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Interconnect News: March 2016

Read on for the latest announcements from the interconnect industry: Molex invested in Ossia’s Cota wireless power platform; Phoenix Contact visited classrooms; ODU celebrated a successful 2015; and much, much more.

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Interconnect News for Manufacturers

Molex announced a strategic investment in Ossia, which created the revolutionary Cota wireless power technology. The investment will help expand market access to Cota by facilitating development of new products for consumers and businesses. Cota’s game-changing wireless power technology provides a consumer-ready way to charge devices without plugging them in or placing devices on a charging pad. Cota’s Real Wireless Power Platform works with a compact tabletop transmitter/charger, a mobile phone, and IoT receivers, as well as the world’s first battery that can be wirelessly charged from a distance.

Additionally, Molex confirms its participation in the Cisco Digital Ceiling partner community, which debuted at Cisco Live! Berlin on February 17. Molex, which developed the Transcend Network-Connected LED Lighting System, announced a solutions-technology collaboration with Cisco in November 2015. Transcend is an intelligent, low-voltage networking system that both powers and controls LED light fixtures and other devices. As a member of the Digital Ceiling partner community, Molex is involved in helping customers embrace digital transformation of their buildings by creating a digital ceiling. Cisco and its 15 inaugural Digital Ceiling partner companies are accelerating the deployment of a digital ceiling beginning with indoor lighting powered by Cisco’s highly secure network infrastructure. Molex enabling products extend the network from Cisco Catalyst PoE network switches to LED lighting fixtures from leading lighting suppliers that can, where appropriate, use standard IP structured cabling or wireless connectivity.

ODU announced that in 2015, it increased its turnover from €139 million to €146 million – a growth rate of 5% – exceeding its original expectation of €140 million. In the US and China, ODU’s results came in above the expected industry average due to its project-related business with application-specific products in the US, as well as its highly successful business with local Chinese customers where, against all economic trends, ODU generated double-digit growth. ODU’s goal for 2016 is to cross the €150-million threshold as it expands its R&D department and laboratory and focuses on its new global management structure.

As part of the company’s National Engineers Week celebration at the end of February, several Phoenix Contact engineers taught sixth-grade science class at Middletown Area Middle School in Middletown, Pa. This is the 10th year that Phoenix Contact has partnered with the school to show how theory and practice can combine to make science fun. Activities for the week included building a catapult, racing cookie tins down a ramp, building an electric motor, and learning about static electricity through the Van de Graaff generator.

Phoenix Contact also announced the winner of its Nanoline Contest on Saturday, February 20. A team from Walker Career Center won a trip to Orlando, Fla., for designing and building the KA+O Storage Inventory System.

Siemon has acquired the Gigaduct Fiber Containment System from UK-based Gigacom Ltd. Under this definitive agreement, Siemon will acquire all existing Gigaduct assets, inventory, tooling, and customer base. Gigaduct is a flexible raceway system for routing, managing, and protecting fiber optic cables in data centers, colocation centers, service provider hosting, and other fiber computing environments. Manufactured from halogen-free, flame-retardant plastics, the Gigaduct System features easy-to-assemble ducts, fittings, bends, and tees in various sizes to meet a wide range of fiber deployment needs. The system is designed to maintain bend radius and protect fiber from the most rigorous conditions, while easy-access covers enable fiber installation or removal without disconnecting the entire pathway system. The transaction will expand Siemon’s existing portfolio of WheelHouse Advanced Data Center Solutions.

Vivek Dave, HARTINGHARTING USA has hired Dr. Vivek Dave as the director of technology development. Dave will direct all North America-related research activities, new technologies, and projects with HARTING’s key technology partners. He comes to HARTING with more than 20 years of experience in early-stage development of advanced technologies involving manufacturing, materials, and algorithms.  He co-founded Sigma Labs in 2006 and, since then, has been involved in a number of start-up organizations, most notably Kinalco, which he co-founded with an MIT professor.

Additionally, at a recent press conference, Dr. Frank Brode, senior vice president of new technologies for HARTING Technology Group, said the company sees the US as the driving country in digitalization for Industry 4.0, based on the nation’s strong and intense re-industrialization. HARTING recently became a member of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), founded in 2014 in Needham, Mass., by American companies AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM, and Intel.

Distributors

Mouser Electronics continues to experience strong business growth globally, with European growth outpacing all other regions. Today nearly 50% of the company’s revenue comes from outside the US, with all areas of EMEA doing well not only in 2015 but year-to-date 2016. Overall in Europe, Mouser’s sales grew by 27% in 2015 over 2014, although this was impacted by currency fluctuations, primarily between the dollar and the euro.

