Distribution

New Electronics brings you the latest news from the electronic components distribution sector, including updates on franchises, market information and the availability of new products. We also bring you updates from industry associations in the UK and Europe.

This section is updated regularly, so make sure you stay up-to-date with the latest distribution news by bookmarking this page.

Could smart factories help to revitalise UK manufacturing?

Smart factories will be at the heart of the Industry 4.0 revolution, a future vision of manufacturing in which factories are populated by machines that will be self-optimised, self-configured and even employ artificial intelligence to complete complex manufacturing tasks and, in the process, provide cost efficiencies for companies and improved levels of service and quality for customers.

Real world sensors and Star Wars

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… the Star Wars universe introduced millions of science fiction fans to an epic saga that had many anxiously anticipating the release of the next instalment late last year. Being an engineer, I can’t help but think back to the original movies and the ideas created within them that are now a reality today. Lightsabers, unfortunately, we can still only imagine, but just focusing on “droids”, it’s remarkable where we are today.

Why security is critical to the success of IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) has exploded on to both the consumer and business markets in the last few years and is starting to have a major impact in almost every industry. From construction and manufacturing to retail and healthcare. Like it or not, IoT is here to stay.

Distribution has never been more challenging

The challenges facing distribution are varied and growing. How companies – large or small, broadline or specialist – respond will affect the way in which they are perceived by their customers and whether they can grow in a highly competitive market.

Why treat EMC and environmental compliance separately?

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and environmental tests are often treated separately, so it is not unusual for products to be sent for assessment at different times; EMC testing is usually done first, with environmental testing following on much later. As a consequence, the effect of environmental degradation on EMC performance tends not to be routinely addressed and, very often, such testing is carried out in benign conditions that fail to represent real-world use.

Tailored Logistics Systems

Individually tailored, automated logistics solutions not only improve material availability and thereby provide security of supply but also simplify and speed up procurement processes, helping to reduce process costs while increasing quality at the same time. However, these benefits are not only being used by large companies and corporations but an increasing number of SMEs have tailored concepts at their disposal.

Low cost of money fuelling ‘M&A frenzy’

So far this year, semiconductor companies have spent around $85billion on acquiring other companies, something which Wally Rhines – Mentor Graphics’ chairman and CEO – notes is ‘dramatically more than in previous years’. And it looks as though the spending is set to continue, with rumours involving Fairchild, Infineon, On Semi, Analog Devices and Maxim Integrated.

Move to 3D flash memory set to boost prospects of SSDs

Developers of memory devices of all types have generally been the first customers for the latest process technology. A combination of the need to make memories with greater capacity at lower prices has pushed manufacturers to the ‘bleeding edge’. That combination of dynamics has also pushed some manufacturers ‘over the edge’ and the remainder into joint ventures that can cope with the commercial and technical challenges.

1D to 3D HMI solutions

Just a few years ago Touch revolutionised input: mechanical buttons, keyboards and sliders were replaced by static plastic or metal surfaces. It meant that operator interfaces could be incorporated into a device, and unobtrusive and modern design became increasingly common on the factory floor. Capacitive touch is based on a capacitor whereby the human finger acts as the actuator for the capacitor. Ingenious designs also enable proximity switches to be implemented as well. In this case the control system is only active shortly before it is activated, reducing energy consumption. This is known as ‘1D’ input.

Compliance with global battery standards: does it have to be painful?

From a purely technical point of view, it seems reasonable to suggest that a battery which is safe to use in one country is equally safe in any other country. After all, it is not as if the control circuitry in a battery pack or the chemistry of the cells undergoes any magical change as it crosses a national border.

Minimising costs for wire-to-board connections

Wire-to-board connections incur high costs when handling large quantities in mass markets. However, using the right connection technology this expense can be prevented. It's often worth considering the use of tried-and-tested technologies that enable cables and circuit boards to be connected at little cost.

When it comes to securing the future of authentication finding a solution that is both simple and strong is crucial

The biggest challenge historically in the high-stakes, cat-and-mouse game between hackers and security/authentication solutions is that stronger authentication solutions tend to create troublesome and annoying user experiences. And any solution that’s not stronger than the previous ones is, almost by definition, not up to the task of stopping attacks. Finding a solution that’s both simple and strong has been elusive.

Could Industry 4.0 change forever the way in which manufacturers operate?

Industry 4.0 – or the Industrial Internet of Things – is on the verge of radically changing the way in which manufacturers operate. The approach is expected to pave the way towards a future in which smart factories, intelligent machines and networked processes are brought together to encourage greater manufacturing productivity, flexibility and profitability.

Minimising costs for wire-to-board connections

Wire-to-board connections incur high costs when handling large quantities in mass markets. Using the right connection technology, however, can cut costs significantly and it is often worth considering using tried-and-tested technologies that enable cables and circuit boards to be connected at little cost.

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