Features

Farnell further enhances range of educational devices with XinaBox

Farnell, an Avnet Company and global distributor of electronic components, products and solutions, has signed a global franchise with XinaBox to broaden its market leading range of educational devices and kits. The XinaBox range provides a low-cost entry into the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and automation and helps educators combine Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning with the experience of physical computing for students from a young age. Although targeted at education, XinaBox also provides solutions to easily scale beta testing for prototyping new applications.

XinaBox is widely used in secondary schools and colleges across the world due to its ease of use, and suitability for first-time users right through to more advanced secondary students and makers. The XinaBox kits include a selection of xChips, designed to fast track a user’s understanding of the IoT. Specialist knowledge of soldering or hardware components is not required as xChips are simply clipped together without wires, soldering or breadboards, meaning experiments can be setup quickly.

The range of over 80 modular hardware xChips includes cores/CPUs, sensors, power, communication, output and storage. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and LoRaWAN cores have been designed to make it easy to connect projects to the IoT, and other components such as the BBC micro:bit and Raspberry Pi can be easily integrated to supercharge projects. xChips can operate with pre-compiled code or can be programmed from scratch using leading platforms such as MakeCode, Arduino and Python.

The range of XinaBox kits now available from Farnell include:

  • XK01 STEM Starter Kit: Suitable for secondary school classrooms, the XK01 STEM Starter Kit enables students to build a simple project and connect to an IoT platform, using the quick start guide. The kit features a Wi-Fi Core, xChip (ESP8266) and includes sensors for temperature, humidity, and pressure, UV index, a mini-OLED display, a spacer chip and connectors. The starter kit can be used to collect and investigate the relationship between data sets such as temperature and atmospheric pressure, temperature and light, temperature and humidity, and visible light and ultraviolet light.
  • XK05 micro:bit IoT Kit: An ideal entry-level product, the XK05 IoT kit for micro:bit is designed to introduce young people to IoT technology. The kit enables the analysis of large data sets in the classroom with no previous experience required. Users can learn how to connect the micro:bit to the cloud and build a smart IoT device with the coding extension, MakeCode.

Professional users and makers can also use XinaBox to progress their ideas to prototypes much faster, rapidly improving time to market whilst reducing cost of prototyping and facilitating scaled beta testing:

  • XK12 IoT Starter Kit: Powered by Zerynth, the XK12 IoT Starter Kit combines modular electronics with an ecosystem of software tools in Python. The kit contains everything required to build a smart IoT edge device that collects environmental data. An actuator can also be attached to create automation projects such as automated electric gates, garage doors or fans.

Lee Turner, Global Head of Semiconductors and SBC at Farnell, said: “Easy to use tools are key to supporting teachers as they help students develop the computational thinking and complex problem-solving skills needed for a career in a digital economy. XinaBox provides schools and colleges with accessible tools to introduce STEM and IoT while providing inspiration for hands-on learning in the classroom, enabling students to learn about new technologies in a highly creative and collaborative way. For more advanced students, and even professional engineers, XinaBox provides new options to scale beta testing and reduce time to market through its simple, modular, non-solder structure.”

Farnell has worked with multiple educational organisations and governments to support strategic rollouts of STEM learning solutions into the classroom, and stocks a broad range of education devices that can be supplied in classes, schools and multiple-school quantities. Farnell can also offer support with provision and bundling of equipment for bespoke large-scale programmes similar to the Super:bit programme in Norway.

The complete XinaBox range is available from Farnell in EMEA, Newark in North America and element14 in APAC.

Endress+Hauser makes instrument selection easier on endress.com

More and more measurement instruments are being ordered online from Endress+Hauser. In the first five months of 2020, incoming orders via endress.com nearly doubled. With the introduction of the new FLEX product segmentation structure, integration of the global E-direct portal into the website and further optimisation of the e-commerce area on endress.com, finding and ordering the right products online will be even faster and easier for customers.

“By merging both shops and introducing several innovations on endress.com, we are making it even easier for customers to do business with us digitally,” says Nikolaus Krüger, Chief Sales Officer at the Endress+Hauser Group. While the global E-direct portal was designed for simple products that serve basic measurement needs, endress.com offers the entire Endress+Hauser portfolio. With the migration on course to be completed by the end of the year, everything will be available at a glance and from a single source online, thus eliminating the need to switch shops and accounts.

