November 2023 Connector Industry News

By AJ Born | November 14, 2023

Upcoming industry events, as well as recent award, partnership, promotion, personnel, facility, distribution, standards, association, and certification news from across the connector industry.

November 2023 Connector Industry News

November 2023 Connector Industry News > Event News

phoenix contactAs part of the company’s 100th anniversary celebration, Phoenix Contact is bringing a science curriculum based on its Think BIG program to fourth graders in Central Pennsylvania. Phoenix Contact leaders from Germany and the U.S. donated $565,000 to the Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU) 15. CAIU will use the funds to formalize and expand the curriculum for schools within its territory. Phoenix Contact developed the Think BIG program in 2017 in partnership with Foose Elementary School in Harrisburg. Each month, from November through May, employees volunteer in the classroom to teach hands-on science lessons. The curriculum uses engineering methods to solve problems in the context of clean energy. During the remaining 2023-24 school year, the CAIU team will shadow Phoenix Contact employees on their monthly visits to Foose Elementary School so they can formalize the curriculum. CAIU supports 60 elementary schools in Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, and Northern York counties. The goal is to launch Think BIG to an additional 15 to 20 elementary schools during the 2024-25 school year.

DigiKeyDigiKey sponsored the 2023 Hackaday Prize, a global hardware design challenge focused on widespread and impactful innovation. The prizes for the competition, valued at more than $130,000, were awarded to one grand prize winner, five additional winners, and 50 finalists. The grand prize includes $50,000 cash and a Supplyframe DesignLab residency. The winners were announced during Hackaday Supercon, the largest gathering of hardware hackers, builders, engineers, and enthusiasts in the world. DigiKey also hosted an Experiential Robotics Platform (XRP) workshop during Supercon, featuring the platform’s potential to bring new people into the world of robotics, making, and engineering. Every Supercon ticket holder received a custom electronics badge to hack on during the weekend and beyond, with a badge hacking ceremony at the end of the weekend to show off cool and unique hacks. The Hackaday Prize, driven by the team at Supplyframe DesignLab, represents a chance for the open-source hardware community and the electronics industry to work together to deliver tangible solutions. Engineers, designers, scientists, and hackers work within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals structure to tackle the planet’s most pressing issues.

November 2023 Connector Industry News > Award News

ECIA announced Frank Flynn, president of Sager Electronics, as this year’s recipient of its highest annual award, the North Star Award. Flynn was recognized for his commitment, exceptional leadership, and dedication to the field of electronic components and ECIA community, said ECIA President and CEO David Loftus. Flynn served on the NEDA Foundation Board, including two years as foundation president. He served on the NEDA board for eight years, two as NEDA board president. Flynn was awarded the Gail S. Carter Award, NEDA’s highest accolade in 2011. When NEDA merged with ECA to form ECIA, he continued to serve on the ECIA board until 2015. He concurrently served on the EDS board. He served on the ECIA Distributor Council in 2020 and he was again elected to the ECIA board, serving as ECIA board chair for 2021 and 2022. He continues to serve as a director today. Loftus added that even during the challenging years when EDS was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic, “Frank always kept a cool head and provided steady leadership though times of financial and organizational turmoil. Frank instituted monthly board calls to stay on top of the evolving situation and sought consensus from the board and other industry leaders on how best to navigate the obstacles.”

November 2023 Connector Industry News > Technical Resources 

PEI-Genesis released the first episode of its new PEI-Connects Podcast. Episode One: The EV Revolution explores the impact of affordable electric vehicles (EVs) on the connector market with a deep dive into the evolving EV landscape, from Volkswagen’s groundbreaking ID.2 to the rapid growth of EV sales in China. Jonathan Parry, senior vice president and managing director of Europe at PEI-Genesis shares invaluable insights into the crucial role connectors play in the electrification of transportation. Key takeaways include the diverse EV market, extending beyond cars to e-boats, e-scooters, and more; PEI-Genesis’ role in guiding customers through the entire connector journey, from development to production; and the challenges of connector standardization and the crucial role of innovation. PEI Connects is available on Amazon, Apple, Google, or Spotify.

