Power Electronics

Data Points

EPD of Collmer Changes Name

The Electronic Products Division of Collmer Semiconductor Inc. has changed its name to High Voltage Power Systems Inc. (HVPSI).

Under the continued ownership and direction of Jan Collmer and operating out of a new 60,000-sq-ft facility, HVPSI combines the skills of engineering, manufacturing, quality assurance and reliability, materials management, finance, information technology, marketing, and sales to produce a team of skilled and committed personnel.

HVPSI's expanded product line includes dc output high-voltage power supplies for EOS/ESD, high-voltage switch mode power supplies, custom power modules, high-voltage rectifier assemblies, high-voltage multipliers, dc-dc converters, high-voltage diodes, high-voltage igniters for xenon lamps and lasers, low-voltage bridges and diodes, surge suppressors — including the new proprietary Indicating Thermally Protected Suppressor (ITPS) line — and secondary surge lightning arresters.

For more information, visit the Web at [email protected]

Component Index Closes for a Flat Summer

The Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association (ECA) reports little or no movement in its August electronic component index, closing out the summer on a flat note.

While no bad news is good news for some, the much-anticipated recovery in the second half of the year has been pushed back to the last four months, according to Bob Willis, ECA president. “The economy and electronic component sales are both waiting on optimists to outnumber the pessimists,” he said, “while most linger somewhere in between.”

The distribution channel continues to struggle with an inventory surplus of last year's products. According to Willis, “Manufacturers and distributors are having trouble moving these inventories as demand increases for newer and smaller components.”

For more information, visit the Web at www.ec-central.org.

NEMA Revises Z535 Series of Standards

NEMA, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, recently revised four ANSI Z535 standards. (ANSI Z535.2-2002 will be published by mid-November; ANSI Z535.2-1998 is still in effect.) These publications standardize the design, application, and use of signs, colors, and symbols used to identify and warn against specific hazards and for accident prevention purposes. New safety signs, labels, symbols, and colors should comply with these standards.

ANSI Z535.1-2002, Safety Color Code, sets forth the technical definitions, color standards, and color tolerances for safety colors. ANSI Z535.3-2002, Criteria for Safety Symbols, provides general criteria for the design, evaluation, and use of safety symbols to identify and warn against specific hazards, and to provide information to avoid personal injury. ANSI Z535.4-2002, Product Safety Signs and Labels, sets forth performance requirements for the design, application, use, and placement of safety signs and labels intended to identify potential hazards for persons using, operating, servicing, or in proximity to a wide variety of products. ANSI Z535.5, safety tags and barricade tapes (for temporary hazards), will be used to identify temporary hazards, only until the identified hazard is eliminated or the hazardous operation is completed. The ANSI Z535 color chart specifies exact colors needed for creating labels or signs in color, and can be purchased separately.

The Z535.4 standard contains a change in the use of safety symbols. In the 2002 version, a safety symbol may be used to clarify, supplement, or substitute for a portion or all of a word message found in the message panel. This differs from the 1998 version, in which a safety symbol is used to clarify, supplement, or substitute for only a portion of the word message found in the message panel.

For more information, contact Global Engineering Documents at Phone: (800) 854-7179 (within the United States), (303) 397-7956 (international), Fax: (303) 397-2740, or www.global.ihs.com.

GE Specialty Materials Acquires Advanced Ceramics Corp.

GE Specialty Materials, Wilton, Conn., a unit of General Electric Co., recently signed an agreement to acquire Advanced Ceramics Corp. and Advanced Ceramics International Corp. (ACC and ACIC).

Advanced Ceramics, Cleveland, is a specialty, high-temperature ceramics company. It is a leading global producer of boron nitride powders, shapes, coatings, and other specialty ceramics. Its products are used in a variety of industries, ranging from semiconductors to cosmetics.

It's expected that the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, will close in fall 2002. Advanced Ceramics will become part of the GE Quartz business within GE Specialty Materials. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

For more information, visit ACC at www.advceramics.com.

North American AC Drives Market Resumes Growth in 2002

According to a recent market research and technology forecast report by Drives Research Corp., San Juan Capistrano, Calif., the North American ac drives market resumed growth in 2002 after suffering a double-digit decline in 2001.

Drives Research predicts 2.2% growth for ac drives in North America in 2002 and 5.4% growth in 2003 as the U.S. economic recovery gains traction in late 2002 and 2003. Although North American ac drive end markets are presently experiencing slow growth, Drives Research notes that manufacturing — which currently accounts for 62% of ac drives consumption in North America — posted its eighth straight month of growth following 20 months of decline. Furthermore, although surveys show manufacturing executives still reluctant to invest in production-enhancing capacity, they also show most are ready to invest in cost-saving and productivity-enhancing equipment — areas where ac drives find significant use.

“Combined with emerging new applications, we expect the billion-dollar-plus North American ac drives market to post a 5.9% CAGR over the next five years through 2006,” said Thomas Kaporch, president of Drives Research. “This compares favorably to the 9.6% CAGR achieved from 1991 to 2000, when effects such as higher saturation rates in traditional end markets and applications are taken into account. Overall, end markets for ac drives are growing at nearly 4% annually from 2003 through 2006, almost the same as the CAGR of 4.1% they posted from 1995 to 2000.”

“Growth in North America will be driven by the need for energy conservation, higher productivity, flexible production, precise motion control, emerging applications, and increased investment in neglected infrastructure needs,” Kaporch said.

The study notes that while some of the largest ac drive suppliers in North America absorbed the largest sales decreases in 2001, a number of suppliers using precise focused application-specific product and solution marketing strategies managed to increase their sales revenues.

The study identifies application-specific designs, increased intelligence, advanced sensorless control, environment-friendly converter topologies, and plug-and-play designs as key trends that will impact ac drive design. Visit www.drivesresearch.com for more information.

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