To do that the FLEX product segmentation was introduced on endress.com. This new feature supplements the existing selection options and divides the Endress+Hauser measurement instrument portfolio into four areas according to the needs of the customer. The ‘Fundamental’ segment contains basic products that are easy to select, install and operate. ‘Lean’ features reliable and robust instruments designed for the efficient management of core processes. ‘Extended’ shows all innovative process optimisation technologies, while the ‘Xpert’ segment combines specialised products for demanding applications. “FLEX makes it even easier for our customers to locate the right product for their individual needs,” says Nikolaus Krüger.

Newly revamped e-commerce section to provide the best possible user experience

In addition, the endress.com e-commerce area was expanded with useful functions to improve the user experience. After signing in, customers can now use their ‘My Endress+Hauser’ account to more easily manage all of their activities, such as product offers and orders. The account structure, shopping cart and checkout have been optimised as well. Enhanced order tracking provides full transparency, which now gives customers the ability to call up the status of their orders at any time and from any device.

How thermal cameras safeguard remote substation perimeters

Security personnel must be able to quickly detect unauthorised vehicles and individuals at critical infrastructure sites. Without intrusion detection, entities like electrical substations can be subject to physical attacks. 88 percent of substations experience at least one break-in every year and 10 percent see more than 20 intrusions in the same time frame, according to CIGRE, a global electricity industry organisation. To safeguard remote substations from external threats, electric utilities are relying on durable thermal cameras for superior monitoring and protection.

Top pain points for remote substation security

The failure of a key substation caused by a security breach would have a debilitating effect for homeowners, businesses, and mission-critical infrastructure. While physical security is a top priority for utilities, designing, installing and operating a perimeter system requires skill. Remote location, limited network connectivity, minimal lighting, internal security audits, and compliance with North American Electric Reliability Corporation are some of the challenges that both substation security directors and system integrators face.

Thermal for your perimeter intrusion detection system (pids)

Since their arrival on the mainstream security scene a few decades ago, thermal security cameras have quickly become the optimal solution for remote substation perimeter security, due to their ability to monitor perimeters day and night in adverse weather conditions as well as in harsh environments.

Thermal security cameras monitor perimeters in adverse weather conditions, day or night.

Thermal cameras measure the minute differences in heat signatures emitted by objects and people to produce high-contrast images and reliable intrusion detection. They enable security personnel to detect an intruder before they ever reach the perimeter for early intervention.

As the industry leader in advanced thermal technology, FLIR provides the best sensor quality available. FLIR’s total security solution featuring a diverse suite of perimeter cameras offers the widest selection of lenses and detection ranges, adaptable to both large and small deployments. FLIR’s track record of success is just one of the reasons why utilities choose FLIR cameras time and again.

Design recommendations

When deploying thermal cameras at substations, there are several factors to consider to optimise performance. Here are some tips from our FLIR experts.

Identify What You Need to Protect: Assess your substation’s unique needs, define your threats, and determine which area you need to monitor. For rural or small substations miles away from the nearest city, position your cameras so you have a solid view of the outside perimeter. If anyone approaches, you want to have ample warning. For substations in urban areas that are next to public lands and walkways, it may not be cost-effective to “look out” as pedestrians can easily generate nuisance alerts. In these scenarios, thermal cameras that surveil the interior of the substation may be the better option.

Make the Most of Existing Infrastructure: Thermal cameras must be mounted at a minimum of 12-15 feet above the ground. However, some substation fences are only 6-8 feet tall. In this case, consider mounting cameras on telephone poles or tower structures. Utilising these existing structures instead of digging new trenches can save you both time and money.

Thermal cameras can effectively monitor the interior of substations when “looking out” may generate false alarms.

Select the right Camera for your Application: For small substations that are less than an acre, deploying a couple of FLIR Elara FC-Series ID cameras, which feature onboard analytics, along the fence line will often do the trick. For short to mid-range needs, the FLIR Elara FB-Series is a great, economical option. Install a visible camera or a camera that provides both thermal and optical imagers, like FLIR Saros DH-390 Dome at the gate, to monitor general traffic. For larger substations (around two acres) that are high-value sites, consider deploying a mix of FLIR FC-Series ID cameras with the FLIR Saros DM-Series to cover the fence line. Additionally, mount a pan-tilt camera with both visible and thermal streams, such as the FLIR Elara DX-Series or FLIR Triton PT-Series, to look around the perimeter for superior monitoring and threat assessment.

