS microphones to have the multidirectional function.

The penetration of MEMS microphones in the iPhone 4 and other smart phones has boosted this product’s presence in the market.

Market leading manufacturers include Knowles who is the leader with more than 80 percent of the market share, along with AAC Acoustic Technologies, Hosiden and BSE.

It will be more and more important for manufacturers to access the MEMS microphone original design.

The IP rights and packaging patents are critical for manufacturers to achieve performance and cost challenges as the industry becomes more competitive.

Electronic Component Experts

Challenger Components is a supplier of electronic components and has 50 years of expertise in the fields of connectors, static control, and cooling solutions.

They have expertise in design through to cable assembly, and have experience stocking the right electronic products to clients in a variety of industries, notably the industrial, medical, telecommunications, security and military.

They use a variety of recognised suppliers such as Amphenol and ebmpapst to provide connectors, industrial fans and blowers, and static control solutions to their customers.

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

Electronic Component Manufacturer Wins Award

20 06 2011

A leading electronics components manufacturer has won the American Technology in Manufacturing award for its breakthrough ‘Cubitron II Abrasives Platform’.

The landmark Cubitron II abrasives technology platform from 3M has won the TechAmerica Foundation’s American Technology Award in the manufacturing category at the Foundation’s annual awards dinner.

The awards are presented annually to signify the industry’s best technological achievements in 14 categories.

The Cubitron II is a radical advance in the cutting and grinding processes, as it combines several of 3M’s core technology platforms to create precision-shaped uniformly-sized ceramic-based oxide triangles.  These are oriented with their cutting edges facing the work surface.

A faster and higher quality performance is the result of the new design, along with ergonomic and safety benefits, and a reduction in the need for abrasive waste disposal.

“3M is honoured by the recognition and very pleased that its technology is contributing to a safer and more productive environment in this important sector of manufacturing,” said Robert Cowan, 3M Abrasive Systems Division, manufacturing technology manager.

“This helps to eliminate burnishing, oxidation and discolouring, while producing fewer hear-related stress cracks in high-cost end parts, including implantable medical orthopaedic devices,” Cowan explained.

Electronics Components Suppliers

Challenger Components has 50 years experience in providing electronic components to their clients.  They use 3M Interconnect products for connectors, 3M Static Control for static control solutions, and a range of other well thought of manufacturers like ebmpapst and Nicomatic.

The company is based in Kent, and has been since 1984, building up expertises in three of their specialist fields: Connectors, Static Control, and Cooling Solutions (Industrial Fans and Blowers).

They can provide not only technical support but also product design for complicated electronic problems.

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

Ecomate Connectors: Original Design Manufacturing to Grow

16 06 2011

Original design manufacturing is expected to grow at a steady pace over the next few years, experts predict.

According to the latest Electronics CA Publications report, the electronics industry market research and knowledge network, ‘Original Design Manufacturing – Global Strategic Business’ showed the market could reach 161.1 billion by 2017.

This comes after a period of decline which was caused primarily by the prolonged severity of the economic slowdown and depressed manufacturing scenario, which was felt in key industry segments in 2009.

The report suggests this growth will be mainly driven by an increase in manufacturing activity across industries, which will come about due to post recession resurgence in consumer demand for manufactured goods.

This will also put renewed focus on manufacturers to come up with creative designs, new product form factors, and technology specifications.

Growth prospects from Asia-pacific are also thought to be good for the market of original design manufacturing.

The culture of manufacturing is discussed in the report as having changed from a more centralised production force to strategic outsourcing, which as a result has diversified supply chain functions.

The Original Design manufacturing industry is closely tied to industrial, automotive and consumer electronics, wireless & wired communications, and data processing technology, which have all been hit by the recession, but are likely to bounce back.

Ecomate Connectors

Challenger Components supplies electronic components for their clients, and among their supplies are ecomate connectors.

They primarily use ecomate products designed by Amphenol which is a key player in this industry.  Their Industrial Circular Connector for example comes from their ecomate series and is a moulded plastic construction, screw coupling, with a straight or 90 degree outlet with colour coding available for ease of use.

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

Electric Bicycles Electronic Components

14 06 2011

Looking ahead, the electronics components industry may be hit by a new demand –from electric bicycles and ebikes.

A new report entitled ‘Light Electric Vehicles’ has revealed electric vehicles by land, water and air will form a market worth over 210 billion dollars in ten years from now.

The report identifies that there are segments of the market that are very different in certain respects, yet they increasingly share some technical challenges and vehicle and component suppliers.

Electric bicycles, ebikes and other Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs) constitute an important part of the overall EV business and it is these areas the report concentrates on.

The report identifies negative trends too with cities in China banning or severely restricting LEVs.

However the LEV industry is growing fast, and China is also one of the fastest emerging markets for these applications despite this.

Up until the last couple of years, ebike sales were concentrated in China, Japan, and the EU, however now nearly every nation has bought ebikes from China.

It is expected sales will reach 130 million dollars yearly before 2025, which will make it one of the world’s largest industries.

The report analysed over 70 brands and forecasts 13 market drivers are balanced against many negative factors.

A Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) is a land vehicle propelled by an electric motor that uses an energy storage device such as a battery or fuel cell – it typically has two or three wheels and weights less than 100kg.

Electronic Components

Challenger Components has 50 years experience in providing electrical components to a variety of industries.  They use a variety of recognised suppliers such as Amphenol and ebmpapst to provide connectors, industrial fans and blowers, and static control solutions to their customers.

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

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