Company Profile: Vincotech

Cliff Keys, Technology Journalist


Power Supplies

A clean, fast & flexible force in power modules

Global energy use has risen nearly 70 percent since 1971 and is poised to continue its steady increase over the next several decades, fueled by economic expansion and development, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Energy demand has risen at just over 2 percent per year for the past 25 years and will continue to climb at about this same rate over the next 15 years if current energy use patterns persist. The consequence for the power industry has given rise to the constant striving for energy efficient products that are seen today to help the world's industries to become responsible "green" operations. Major energy users with an urgent need to save valuable power can be found in the areas of Motion Control, which includes factory automation, robotics, motors, drives, actuators, positioning systems and used extensively in manufacturing; Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS), which provide emergency power to mission-critical loads such as a data centers in the event of a failure in the power source; and Renewable Energy systems such as Solar or Wind power installations which convert naturally-available energy into usable electrical power. Vincotech is a fast-growing independent operating company within the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation that develops and manufactures high-quality electronic power components for Motion Control, UPS, Renewable Energy, and Power Supply applications. Headquartered near Munich, a high-tech hub, the company's research and development operation together with its product marketing services closely support its customers in their efforts to master complex challenges in electronics integration. Vincotech's highly efficient products, which can be optimized for customers' individual applications, is an example of how customers are now choosing responsible manufacturers of "green" products which represent a low product carbon footprint (PCF) and sustainability. It is not only good for the environment, but also makes good business sense and reflects the company's core competence and long-term values. According to a report by IMS Research, an IHS Inc. company, entitled "The World Market for Power Semiconductor Discretes and Modules - 2012", the value of the total global market rose from $3.5 billion in 2010 to $4.7 billion in 2011, i.e. 32% growth. Concerning the key markets for power modules, where Vincotech has its focus, the industrial motor drive market is estimated to have risen from $1.6 billion in 2010 to $2.1 billion in 2011, and the solar energy sector estimated to have increased from $140 million in 2010 to $210 million in 2011. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has presented its findings of the first global analysis of energy consumption in electric motor-driven systems (EMDS). It assessed the energy currently used by these systems. Electric motors and the systems they drive are the single largest electrical end use, consuming more than twice as much as lighting, the next largest end-use. It is estimated that EMDS account for between 43 percent and 46 percent of all global electricity consumption, giving rise to about 6 040 Mt of CO2 emissions. By 2030, without comprehensive and effective energy-efficiency policy measures, energy consumption from electric motors is expected to rise to 13 360 TWh per year and CO2 emissions to a staggering 8 570 Mt per year. These daunting figures are the aggregate of the energy consumed by an array of different types of motors operating within a wide set of applications in every sector of energy use, with the greatest opportunity for savings in the industrial sector (Table 1). It is therefore obvious that energy savings by the deployment of highly efficient power systems have the potential to greatly reduce the level of pollutants and CO2 dumped into our atmosphere. World organizations and international agencies, like the IEA, are therefore rightly concerned about the environmental impact of generating the power required by industry by burning fossil fuels. This contributes greatly to acid rain and air pollution, and has been closely connected with global warming. It is reported that Power generation accounts for about one-quarter of total emissions of CO2, the main culprit in global warming. Manufacturers are actively seeking partners that can deliver optimized power systems because it is what their customers want and because it makes a statement about the credentials and planet-friendliness of their organizations. The huge growth in solar installations to reduce pollution and in UPS systems to protect mission-critical operations in the quest to deliver highly efficient, cost-effective power conversion building blocks, together with the heightened awareness in potential customers of the absolute need to control pollution and maximize efficiency is vitally important. In business terms alone, it has now become an attractive - if not required - selling proposition to be able to quote the highest levels of efficiency which translates directly into minimum levels of pollution. No-one these days can afford the penalty of using products that pollute; it has simply become unacceptable in the whole marketplace. Responsible and environmentally "clean" processes from component selection, on through to manufacturing and commissioning are now demanded by all. Success is dependent upon reliability, sometimes in extremely hostile environments, coupled with the highest efficiency - every fraction of a percentage point improvement is important - and can mean the difference between success and failure of a power installation. Since 1996, Vincotech has established a strong foothold in a key area of expertise in power modules - a market that holds great promise of strong growth for the future. Since then, the company has built a dedicated expert team that has developed state-of-the-art technologies engineered to create compelling new products, both standard and customized. Today, Vincotech has succeeded in distinguishing itself as a market leader for power modules in its core markets. Headquartered in Unterhaching near Munich, Germany, Vincotech also owns and operates a site in Bicske, Hungary. The ISO / TS16949-, and ISO14001-certified factory in Hungary develops all the company's power modules on a 40,000m2 plot with an ISO class, high-tech clean-room. Engineered to comply with the RoHS standard, these modules are subjected to a battery of electrical and functional tests prior to packaging to ensure they fully satisfy the company's rigorous standards for quality. The Hungarian site also offers many specialized services for customers. Importantly, an experienced engineering team in research and development is supported by skilled technical service crews in all major regions, equipped with state-of-the-art technical tools at their disposal, to provide the foundation for the company's strong technology portfolio. The production of power modules has doubled to 6 million pieces per year over the last 3 years. As a result, Vincotech now is able to offer a wide range of power module topologies, standard solder-pin connectors, Press-fit technology, spring connections, innovative thermal interface material (TIM), and a broad power spectrum ranging from 5A to 600A and from 600V to 1200V. The offering encompasses Intelligent Power Modules (IPM), Power Integrated Modules (PIM, a combination of input rectifiers, inverter and brake chopper), sixpack inverters, and rectifier, PFC, H-bridge, half-bridge, booster, as well as NPC, MNPC and AMNPC converter modules. Vincotech

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