As a final consideration, choose the right software to streamline management, operations, and functionality. For large applications where customers need to manage surveillance, access control, radar, and other disparate systems on one platform, consider command and control software. For enterprise-level surveillance operations, a video management system is optimal and for small applications using just a few cameras, a network video recorder is sufficient. Regardless of the size of the project, partner with an expert team that can help assess, design, install, and program the right system for your application.

Amphenol to acquire MTS Systems

Amphenol and MTS Systems today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Amphenol will acquire MTS for $58.50 per share in cash, or approximately $1.7 billion, including the assumption of outstanding debt and liabilities, net of cash.

“We have long admired MTS’s technology and position across a variety of attractive end markets,” said R. Adam Norwitt, Amphenol’s President and CEO. “This acquisition is consistent with our strategy of continuing to expand our range of sensor and sensor-based products across a wide array of industries to further capitalise on the long-term growth potential of the electronics revolution. We are extremely excited about the strength of our combined product portfolio which will enable us to offer even more innovative technologies to our customers around the world. I look forward to welcoming the talented MTS team to the Amphenol family.”

“Amphenol is a leader in interconnect and sensor technologies with a proven management team and a strong track record of successfully acquiring companies across its platform,” said Randy J. Martinez, MTS’s Interim President and CEO. “MTS brings to Amphenol its high-quality technology solutions, a diversified customer base of blue-chip companies and a strong financial profile. We could not be more pleased to join forces with Amphenol, which will allow us to continue to deliver exceptional customer experience through high-quality and innovative solutions.”

David J. Anderson, Chairman of MTS’s Board of Directors, concluded, “The MTS Board of Directors is pleased, as a result of its strategic review, to deliver MTS Systems shareholders the value inherent in this transaction. I have full confidence that, together with Amphenol, MTS will continue to engineer technologies that meaningfully improve and modernise the world’s products – for the benefit of its customers – for generations to come.”

MTS is organised into two business segments: Sensors and Test & Simulation. The Sensors segment represents a highly complementary offering of high-technology, harsh environment sensors sold into diverse end markets and applications, and positions Amphenol to have one of the industry’s broadest ranges of sensors and sensor-based products. The Test & Simulation segment is an industry leader and Amphenol believes it represents an attractive business with excellent near and long-term potential. Accordingly, Amphenol plans to undertake a strategic review of the business to best position it for future success.

The acquisition of MTS is expected to be accretive to Amphenol’s earnings per share in the first year after closing, with approximately $0.10 and $0.06 attributable to MTS’s Sensors and Test & Simulation segments, respectively. This assumes the post-closing reduction of certain public company costs. The transaction will be financed through a combination of borrowings under Amphenol’s existing credit and commercial paper facilities as well as cash on hand.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close by the middle of 2021, subject to certain regulatory approvals, approval from MTS’s shareholders and other customary closing conditions.

UST Global partners with Plastic Logic for digital retail shelf displays

UST Global, a leading digital transformation solutions company, has announced its partnership with Plastic Logic, a leader in the design and manufacture of flexible, glass-free electrophoretic displays (EPDs). The joint venture will enable UST Global to provide its retail customers with flexible, whole-shelf ESLs (Electronic Shelf Labels) based on Plastic Logic’s advanced flexible oTFT-based ePaper technology.

The flexible ESLs can be curved into a variety of shapes, measuring up to 4ft long x 1 3/4in deep, will enable retailers to display product information and pricing across the entire length of a standard shelf, as well as create advertising and promotional messages that can be displayed, rotated and dynamically changed several times a week.

Speaking on this occasion, Tim Burne, Chief Executive Officer, Plastic Logic, said, “We’re really excited to be partnering with UST Global to find new and exciting retail applications for our innovative ESL technology. To date retailers have struggled to find the right method for creating whole-shelf displays. The combination of our display development efforts and our partnership with UST Global means that, for the first time, retailers can take advantage of flexible display technology that significantly enhances their customers’ interactions and experience.”

