Leading figure points to enduring popularity of circular connectors

29 11 2011

A leading figure in the UK connector industry has suggested that manufacturers are tending to fall back on ‘tried and trusted’ designs in uncertain times for electronics manufacturing.

David Phillips, UK Managing Director of Binder Connectors, suggests; “A lot of market sectors are very conservative, so designers fall back on tried and trusted products.

Nevertheless, circular connectors offer good price/performance, good electrical properties, ease of mating and simple locking”.

This market analysis follows news that, judging by recent trends, connectors are getting smaller while also integrating greater levels of functionality.

But why exactly is this happening? Paul Jones, a leading product specialist, has suggested that manufacturers are making a deliberate effort to offer connectors that can handle increased levels of power and data. “There is increasing demand for computing power,” suggested Jones.

He also suggested there is a demand for “smaller interconnects. These are opposing forces and designers are having to explore the effects.”

Bob Hult, Director of Product Technology for connector market research specialist Bishop & Associates, said; “Product managers at leading connector manufacturers report demand for power connectors with increased current ratings in smaller envelopes, particularly in board-to-board interfaces used in the datacom industry.

“Although each chip may consume less power than its predecessor, systems often incorporate many more chips to provide greater functionality, upping the total current draw.”

There also seems to be a general consensus among manufacturers that engineers and companies need to specify what they need from a connector a lot more.

Decisive estimations over how much power is required, how much power they can handle and what the ultimate aim of the product is can all help manufacturers deliver the correct product.

For details on a vast range of connector supplied by leading manufacturers such as Amphenol, ebm-papst and interconnect, visit http://www.challengercomponents.com


The way we use Industrial cables

28 11 2011

Industrial cables are generally fabricated in various instruments for power and control and can be used in variety of industries. They are particularly popular in both the aerospace and military sectors.

Nowadays, the cable manufacturers can customise the cable quality to the customer’s specific needs and they are generally designed in such a way that they can withstand the low, medium and high voltage fluctuations.

One of the most prominent examples of an industrial cable is a Factory Automation cable, mainly used in robots for signalling and power purposes. As this equipment is operated with continuously, the cables used should be highly durable and insulation material used for designing these cables should withstand high mechanical strength as irradiation cross-linking is performed and is qualified only after it tolerates 10 million repetitive movements.

Another example is a Military cable which is used for transferring signals to military equipment such as tanks, aircraft and naval vessels. The cables designed should be non-toxic and fire proof as they are used in radars and communication devices.

Challenger Components

Challenger Components have over 50 years of experience in industrial cables, 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. Names such as these are trusted and respected globally to provide the most innovative and reliable solutions to a range of electronic issues.

They are particularly renowned in both the military and aerospace sectors, where the use of connectors is pivotal to a variety of equipment and a whole host of different situations.

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


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 www.challengercomponents.com

Antistatic bags – What are they and why do we need them

27 07 2011

An antistatic bag is a simple but vital piece of equipment for any major electronics manufacturing company.

They are generally used for shipping electrical components which are prone to damage caused by things like electrostatic discharge.

That type of discharge is the sudden electric current that flows between two objects at different electrical potentials. It is dangerous as it could potentially cause damage to important electronic equipment.

The bags themselves are plastic and will have distinctive colours to denote whether they are metallised film or polyethylene.

Due to the critical need for protection against mechanical and electrostatic damage, various layers of protection are employed within the bags.

 These extra layers can include a PET film bag, polyethylene bubble wrap and pink poly foam.

The bags are always slightly conductive. This creates the anti-static effect as it forms a protective cage around the item.

This protective cage is known as a faraday cage and the main hob it does is protect any localised charges being deposited onto the device while the bag is being handled in transit.

It is vital that the bags are only ever opened at static-free workstations; otherwise the hard work of keeping the device free form potential contaminants will have been wasted.

Other antistatic items that are used within the electronics industry include anti-static garments or clothing.

Similar to the way in which the antistatic bags work, they are designed to prevent any damage to electrical components and to prevent fires when working with potentially flammable liquids and gases.

Items such as these are essential in the successful transfer of electronic components around the globe. Without them, the industry would have to deal with numerous issues of potential contamination.



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 Electronics.ca 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: http://www.challengercomponents.com for more information and to discuss your electronic component requirements in more detail.

Automotive Connectors and Interconnect Solutions

10 06 2011

The automotive electronics industry is set for a strong year ahead, new figures reveal.

The automotive semi conductor market is expected to be boosted by 15 percent in 2011 due to communication, safety, telematics and green initiatives.

Electronics.CA Publications has announced a new report entitled ‘Integrated Circuits (IC) Market Drivers’, which revealed how the IC market remains closely linked to the health of the electronic systems market.

The report suggests demand for electronics systems will increase with an expanding number of end-use applications providing the stimulus for IC market growth, as global economies continue to recover.

The amount of semiconductor content required per vehicle was shown to vary depending on the make and model, as well as trim level, environmental concerns, and regional government regulations.

They found sophisticated electronic systems that were previously exclusive to luxury-class vehicles a few years ago have become more commonplace in mid-range and lower-priced automobiles.

Researchers have forecast for average semiconductor content per automobile to 350 dollars in 2011, and this represents a 15 percent increase from the 305 dollar average last year.

Airbags, curtain restraint systems, tire-pressure monitoring systems and other safety features are required on most new vehicles sold in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.

It is expected the new requirement in Europe for cars to have tire-pressure sensors on all new cars sold after November 1, 2011 will boost applications of tire-pressure monitoring systems.

Automotive Connectors

Challenger Components is a recognised supplier of electronic components and connectors in the UK.

They are known for supplying quality connectors, static control products and cooling solutions such as industrial fans and blowers to customers in a variety of fields.  They keep up to date with the latest interconnect solutions to be able to provide their clients with the best electronic solutions.

Visit: http://www.challengercomponents.com for more information and to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Electronic Equipment Spending Reaches New High

8 06 2011

Semiconductor manufacturing capacity in 2011 is growing, a new report suggests.

The report ‘World Fab Watch: Details of Frontend Semiconductor Fabs for the Previous Quarter’ revealed increasing capital expenditure on electronic components such as semiconductors and connectors this year.

The report showed on the other hand that construction spending had decelerated this year and was expected to continue downwards in 2012.

The database tracks spending, capacity and technology node projects for every fab worldwide by company.

This spending covers both new and used equipment for production, pilot, and R&D fabs, including investments for LED device fabrication.

In 2011, it is forecast the industry will experience a 31 percent rise in equipment spending and nine percent rise in manufacturing capacity.

Equipment spending should reach an all-time high of about 44 billion dollars this year the research suggests, although the spending pace is expected to decline by six percent to 41 billion dollars in 2012.  This still however, will remain the second highest annual level on record.

The earthquake in Japan on March 11th may have had some short-term effect on utilisation rates and capacity output, but will not have a significant impact on installed capacity on construction spending.

Installed capacity is expected to increase about nine percent in 2011 and seven percent in 2012.  In 2010, the growth rate in capacity of Foundry fabs surpassed Memory fabs, and this trend is expected to continue in 2011.

Electronic Equipment Suppliers

Challenger Components is a recognised electronic equipment supplier in the UK, they have 50 years experience in supplying relevant electronic components for different industries to provide solutions for their electronic requirements.

They supply components in industries such as connectors, fans and blowers and static control solutions.

Visit: http://www.challengercomponents.com for more information and to discuss your requirements in more detail.

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