Spotlight On

A spotlight on KAMIC Group

Dan Phelan, head of the magnetics business area, KAMIC Group

distribution partners in an additional 20 or so countries.

What are the key markets for ETAL Group and do you envisage these changing in the future?

With increasing concern for the environment, we are seeing great opportunities for growth in automotive, rail, and renewable energy applications as well as continuing strong demand in telecom. Other markets we supply to include medical, aerospace, satellite, test equipment, underwater vehicles (ROVs), as well as the general electronics industries. A core strength for all of our fifty year history has been our ability to create custom or optimised designs to satisfy customers specific requirements in the most cost and environmentally effective way.

Dan Phelan, President, ETAL Group S

Recently ETAL Group celebrated its 50th anniversary: describe briefly the group's history and especially its legacy in magnetic components.

ince 1968, ETAL Group has been a leading supplier of in-house developed high-performance

magnetic components, primarily transformers and inductors. Originally founded as EGMTC (ElektronikGruppen Magnetic Technology Components), the business was renamed ETAL in 2008 when Profec Technologies, a Finnish manufacturer of inductive components was acquired and merged with EGMTC. The majority of ETAL devices are

custom-designed for specific applications, but ETAL also offers a range of standard components. With recent acquisitions and expansions in the business, ETAL Group is growing and facing its next fifty years with confidence from a position of strength. Now headquartered at the Kamic Group HQ in Stockholm, ETAL Group conducts its business operations through offices in Sweden, Estonia, UK, US, China, and Sri Lanka, and through

16 May 2019

ETAL Group acquired SIGA recently. What was the strategy behind this acquisition?

SIGA was an exciting opportunity to acquire a technically outstanding

custom manufacturer of magnetic components that shares our culture and approach, but has strengths in different markets and broadens the portfolio of transformers and wound components that we offer. The acquisition gave us a sizeable manufacturing base in the UK. SIGA occupies a purpose built, 1,400 sq. mt. factory in Sandy, Bedfordshire where over 50 employees produce a wide range of high quality transformers and inductors. A custom engineering team is based at the same location. SIGA has an outstanding reputation

in the industry for delivering high quality solutions backed by exceptional service. They share our focus on design led solutions based on product customisation with R&D and engineering being a key element of the service. SIGA has expertise in specific markets like medical, rail and aerospace which perfectly complements ETAL’s current customer base.

What is the most challenging aspect of acquiring a company?

The commercial transaction is normally straightforward – though thorough due diligence is always advisable. The challenges are always around the people – both during and after the transaction. When you’re dealing with a large

organisation, the sale of the business is purely a commercial issue – but when, as in our case, you are buying a business that the owners have nursed for twenty or more years they will be emotionally engaged with it and you need to respect that. Get the relationship right though, and the transaction should proceed smoothly. The sale is only half the battle however, and merging the two cultures without losing the identity of the acquired business is difficult. Clearly you would expect the culture of the larger business to dominate, but neither business will be perfect and following an acquisition there is a great opportunity to recognise and spread good practice from both sides throughout the organisation.

ETAL Group manufactures in both Europe and Asia. Describe the Group's manufacturing strategy and how it is likely to evolve in the future.

ETAL has a culture of manufacturing in house wherever possible, to give us best possible control of quality, delivery and margin. ETAL Group has a 5,000sqm site in Ratmalana, Sri Lanka, a 2,400sqm site in Estonia and now a 1,400sqm facility in the UK as well as tried and trusted partners in China. Using partners does give flexibility,

but long term we believe in investing in our own manufacturing, expanding capacity, staff and equipment as required. For example, since opening in Sri Lanka in 2008, we have continuously improved and expanded our presence there, investing in training and equipment. In 2016, we opened a second manufacturing plant at the site which increased our global manufacturing capacity by 50 per cent. Our facilities in Sri Lanka are truly world class in terms of manufacturing capabilities, test capabilities and quality processes. Recently, our team there has benefitted from Six Sigma training.

Why is good magnetic design important in electronics today, and why do so many engineers find it difficult?

Figure 1 - ETAL specialises in custom magnetic components like these Components in Electronics

Electronic transformers, inductors and magnetic materials are ubiquitous but

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