Commenting on this, Sunil Kanchi, Chief Investment Officer and Chief Information Officer, UST Global, said, “Innovation through perfect technology enablers with measurable benefits has always proven to drive exponential growth for large retail organisations. We see an upward trend in the market for Electronic Shelf Labels. Our global partnership and joint development with Plastic Logic ensure that our retail customers can now drive costs and increase value by adopting flexible shelf labels for centralised pricing and advertisements.”

Niranjan Ram, Chief Technology Officer, UST Global, said, “We are seeing demand from our large retail customers globally for flexible, whole-shelf displays that are not restricted to individual product pricing, but expanding to advertisements along the shelf edge. This joint venture with Plastic Logic means we can provide retailers with the ability to create and change pricing across whole ranges on a standard shelf, as well as incorporate advertising for brands and products. This offers significant ROI opportunities through additional revenues generated from every store shelf, from labor savings and dynamic updates to potentially thousands of labels and advertisements.”

New ScioSense gas sensor achieves industry’s closest match to natural human response to impaired air quality

The new ENS160, an indoor air quality sensor launched today by ScioSense, uses sophisticated sensor fusion algorithms to produce measurement outputs which are better tuned to the natural response of human occupants than any other sensor on the market provides.

ScioSense, a manufacturer of integrated environmental and flow sensors, has implemented a new multi-element sensing architecture for its next generation of air quality sensors using four highly integrated MEMS micro-hotplates, and developed sensor fusion technology which synthesises the signals from each sensing element while compensating for the effect of humidity.

This new technology underlies an industry-best Automatic Baseline Correction function, which intelligently resets the local threshold for air quality to ensure that the ENS160 reliably detects changes to pollution levels and odours in indoor air, no matter where in the world it is located. Intelligent sensor fusion is also the key to an enhanced carbon dioxide equivalents (eCO2) score, which takes account of the range of polluting or odorous gases generated by human activity in addition to exhaled CO2.

These advanced features, unique to the ENS160, mean that its air quality indicators much more closely reflect the effect of airborne pollutants and odours on occupants of indoor space. Systems such as air purifiers, demand-controlled ventilation, cooker hoods and smart home hubs based on the ENS160 can perform more accurate monitoring of indoor air. This means that users can enjoy clean and fresh air at all times while avoiding the waste of money and energy incurred when running air-cleaning equipment unnecessarily.

The new micro-hotplates and intelligent operating controls also provide high immunity to contamination by siloxanes, ensuring a long operating lifetime in any indoor residential, commercial, professional or in-cabin automotive setting.

Dirk Enderlein, CEO at ScioSense, said: ‘When ventilation or air-cleaning equipment stops running because the air-quality monitoring system has failed to detect human body odours, or has its baseline for air quality set too high, it has a real effect on the occupants of indoor spaces. It impairs the ability of school students to focus on their lessons, it puts people at risk of long-term harm caused by pollution, and it makes our living spaces less pleasant to work or relax in. Offering a unique combination of high broadband gas sensitivity and intelligent selectivity, the ENS160 enables ventilation and air cleaning systems to be used in the right way at the right time, to improve the quality of life for people indoors.’

Three types of accurate air quality output

The multi-element technology on which the ENS160 is based is sensitive to oxidising gases such as ozone which affect the quality of indoor air, as well as to a wide range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as toluene, ethanol, methane, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide. The algorithms supplied with the ENS160 produce three measurement outputs:

  • Total VOCs (TVOC), which draws on the broad sensitivity of the ENS160 to human-generated and artificial VOCs
  • eCO2, a commonly used proxy measurement for the density of human occupation of an indoor space
  • Various air quality indexes which are compatible with international standards

The ENS160 also provides its raw gas measurements for OEMs which want to apply proprietary algorithms.

The sensor is housed in a surface-mount package which measures just 3mm x 3mm x 0.9mm, making the ENS160 the smallest fully integrated, reprogrammable air quality sensor in the market, suitable for integration into highly space-constrained designs, including in consumer products.

The ENS160 provides its measurement outputs to a host controller via a serial peripheral or I2C interface. Since all the sensor’s measurement algorithms run on-chip, there is no processing overhead on the host.

ScioSense also supplies an analogue version, the ENS145, which is based on the same micro-hotplate technology that the ENS160 uses. It is intended for distributed system designs in which a central host fully controls the measurement outputs derived from the gas sensor inputs that the ENS145 provides.