November 2023 Connector Industry News > Partnership, Personnel, & Acquisitions News

KYOCERA AVX is acquiring assets of Bliley Technologies, a manufacturer of innovative low-noise crystal and oscillator products. With its 64,000-square-foot, ISO 9001:2008 certified manufacturing facility in Erie, Pennsylvania, it is one of the only U.S.-based companies to manufacture both — from front end to final finishing — within the same facility. This fact enables close collaboration between Bliley’s highly experienced crystal oscillator and mechanical engineers and its production team. The result has been the development of some of the most successful solutions available in the global frequency control industry, including its patented low-power oven-controlled crystal oscillator (OXCO) technology, which offers superior holdover performance compared to micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) and temperature-compensated crystal oscillators (TXCO) at a fraction of the power budget. The asset transfer acquisition will bring Bliley’s equipment, people, and IP under the KYOCERA AVX umbrella. Upon finalization, the acquired assets will operate under KYOCERA AVX Components Corporation (Erie). KYOCERA AVX Components Corporation will continue to manufacture Bliley products, including OCXOs, TCXOs, and voltage-controlled crystal oscillators (VCXOs); high-precision AT-, SC-, IT-, and FC-cut crystals; and quartz and lead zirconate titanate (PZT), lithium niobate, langatate, and yttrium calcium oxoborate (YCOB) transducer blanks and will also design and develop new products based on Bliley IP.

Trexon announced its acquisition of C.E. Precision Assemblies Inc. (CEPA), an industry-recognized value-added manufacturer of RF/microwave build-to-print flexible and semi-rigid cable assemblies, as well as molded, and braided wire harnesses. This acquisition represents Trexon’s ongoing commitment to expanding its presence in the military and aerospace markets.

Rosenberger provides the high-voltage electrical harness systems for the first all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) jet developed by Lilium N.V. Rosenberger joins the collaboration between Lilium and GKN Aerospace, the design and build partner for electrical wiring integration. The high-voltage electrical harnesses represent a critical system on the Lilium Jet. The harness system, for which Lilium has been granted patents in the U.S. and Europe, is essential for the jet’s safety critical power distribution architecture. Designed for safety and redundancy, the harnesses will act as the aircraft’s main electrical arteries, distributing power from the ten batteries, located on the sides of the fuselage, to the jet propulsion units, embedded into the aircraft’s main wings and canards. The harness system has been optimized for high performance at low weight enabling a voltage of more than 900 V.

Indium Corporation announces the acquisition of SAFI-Tech. The acquisition expands Indium Corporation’s product portfolio while enabling the company in low-temperature soldering to continue providing innovative, future-forward soldering solutions to its customers around the globe. Among its current portfolio of low-temperature products are traditional bismuth- and indium-containing alloys, new Bi+, and Durafuse LT technology for high reliability. The acquisition follows an established, mutually beneficial partnership between the two companies. Last year, Indium Corporation collaborated with SAFI-Tech to launch a supercooled BiSn solder paste using the latter’s innovative solder platform. This patented technology platform allows molten metal to remain liquid far below its freezing point by encapsulating it in a smooth shell—known as supercooling. The shell of these microcapsules can be removed using a traditional flux and reflow process, or by mechanically crushing a powder of supercooled liquid metal microcapsules. Using this platform, industry-standard alloys such as SAC305 can be soldered at below typical low-temperature solder (LTS) specifications, while other alloys can be soldered at temperatures as low as ambient.

Bosch Rexroth named Erwin Wieckowski, P.Eng. as the new president and CEO of Bosch Rexroth North and Central America based in Charlotte, North Carolina, effective October 1, 2023. The role has been performed on an interim basis by Reinhard Schaefer in addition to his role as a member of the Divisional Board of Management with responsibility for manufacturing. Schaefer will remain in the region to support the transition.



Newark has announced a direct partnership with MEAN WELL, a leading manufacturer of power supplies. MEAN WELL is known for its high-quality, reliable, and efficient power supplies that are suitable for a wide range of industries, including industrial automation, telecommunications, medical equipment, and LED lighting. Newark customers can now purchase MEAN WELL’s extensive range of power supplies, which includes DC-DC Converters, AC/DC Converters, DIN Rail Mount Converters, Enclosed Output Converters, LED drivers, and more.

November 2023 Connector Industry News > Association, Standards, & Certifications

IWCS welcomed attendees, representing 25 countries across five continents, to the 72nd annual Cable & Connectivity Industry Forum, held in Orlando, Florida, USA on September 17–20, 2023. The Forum featured important topics such as sustainable cable materials, innovative cable modeling/design, fiber optic manufacturing/applications, copper cable design/performance, cable installation, network reliability, and fault-managed power. The event kicked off with seven professional development courses on the topics of materials, optical fiber, copper, and extrusion and continued with technical presentations, opportunities to explore the supplier exhibition, and network with industry professionals. Executive sessions featured award-winning economist Robert Fry of Robert Fry Economics, and other esteemed presenters. The Technical Symposium, which is the cornerstone of the event, featured over 80 technical research papers and posters, covering technologies related to cable design, applications, standards, manufacturing, and installation.

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AJ Born
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