Mouser also announced that the major expansion of its global headquarters in Mansfield, Texas, is now nearing completion. The first phase, due for completion on schedule this quarter, adds an extra 250,000 square feet to the distributor’s global distribution facilities, supporting strong worldwide growth, significantly in excess of the industry average. New equipment, including a new mobile app for the warehouse management system, a state-of-the-art packing machine, and a heavy-duty turret truck for maximizing pallet storage, makes it easier for the company to serve its expanding customer base. Receiving has moved to the new building where 20 stations have been added to handle the thousands of boxes that arrive daily. There are 18 huge receiving/shipping doors for Fed-Ex, UPS, DHL, and other transport truck, and conveyor belts now take the incoming inventory, sort it, and send it to the receivers’ station to be entered. Additionally, order pullers will soon use iPads to access a new mobile app that will link to the Mouser Warehouse Management System for processing.

Avnet Inc. announced Bob Bowen has joined the company as vice president of global trade compliance. In this role, Bowen will oversee Avnet’s global trade compliance program, which ensures that customers and suppliers remain compliant with the evolving laws and regulations in countries around the world. He reports to Mike Buseman, chief global logistics and operations officer. Bowen brings 23 years of legal, regulatory, and trade compliance experience in dynamic business environments to Avnet – from multi-billion-dollar public companies to private practice, as well as roles with the US Department of Commerce.

Additionally, Avnet was recognized as a 2016 World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices. The designation honors those companies that align principle with action, work tirelessly to make trust part of their corporate DNA, and in doing so, shape future industry standards by introducing tomorrow’s best practices today. This marks the third consecutive year Ethisphere selected Avnet for the list, underscoring the company’s commitment to ethical business standards and practices around the world.

The Rutronik Elektronische Bauelemente GmbH warehouse in Austin, Texas, is now fully up and running. It serves as the central distribution center for Rutronik customers in the US, Canada, and Mexico. The new warehouse and logistics center has sufficient capacity to fully supply both legacy and new customers. It maps all processes of the European central warehouse based in Ispringen, Germany, to enable orders to be processed even faster. All global warehouses access the same IT system and are networked to each other, ensuring a seamless support and supply for the customers across borders.

Jeff Martin, TLC ElectronicsTLC Electronics has strengthened the technical resources available to its customers, prospects, and suppliers by adding a principal application engineer, a marketing specialist, and customer service representatives to its team. Jeff Martin joined TLC Electronics as principal applications engineer, a new position that will greatly expand TLC’s technical resources and provide a better level of service to its customers. Martin will directly interface with prospective and existing customers to evaluate new opportunities and resolve technical issues. His responsibilities include working with customers on early-phase design concepts, defining and communicating technical requirements, and ensuring manufacturability. In addition, TLC has added Gaby Feivor, Lucas Gerstner, and Matt Thorsen as technical customer service representatives and Chris Humting as the new marketing specialist.

Trade Shows

The deadline to submit technical paper abstracts for IWCS, which will take place October 2 – 5 this year, is April 8. More than 130 papers will be presented in the conference’s sessions. Past article topics have included cable, fiber, and conductor design; new cable materials; processing and manufacturing developments; network demands; assembly and installation techniques; cable components; connectivity; market studies; testing; and standards.

Other News

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) announced worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $26.9 billion for the month of January 2016, 2.7% lower than the previous month’s total of $27.6 billion and 5.8% down from the January 2015 total of $28.5 billion. Sales into the Americas were particularly sluggish, decreasing 5.9% month-to-month and 16.9% year-to-year. All monthly sales numbers are compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization and represent a three-month moving average.

OCM Manufacturing, a Canadian contract electronics manufacturer, announced the company has signed an agreement with Giatec Scientific Inc. to manufacture Giatec’s SmartRock electronic concrete temperature monitoring device. SmartRock is a rugged waterproof, wireless sensor for monitoring the temperature and maturity of concrete from fresh to hardened stages. This information is analyzed using a mobile app to estimate the real-time strength of concrete.

Panasonic will join Mouser Electronics to co-sponsor the Dragon Racing Formula E Team for the remainder of the 2016 FIA Formula E all-electric car racing series. Formula E is a new global racing series from Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body for world motor sports. Formula E features cars powered exclusively by electric energy and represents a vision for the future of the motor sports industry. The Formula E series serves as a framework for research and development around the electric vehicle, accelerating interest in these cars and promoting sustainability. With four races behind them, Mouser’s team is tenaciously in the mix for this year’s Formula E Championship.

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