January 2022 Connector Industry News
Awards, partnerships and acquisitions, and helpful technical resources highlight this month’s news from across the connector industry.
January 2022 Connector Industry News
January 2022 Connector Industry News > Award News
Hirose’s BM50 Series has been selected as an Innovation Award Honoree for CES 2022, the Consumer Electronics Show held annually in Las Vegas. The CES Innovation Awards internationally recognizes noteworthy products in 28 product fields based on product quality, design aesthetic, value provided to users, uniqueness and newness of product specifications, and innovation. The compact BM50 Series FPC-to-board connector has been distinguished as a CES Innovation Awards Honoree in the Mobile Devices & Accessories category. The connector supports a high-power supply capacity of 15 A in a compact size that reduces the PCB mounting space by approximately 40% compared to other products. This contributes to a significant reduction of the space used inside the device and the size of customer’s end products. A unique board mounting design suppresses heat generation to 30°C or less, even when 15 A is applied. USB power delivery allows up to 100 W of power for fast charging. In addition, the fully armored design covers both ends of the housing with metal for enhanced robustness and a significant reduction in the risk of housing damage when mating with misalignment. The BM50 FPC-to-board connector is commonly used in smartphones and emerging applications such as wearable devices. This is the third time Hirose products have been selected as Innovation Awards Honorees, following the FX26 Series and BM46 Series at CES 2020.
WE (Women in Electronics) named ECIA’s Debbie Conyers, VP of Member Engagement, as the 2021 recipient of the “WE Recognizes” Award. The award was created to acknowledge and celebrate women who have demonstrated outstanding achievement within the WE goals to empower, advocate, develop, and celebrate women in the electronics industry. “For 21 years, Debbie has been the heart of the ECIA and its predecessor, NEDA. A trusted and well-respected individual across the channel, Debbie is recognized for her many contributions both within ECIA and beyond, serving as an advocate of authorized distribution and championing causes including FIRST®, Hiring Our Heroes, and Women in Electronics,” said Jackie Mattox, WE’s president and CEO. Prior award recipients are Heather Fulara from Newark/Avnet (2019) and Holly Good from Cornell Dubilier (2020),” said Jackie Mattox, president and CEO of WE. Listen to Debbie reflect on her 21 years in the industry in this two-part interview for WE Radio.
January 2022 Connector Industry News > Partnership, Personnel, & Acquisitions News
Samtec Inc. has acquired Ultra Communications Inc., a Vista, California-based manufacturer of high-speed digital and RF fiber optic components. Ultra Communications’ core competencies include circuit design, optoelectronic package design, and manufacturing of fiber optic components. Founded in 2005, the company holds substantial IP and technology, with active programs in the mil-avionic, space/satellite, ground vehicles, radar, and shipboard connectivity arenas. Samtec has an established customer base in the industrial and mil-aero markets with its optical FireFly™ product line. Ultra Communications’ products, which feature a Surface-Mount-Technology (SMT) reflowable attach process, complement the FireFly family. The acquisition provides aerospace and mil-aero customers with another option to achieve small size, low weight, and power (SWaP) in extreme environments. Samtec plans to maintain operations and staff at the Vista facility.
TE Connectivity has acquired the force-guided narrow safety relay (NSR) elementary relay technology from the Phoenix Contact Group (Phoenix Contact), as part of a long-term partnership agreement. The acquisition adds a single-pole, force-guided offering to TE’s broad relay portfolio for the factory automation, elevator, and rail markets. As a part of the agreement, TE will assume responsibility for manufacturing and marketing the NSR element relays, supporting TE’s focus on bringing miniaturized solutions and advanced safety technology to market, particularly in robotic control, programmable logic control, elevator, and servo drive applications. “As the industry continues to shift toward more advanced automation technologies, operator safety has easily become one of the most critical issues facing our customers today,” said Vish Ananthan, senior vice president and general manager of TE’s Industrial business. “When humans are involved, equipment must work every time, without restrictions to functional safety. The addition of the NSR product line underscores our commitment to this vital need and to providing much needed space savings as our customers manage the dramatic increase of signal, power and data in the modern production environment.”