Product samples and evaluation kits will be available on request from ScioSense and authorised distributors in Q1 2021.

Contrinex analogue inductive sensors ensure a ‘Belting’ good solution

A manufacturer of industrial timing belts trusts Contrinex’s analogue inductive sensors to measure the position of steel reinforcing bands during continuous production.

Two long-range, high-resolution sensors, mounted above the extruded belt profile, provide real-time positional data. The customer’s process-control system monitors the sensor’s analogue voltage outputs, alerting the operator and halting production if the values are outside allowable limits.

Customer application

To enhance the strength of industrial timing belts, steel reinforcing wires are bonded into the belt carcass as part of a continuous extrusion process. The distance between the reinforcing wires and the belt teeth is a critical parameter, influencing the accuracy of the belt’s fit and other operating characteristics, including service life.

Engineers can check product quality at intervals by cutting samples of extruded belts and taking optical measurements, but this process is slow and only detects faults some time after production is complete, leading to high reject costs.

The customer requires a real-time system with sensors that reliable and accurately measure the position of the steel reinforcement.

Customer solution

Contrinex M18-size analogue inductive sensors are ideal for this application providing an analogue voltage output with a sampling rate of at least 100Hz. The physical characteristics of the belt dictate a sensing distance of up to 10 mm with micron (µm) measurement accuracy. Contrinex’s patented Condist technology provides a highly stable sensing performance at operating distances of ≤10 mm with exceptional detection accuracy, excellent repeatability, and resolution in the micron range.

The sensors sample at 250Hz, enabling accurate measurement of the position of the steel reinforcement in the fast-moving belt profile, and provide continuous, non-linearised 0 to 10V analogue output signals. They are resistant to vibration and variations in ambient temperature, allowing their positioning immediately after the extrusion press close to the moving belt.

Two sensors, set flush into a non-metallic plate, are mounted directly above the surface of the belt as it runs over a guide roller, giving a stable reference position. The lightly tensioned belt clears the sensing face of the devices by a few tenths of a millimetre. Connection to the customer’s control system is via a flexible cable with an easily detachable M12 connector.

The introduction of Contrinex analogue inductive sensors provide small, high-accuracy, ultra-reliable sensors with a low total cost of ownership.

Rather than needing to destructively test belts to inspect the position of the steel reinforcement and risking high reject costs because of the infrequent nature of the sampling, the production process is now continuously monitored.

Find out more at www.PLUSAx.co.uk.

HARTING Technology Group holds its own in anniversary year

The HARTING Technology Group, based in Espelkamp, held its own in the 2019/20 (September 30) business year despite the corona pandemic and the associated global economic plunge. Sales at the internationally active, family-owned company were up slightly by 1.2 % to € 759 million (previous year: € 750 million).

The HARTING Executive Board: Dr. Michael Pütz, Andreas Conrad, Margrit Harting, Dietmar Harting, Maresa Harting-Hertz, Philip Harting and Dr. Kurt D. Bettenhausen (from left to right).

“We stood up to the global corona pandemic. We are satisfied with the result,” stated CEO Philip Harting. As the COVID-19 situation continues to determine economic and social life, the CEO expects a challenging fiscal year 2020/21 for the Technology Group.

Diverging developments in the regions

The regions in which HARTING is active worldwide developed differently in the 2019/20 financial year. Sales in Europe (excluding Germany) the Middle East and Africa, also known as EMEA, remained stable at € 278 million (previous year: 278 million). In the Asia region, HARTING sales rose vigorously by 9 % to € 202 million (previous year: EUR 186 million). Growth in the Americas region was even more pronounced, recording a 15% increase to € 82 million (previous year: 72 million). In Germany, sales were down by 8% to € 197 million (previous year: 214 million).

A total of 205 new jobs created worldwide

The number of employees (including trainees) rose to 5,473 during the 2019/20 financial year (previous year 5,268). This corresponds to an increase of 3.9% or 205 jobs. In Germany, nine positions were not filled again (- 0.3%), while 214 employees were hired at other production facilities and subsidiaries (+ 8.0%). Consequently, a total of 2,604 people were employed in Germany and 2,869 people were employed across the globe on September 30, 2020. Growth in the Americas and Asia is reflected in these figures.

