Manufacturers are finding it difficult to keep pace with stronger-than-expected demand for components. This is not only because many products, such as handheld devices, have relatively short product lifecycles, but also due to the rapid evolution of the automotive industry and internet of things (IoT). As cars move from hardware driven machines

to software driven ones, their infotainment, driver assistance and comfort systems require even more components. For example, the requirements for display systems, LED lighting, sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) features have all contributed to the inflation of components required by this market. As a result, forecasts suggest that the number of MLCCs could rise to 22,000 in just one car in the near future. To add to this, annual production of Electrical

Vehicles (EVs) is expected to reach 2.4 million units in 2021, compared to 409,000 in 2014. Furthermore, forecasts show that IoT devices are set to grow to almost 31 billion worldwide and this alone has raised concerns among many manufacturers. Nearly every industry uses electronic

components and REO is finding that many customers are double-ordering components and panic-buying to try and eliminate further production delays along the line. The company is therefore urging businesses to

implement a more effective planning strategy and flexible ordering system for their projects, which can strongly protect against any unexpected supply chain issues, such as the current shortage. As it stands, analysts’ predictions are varied, but it’s expected that the shortage will continue into

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In today’s ultra-competitive environment, OEMs need solutions that will improve the connectivity of their machines, giving them real-time operational awareness and access to their machines in order to optimise their operational efficiency while developing new business opportunities. These benefits need to be passed on to operators, while guaranteeing safety and data security. To help, Schneider Electric has announced EcoStruxure Machine Advisor, a platform that allows OEMs to Track, Monitor and Fix machines remotely. “With EcoStruxure Machine Advisor, OEMs gain real-time remote access

to their machines, allowing them to add and modify new services to each installed machine at any production site worldwide,” explained Martin Walder, vice president industry.


Thanks to the many benefits it offers to manufacturing, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is transforming industry as we know it. But what is the IIoT? And

what are the advantages it will provide to industry? When it comes to the

latest in IIoT solutions and applications, there’s a whole host of components design engineers should be considering. So how do they go about specifying the right products and components for their applications? Turn to the article on page

14 to find out. Rachael Morling - Editor

TDK Corporation has constructed a new £1m EMC test facility adjacent to its power supply manufacturing plant in North Devon. Due to open in spring 2019, the building will house an anechoic chamber, measuring 9.3m x 6.3m x 6.3m, for onsite EMC compliance testing of its products. In the test chamber, engineers

will perform electromagnetic compatibility measurements in full compliance with EN, CISPR and ANSI standards. This will enable the company to fully-certify its products onsite without the need to book external test facilities. Geoff Wilby, joint managing

director of TDK-Lambda UK, said: “We expect to save over £180k per year as a result of our investment. In addition, we will be able to provide a much deeper level of support, assisting our customers to gain compliance of their end equipment.’’



RS Components (RS) has signed a global distribution agreement with Nidec Corporation for the Control Techniques brand products, which target maintenance professionals and machine builders. The initial launch of products

includes: the well-established Commander SK drive modules, for which RS has distribution rights to serve the MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations) market; and the latest generation Unidrive M200 and M400 family of frequency inverters, which targets machine builders. “Control Techniques has been

a leading brand for decades, developing cutting-edge products including the first IoT-ready drive,” said Jaycee Reynolds, commercial category Manager at RS. “This agreement, therefore, brings an excellent addition to our extensive portfolio of technologies for industrial and automation markets.” The Commander SK drive modules

are highly compact and offer excellent motor control with onboard intelligence, I/O, Ethernet and fieldbus communications options, providing much more than would be typically expected from a standard open loop drive. The Unidrive M200 and M400 are modern and industry-leading inverter drives that are ready for Industry 4.0 deployment, as they connect with many of the common industrial fieldbuses via the units’ modular ‘SI’ interface port.

HARTING has become one of the founding members of the new International Railway Quality Board (IRQB), a consortium with the aim of ensuring quality within the rail industry. “Joining means we’re always in tune

with the times. We will know early on which quality requirements the railway industry places on our HARTING products and solutions, meaning we can continue to actively ensure the high quality standards,” said Dr. Ing. Frank Brode, chief technology officer of the HARTING Technology Group.

Having joined HepcoMotion’s apprenticeship program directly upon finishing school, Robert Powell, Richard Frank and Richard Gunn are celebrating 20 years working at the company. 20 years is a big commitment

to a company, but Gunn puts this down to the state-of-the-art machinery he uses and how Hepco keeps up-to-date with the latest technology and software. He said: “I’m lucky that the machinery we work with is world-class and we have the very latest machine tools.” Frank added: “The variety of

work keeps it interesting and we’re producing products for well-known brands globally.”

The organisers of PDM 2019, the Plastics Design & Moulding Event, have announced that the exhibition and conference are moving to the Manchester Central Convention Complex and will be taking place on 11-12 June. The British Plastics Federation (BPF) is also joining forces with Crain Communications to organise the event, which is expanding to include more about plastics recycling.


the early months of 2020 at the very least. As a result, businesses need to set realistic expectations and regularly update their customers to retain good relations, the company concludes.

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