RF Industries has entered into an agreement to purchase Microlab LLC radio frequency components business from Wireless Telecom Group. The boards of directors of the two companies unanimously approved the transaction, which is subject to various terms and conditions, including approval by Wireless Telecom Group’s shareholders. After the transaction, Wireless Telecom Group will be comprised of Boonton, Holzworth, and Noisecom brands within its test and measurement product group, and the CommAgility brand within its radio, baseband, and software product group. The transaction will allow Wireless Telecom Group to prepare for the next stage of transformation with a stronger concentration of revenues and the ability to focus its investments on satellite communications, 5G small cell, and private network deployments, and growth in applications related to semiconductor testing, military and defense spending and quantum computing.
Trexon announced that it has completed the acquisition of Power Connector Inc. (PCI), a leading supplier of tactical communications interconnect for military applications. Founded in 1987 and based in Suffolk County, New York, PCI is a defense logistics agency QPL manufacturer of MIL-DTL-55181 and MIL-DTL-55116 connectors. Designed into hand-held and mounted radio systems, PCI’s power connectors, audio connectors, and other interconnect components complement Trexon’s existing specialty connectivity offerings for mission critical applications. PCI’s commitment to excellence and innovation is demonstrated by its high performance equipment, stringent quality standards, and skillful employees. Todd West, PCI General Manager, said, “We believe the new coupling of Trexon’s Engineered Products Group with PCI’s advancement into lighter weight, small form factor connectors paves the way for a quicker time to market in support of the dynamic needs of the defense communication industry.”
January 2022 Connector Industry News > New Technical Resources
Control engineers can learn about the basics of Phoenix Contact’s PLCnext Technology in SolisPLC’s newest course, “An Introduction to the PLCnext Platform.” The self-paced course, available with a free SolisPLC membership, covers the hardware and software tools within the PLCnext ecosystem. Students will learn where to get the tools, how to install them, and the basics of operation. PLCnext Technology is the open ecosystem for industrial automation from Phoenix Contact. With a combination of open control technology, modular engineering software, and an online community, this solution allows users to adapt easily to changing demands, and to use existing and future software services efficiently. SolisPLC is the leading online PLC programming and automation training platform, helping thousands of manufacturing technicians, electricians, operators, and engineers around the world learn from industry experts. Enterprises across the U.S., Canada, and Europe leverage SolisPLC to continuously upskill their teams, empowering them to make better operational decisions, and helping them stay ahead of the curve. Learn more about the course and register here.
element14 has teamed up with test equipment manufacturer Keysight Technologies to give community members the chance to participate in its recently launched RoadTest product review program as well as win an extensive set of Smart Bench Essentials. The RoadTest is administered by the element14 Community to provide objective opinions about a product’s quality, ease of use, and performance. The ideal Roadtester for the Keysight Smart Bench Essentials is an educational institution – such as undergraduate electronics and engineering labs as they need test instruments that are smart, innovative, and connected to each other, to the lab, and to the cloud. These differentiated connections enable customers to accelerate insights in learning, teaching, or troubleshooting. The Keysight Smart Bench Essentials series harnesses the power of four unique instruments through one powerful graphical interface with integrated data management and analysis. It can configure, control, and monitor multiple instruments from a single screen; test, analyze, and share lab instruments and data remotely with peers; automate common tasks from test set up to report generation; and centrally manage an entire lab of instruments and configurations. Each of the two winning Roadtesters will receive an InfiniiVision oscilloscope, Waveform Function Generator, Digital Multimeter, and Triple-Outlet DC power supply. element14 is accepting applications from community members until January 24, 2022, and Roadtesters will be announced on January 31, 2022. Roadtesters will have 60 days to write their product review and post it to element14.