Rapid and flexible response to the pandemic

Right from the outset, the Technology Group reacted quickly and flexibly to the ensuing pandemic. From the very beginning, the protection of employees as well as the supply of customers took top priority. This includes supplying well-known manufacturers of medical and respiratory equipment with customer-specific cable assemblies. “We are and remain a reliable partner,” as Philip Harting emphasised.

This applies to customer and market communication, which was duly converted and expanded to digital formats. Since spring, events and web seminars have been held in a dedicated studio and streamed to customers, distributors and media worldwide. “Since we are globally networked, we can react very quickly to changing conditions – and we are close to our customers,” emphasised Philip Harting. Based on this new form of communication, HARTING is positioning itself for the future, as the CEO underlined.

The Technology Group will closely monitor the further course of the pandemic. A corona pandemic team evaluates the developments daily and recommends or takes measures, as Dr. Michael Pütz, member of the Board of Management responsible for Human Resources, highlighted. For example, he mentioned the free corona tests in certain clinics in the Minden-Lübbecke district or the free mouth-nose masks for employees. “The extended home office working in cooperation with IT also worked very well and is being very well accepted by our employees”, said Dr. Pütz.

Focus on future topics DC industry, Single Pair Ethernet and E-Mobility

The HARTING Technology Group has clearly recognised the future topics of Single Pair Ethernet (SPE), DC industry and e-mobility and is driving them forward at full speed. HARTING coined the term Connectivity+ in summarising these three topics.

HARTING is focusing on the topic of DC infrastructure and is working on the next revolution in industrial power supply in the DC industry research project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics. Enormous energy costs can be saved by opting for direct current and HARTING is developing the appropriate connectivity for this purpose. Extensive areas of renewable energies and also storage technology are DC dominated. In conjunction with energy recovery measures, the growth in renewables is leading to an overall decrease in energy consumption from the AC grid. Industrial companies harnessing DC generation are saving on energy costs and contributing to meeting CO2 emission targets. At present, around 40 industrial companies are involved in the DC-INDUSTRY joint project. “Central requirements for future interfaces will be derived from the work in the joint project,” emphasised Dr. Kurt D. Bettenhausen, Board Member for New Technologies and Development. This is an approach that creates added value for customers.

HARTING has also continued to push forward with e-mobility: As a pioneer for reliable, clean and environmentally friendly e-mobility, HARTING offers tailor-made solutions and components for all relevant markets, as well as developing and producing charging equipment for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The HARTING Technology Group provides charging solutions for Volkswagen’s modular e-drive system (MEB), the Audi e-tron and the Porsche Taycan. HARTING also offers a wide range of connectivity solutions in the periphery, i.e. decentralised energy storage for mobile applications, which contribute to the sustainable, CO2-reduced mobility of the future.

Further advances are also being made with IIoT and the associated Ethernet connectivity topics. HARTING recognised developments in this area at an early stage and created connectors for Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) that set new standards. Partnership is a top priority here: HARTING is cooperating with the SPE Industrial Partner Network for a universal SPE Eco-System and creating the powerful infrastructure for the digitalisation of industry. SPE brings cloud data down to the field and application level and back again.

Renewed high investment volume

In the financial year just gone, the HARTING Technology Group were once again committed to considerable investments. “With a total of around € 65 million, we have almost reached the record volume of the previous year,” as Maresa Harting-Hertz, Chief Financial Officer, responsible for Finance, Purchasing and Facility Management, underlined. In the 2018/19 financial year, capital expenditure reached a record level of € 66 million.

In the 2019/20 business year a large share of the investments were funnelled into the digitalisation of production at the subsidiary HARTING Electric in Espelkamp. In Romania, capacities were expanded in Agnita for Automotive, while the Connectivity & Networks area was extended in Sibiu. The plant in the USA (Elgin) has now also expanded production facilities in order to supply markets and customers faster. “We are now even more flexibly positioned worldwide to better factor in and respond to regional needs. With these investments we are clearly staying on course for growth,” emphasised Andreas Conrad, Chief Operations Officer.

