Distributing design

01 March 2007

Martin Kent, Abacus receives Distributor of the Year from Hoachim Thiele, EPCOS with Henrik Gunther, Abacus Denmark
Martin Kent, Abacus receives Distributor of the Year from Hoachim Thiele, EPCOS with Henrik Gunther, Abacus Denmark

Outsourcing is not only the domain of manufacturing companies, and at a cost to the UK economy. Pacer (www.pacer.co.uk) offers a service for outsourcing all or part of an OEM’s design project, to manage and build an optoelectronic design or custom displays.

The Pacer Design Centre offers access to optoelectronic manufacturers and suggest or introduce design techniques, or new ways of using some of the devices available on the distributor’s line-card. The distributor can advise on the correct sensor platform with a range of visible and IR sensors, combined with low-cost and precision optics, visible and IR LEDs, photodiodes, CCD/CMOS linear arrays and colour sensors.

The company can provide electronic and optical design, customised displays, software, microcontroller programming, PCB design and layout as well as mechanical design of housings and mouldings. For customised projects, the company can provide wafer fabrication, chip-onboard assembly, LED die selection, fibre optic packaging and pigtailing, hybrid assembly and hi-rel capability with screening, burn-in and environmental test. Layout and production of PCBs are additional services, together with dedicated test equipment for customers. Prototyping, verification and test can be conducted in the UK Design Centre or using the facilities of its strategic manufacturing partners worldwide. Full production engineering before manufacture and direct shipping can also be arranged.

Specialist areas, like opto or wireless, can distinguish a distributor and Rutronik, the German distributor that for 30years has represented active, passive and electromechanical components in Europe hopes this will be the case following its distribution contract with Telit Communications, the M2M (machine to machine) mobile communications specialist.

The distributor (www.rutronik.com) will sell Telit’s GSM/GPRS and CDMA modules for M2M communications across Europe. The distributor has a Wireless Competence Centre in Stockholm, Sweden. A team of wireless applications engineers can develop applications and handle the purchasing and logistics of a project. In addition to the wireless SM/GPRS modules, the distributor offers complementary technologies such as RFID, Bluetooth, WLAN, ZigBee and GPS.

Another specialist area is military sales, and Diamond Point International (www.dpie.com) in Kent has been appointed UK distributor for DSS Networks, the Californian manufacturer of next-generation telecomms boards and system level products for high-speed converged data and telecomms networks. Operating through its Miltary Sales Group, Diamond Point International will provide hardware and software systems support for the Gigabit Ethernet range of products throughout the UK and Ireland.

The agreement brings Gigabit Ethernet, telecomms boards and system level products for value added retailers, original equipment manufacturers and systems integrators spanning military, aerospace, telecomms, broadcast, medical and industrial automation. They can be used in switching, routing, traffic
management, media gateways, basestations, video broadcast, VoIP, security, monitoring and test applications.

The board-level products are based on Gigabit Ethernet, 10Gigabit Ethernet, CWDM, OC-48 and OC-192 data and telecomms technologies. They support standards-based, high-speed bus, backplane, form factor and system-level standards including IEEE 1386 PMC, PCI/PCI-X, PCI-Express, CompactPCI, PICMG 2.16, 3.0, ATCA (advanced telecommunications architecture), AMC (advanced mezzanine card) and Micro-TCA.

Crossing the borders and the Atlantic has become one of the reasons why Digi-Key (www.digikey.com) has become one of the world’s fastest growing distributors of electronic components. It currently offers over 850,000 parts from over 330 manufacturers via its catalogue or website.

The reaches of this US-based distributor extend into Japan and China as well as Europe and its native continent. Since the beginning of this year, the company has signed up IRTOUCH Systems, the Chinese touchscreen manufacturer to provide its infrared touchscreens for use in kiosks, ATMs, Point of Sale operations, gaming and industrial control.

In the same month, the company added silicon carbide semiconductors from Cree to its range. Silicon carbide brings greater energy performance to power applications, from power factor correction in personal or laptop computers as well being used in solid state lighting and for communications products, the distributor can provide Schottky diodes with 300V to 1200V ratings and with currents from 1A to 20A.

Another power addition was the distribution agreement with Excelsys, the switch mode power supply manufacturer based in Ireland. The agreement enables the distributor to provide customers with custom power solutions without the standard lead-time of a custom supply, claim the partners. An online configurator can help engineers design and order a custom universal input, modulator and agency-approved AC/DC supply in minutes, according to Gary Duffy, CEO, Excelsys.

Customers can also assemble units in-house using the manufacturer’s range of powerPacs with various power ratings.

At the end of last year, it signed NDK, the Japanese quartz crystal supplier and can now provide surface-mount crystal products from crystal oscillators, crystal filters, ultrasonic transducers, synthetic quartz to crystal blanks, to over 140 countries worldwide.

The role of distributor can also be a way to complement a company’s business and in the UK, Abacus is described as Distributor of the Year, for the third year running, by EPCOS, the passive component manufacturer (www.abacus-group.co.uk).

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