Distributors move in international circles

01 January 2008

From left to right : Alan Bennet (Optek Technology), Marianne Culver (Premier Farnell), Robert Fletcher (TT Electronics), and Jerry Gallagher (TT Electronics).
From left to right : Alan Bennet (Optek Technology), Marianne Culver (Premier Farnell), Robert Fletcher (TT Electronics), and Jerry Gallagher (TT Electronics).

Here we review some of the distribution signings that will make life easier when trying to source electronic products

Situated in the quaint-sounding Thief River Falls, Digi-Key seems determined to carry on it dominance of distribution far beyond Minnesota, USA. It has announced agreements with two component companies recently, to add Bulgin connectors (www.bulgin.co.uk) and SEI resistors from Stackpole (www.seielect.com), both on worldwide scales.

The Bulgin agreement will add the English company's mains and waterproof connectors, including IP68 Buccaneer waterproof connectors, IEC connectors and cord sets and Polysnap mains inlet modules with its range of battery and fuse holders, EMI filters, indicators and vandal-resistant security switches.

The second company, Stackpole is a privately-owned company in North Carolina, USA, manufacturing resistors. Now through its worldwide distribution agreement with Digi-Key, surface mount and through hole resistors; thick film and think film; current sensing resistors, carbon composition and metal film/oxide; wire-wound and thick film power resistors are readily available.

Digi-Key (www.digikey.com) provides protoype/design and production quantities of electronics components and has over a million products, from more than 350 manufacturers available.

UARTs and converters
Another international distributor, (my old English teacher forbade me to use "global" unless the subject applied to absolutely every country on earth) Nu Horizons (www.nuhorizons.com) has also been kept busy with its franchisees. Firstly, Exar, the analogue and mixed-signal silicon design house, has made available, ex-stock, its single and dual-channel UARTs (universal asynchronous receivers and transmitters), which are able to reduce the bill of materials of a project, as they have integrated RS232.

The distributor has also extended its franchise agreement with Murata Power Solutions, formerly C&D Technologies to now include Europe, adding to the existing franchise in North America and Asia. NU Horizons will now supply Murata¡¦s DC/DC converters from 0.25W to 300W and AC/DC power supplies from 200W to 2kW. Design-in activity initially will be for PoL (point of load) converters for embedded systems in industrial and communications markets.

Thermostats for industrial control, white goods and office equipment from Japanese manufacturer, Asahi Keiki, are now available in the UK from Abacus Group (www.abacus-group.co.uk). The distributor is the UK representative of the company that makes chassis-mounting thermostats, such as the US-602, which is UL, CSA, VDE and DEMKO-approved, for white goods; and cable-mounted thermostats, such as the US-631, able to switch up to 4A at 250V AC at 0„a to 120„aC. PCB-mounted thermostats are also available, for example, the US-802, which can switch 1A at up to 48V DC, 125V AC between 40„a to 120„aC. The range available also includes line-mount, chassis-mount and PCB-mount components.

Fibre optic technologies, optoelectronic components, LEDs and magnetic sensors from Optek are now available in the from Premier Farnell (www.premierfarnell.com), following a new distribution agreement, extending the existing agreement between the two companies in North America.

The distributor has also extended its agreement with Littlefuse, to supply fuses and varistors in Europe and Asia. Premier Farnell will stock over 700 different products from the company.

According to Marianne Culver, SVP Global supplier management, Premier Farnell, both announcements builds on success in the US of both franchises and are in line with the company¡¦s ¡¥internationalisation¡¦ of its business model.

Mobile Routers
Introducing a South African manufacturer to UK designers, Amplicon (www.amplicon.co.uk) will distribute mobile routers from Multnet across the UK. The routers are an alternative to DSL or cable, providing data connections to networked devices anywhere that a mobile phone signal can be received.

The routers can be used in remote areas, where no DSL lines or cable connection exists, instead equipment is connected via the internet to a central server. The first product available in the range is the Mobile router, connecting Ethernet and serial devices, via the internet. It supports dual SIM capability, automatically diverting to an alternative network should a network go down. There is a built-in VPN client to allow connection to a remote VPN server using PPTP or L2TP, for secure data transfer.

The routers are available through the Brighton-based based distributor across the UK and Ireland, adding to its existing range of routers operating across GPRS, EDGE, 3G or HSDPA networks. A version to support 3G and HSDPA is due this month and variations are planned for release early this year.

Passive components
Rutronik (www.rutronik.com) has secured preferential customer status for next year with Samsung Electro-Mechanics. Changes in technology are expected to increase demand for multi-layer capacitors and so Rutronik hopes to gain the advantage with reasonable lead times for supplies to pass on to its own customers.

It expects to see a ¡¥significant¡¦ increase in demand for passive components, from multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) to tantalum capacitors and resistors. This is partly due to the increase in capacity requirements and miniaturisation. Miniaturisation is the solution to increasing capacity values for the same installation size, but the number of layers in a capacitor therefore has to be increased. The resulting capacitors are High Cap, or HiCV capacitors and are subject to longer production times. According to Rutronik¡¦s marketing director, passive components, Ernst Gengenbach, this kind of quota agreement underlines ¡¥the manufacturer¡¦s trust¡¦ in the partnership. The preferential status applies across Europe.

The German distributor has had a Samsung franchise for over 10 years and will add Samsung automotive-qualified products to its portfolio later this year.

Global power
Avnet Electronics Marketing (www.avnet.com), a division of the Avnet group, has signed an agreement with Emerson Network Power¡¦s Embedded Power business to distribute its range of standard and modified standard AC/DC and DC/DC power supplies. This will make available Astec and Artesyn power supplies for telecommunications, networking, computing, medical, test and instrumentation and office systems, through Avnet on an international basis.

Another power product signing is Arrow Electronics¡¦ appointment as ¡¥Master Distributor¡¦ for Euopre by Astrodyne. This will add another 1,800 product lines to the distributor¡¦s power supply range (www.arrow.com). Astrodyne¡¦s standard and custom-configured AC/DC switching powe supplies and isolated and PoL (point of load) DC/DC converters for medical equipment, telecommunications, TV broadcast and industrial controls are included in the signing.

DISTRIBUTOR OF THE YEAR: Northern Connectors has won Harting¡¦s Specialist Distributor of the Year Award, 2007 for the third year. The electronic and electromechanical components distributor received the award for sales growth, design-in activity and overall performance. Pictured from left: Peter Hannon, managing director, Harting; Keith Hewitt, managing director, Northern Connectors and Doreen Sanderson, distribution manager, Harting.

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