75 years of HARTING: Festive ceremony in the Botta building in Minden

Our anniversary marked this year’s highlight: The Technology Group celebrated its 75th anniversary on September 1 in the Botta Building in Minden with unique, festive ceremony in the presence of former Federal Presidents Dr. Joachim Gauck and Christian Wulff. Guests from business, politics and administration had accepted the invitation of the Harting family, the owners of the company. Philip Harting emphasised that the company would have liked to have celebrated this highlight even more elaborately together with customers and employees in order to thank them for the long-standing partnership and support – but Corona had not allowed this to happen.

“Creating Values for People”: Sustainability and climate protection

“We want to create values for people” is the third part of the corporate vision formulated in 1996. The entrepreneurial family has always felt particularly committed to social responsibility – and lives up to their commitment. The company has been working for a good four decades to reconcile ecology and economy and had introduced an internal environmental award as early as 1989. In addition, the Technology Group consistently focused on the energy transition and is a founding member of the Association of Climate Protection Companies.

Since 2012, HARTING has been harnessing 100 percent CO2-free energy in the manufacturing area. The construction of two biomethane-fuelled cogeneration plants for plants 2 and 9 in Espelkamp represents additional steps taken to reduce the CO2 footprint. This will further improve our energy balance and efficiency. “Sustainability and climate protection are the DNA of HARTING; we are consistently sustainable by conviction,” as Philip Harting underscored.

Restrained outlook

Philip Harting was cautious about further developments of the current 2020/21 financial year. In view of the COVID-19 situation, the prospects have clouded. The business climate is very much dependent on the further global development of the pandemic and how quickly vaccinations will reach large sections of the population. “As a result, global demand varies from region to region. We will continue to navigate by sight,” says Philip Harting. Nevertheless, he believes that moderate sales gains in the low single-digit range are possible. “We have convincing products, customer-oriented positioning and a first-class team – so we can do it.”

Pickering Interfaces announces Partner Program with System Integrators to collaboratively optimise customer test solutions

Pickering Interfaces has launched its Pickering Partner Program, which is designed to ensure that customers get the support they need from the best available systems integrator in their region for their application or requirements.

“Customers are working on more complex and diverse systems, and they may need a more complete product or service offering than we can provide,” explains Joe Woodford, Pickering Interfaces’ International Sales and Partner Program Manager. “The Pickering Partner Program will enable end customers in manufacturing sectors such as defence, aerospace, automotive and semiconductor, to capitalise on Pickering’s technology and utilise the systems and technology expertise of a systems integrator which is most closely matched to their application or requirement.”

Customers are encouraged to visit www.pickeringtest.com/partner-program/partners, where they can apply a number of filters – region, technology, market, product, software – which will lead them to the most appropriate Pickering Partner. The page currently contains links to approaching 30 systems integrators who have signed up for the program in the USA, Asia and Europe. Pickering has thoroughly evaluated all partners – many of them have been Pickering customers for many years. By signing up for the Pickering Partner Program, they are formalising an existing relationship.

Systems integrator Partners will benefit from a closer contractual agreement with Pickering. They will have access to a number of resources and tools to help them deliver the best overall solution for their customers. Adds Woodford: “Our philosophy is based on three pillars: Design, Deploy, Sustain. We want our Partners to be closely involved in the design discussions with customers and help in the deployment stage as they will ultimately deliver turnkey systems based on our technology. Our main goal is to improve the customer experience.” More details about the program can be found at www.pickeringtest.com/partner.

New year, new knowledge

Measurement technology expert, Hottinger Bruel & Kjaer UK has launched a full calendar of its free online training sessions, hosted by its technical experts.

The company has added several dates providing an introduction to the different functions of it’s 2245 sound level meter: Environmental Measurements with 2245 and Noise at Work Measurements with 2245 and Product Noise.

Also new for 2021 is 2250 and ISO 16283 (Building Acoustics) where attendees can learn how to carry out sound and impact insulation measurements that meet ISO 16283 standards.

If you are new to using the 2250 or 2270 or looking for a refresher, there are also basic and advanced sessions to get you up and running with your Sound Level Meter, plus more general measurement topics, such as 2250 Matron 4 and Handheld Sound Intensity.

Tailored both for new and existing users or those hoping to get an introduction to working with multi channel data, the BK Connect webinar provides a thorough introduction to the software including acquisition, analysis and reporting

HBK will also be adding multi-day courses to its 2021 training calendar soon. More information and registration details are available on the company’s website: https://www.bksv.com/en/Training/webinars