Thursday, 19 December 2013

ECHA Adds 7 New Substances to the SVHC Candidate List

The ECHA has announced that 7 new substances have been added to the SVHC Candidate List.

The new substances were added to the Candidate List on 16th December 2013 increasing the total amount to 151. The table below shows the new additions.

Producers and importers of articles containing any of these substances have six months to notify ECHA if the SVHC is present in articles in amounts that total more than one tonne per producer or importer per year and above a concentration of 0.1% weight by weight.

More information on notification of substances, submission tools and an instruction manual detailing how to submit a notification dossier can be found on the ECHA website




Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Julie Celebrates 20 Years of Service with the Cyclops Group

We would like to say a huge congratulations to Julie for reaching her 20 years of Service with the Cyclops Group. 

Pictured here with Manager Keith, Julie has taken on many roles in her 20 years with Cyclops, from data input, to office admin and now as Cyclops Group's Customer Services Executive, a role in which she has held for over four years.

She is the second longest employee of Cyclops and is a great asset to the Group due to her experience, flexibility and knowledge.

We would all like to thank Julie for her continued commitment to the Cyclops Group and we hope she's with us for a further 20 years!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Season's Greetings and Best Wishes for 2014 from all at Cyclops Group

Photo Courtesy of The Marbecca Bakery
Thank you for your continued support throughout the year. We wish you well over the holiday season and New Year celebrations.

We will be closed for the holiday season from 12:30 (GMT) Tuesday 24th December 2013, reopening in the New Year at 08:45 (GMT) on Thursday 2nd January 2014.

We will be ready and waiting to receive your inquiries as normal and look forward to a busy and prosperous New Year.

Once again have a wonderful holiday season.


Monday, 16 December 2013

Research Starts for New Class of Disappearing Electronics

Photo Courtesy of DARPA
Microelectronics experts at Honeywell Aerospace are helping U.S. military researchers to develop electronic systems and other electronic components which are capable of decomposing in a controlled and triggerable manner.

Scientists at the U.S. Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), awarded a $2.5 million contract to the Honeywell Aerospace Microelectronics & Precision Sensors segment for the Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR) program. The goal of the contract is to develop electronic components that will physically decompose on command to prevent unauthorised use.

DARPA officials say that short-life electronics may enable revolutionary new military and medical capabilities. They state it is nearly impossible to track and recover every electronic device from the battlefield. With these new capabilities, once the device is triggered to dissolve it becomes useless, meaning the risk of environmental effects, counterfeiting and potential enemy use will be eradicated. Also, devices that resorb into the body may aid in continuous health monitoring and treatment.

The devices are intended to perform similar to commercial-off-the-shelf electronics, but with an ability to last only as long as they are needed. The trigger could be real-time via a signal or as a result of environmental conditions, such as temperature.

To find out more about the VAPR program, please visit the DARPA website.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Cyclops Group Managing Director & General Sales Manager Get in to the Festive Season!

The Cyclops Group MD, Daniel and General Sales Manager Tony, were recently presented with their very own home made Christmas jumpers, courtesy of Cyclops Account Manager Anne.

The jumpers were complete with flashing lights, bells and even a matching hat for Daniel.

Daniel and Tony were good sports and wore the jumpers all day in our York head office, helping get Cyclops into the festive spirit. We even managed to capture the event with a photo, much to their delight!


Thursday, 5 December 2013

UKEA to Change its Name to ESCO Executive

The UK Electronic Alliance (UKEA) has announced it is to change its name to ESCO Executive.

The UKEA was formed in response to the Electronics Innovation and Growth Team (EGIT) Report, which was published in 2005 by the DTI and highlighted how the electronics industry had difficulty representing itself to Government and vice versa.

The UKEA provides a single body to represent the industry and also provides a resource for government departments and agencies, to enable them to have greater confidence when forming policy and support programmes for the sector. 



Following the successful launch of the ESCO report in June 2013, which highlighted the current value and importance of Electronic Systems to the UK economy, ESCO has become the vehicle that brings together the entire UK Electronics Systems Community. To reflect this, UKEA is renaming itself ESCO Executive.

A new Industry Council has now been formed in order to implement recommendations based on the findings of the ESCO report. The ESCO Council is made up of senior representatives from the UK’s Electronic Systems industry and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The ESCO Executive and the ESCO Council are already working together to implement these recommendations, which covers key areas such as business and technology strategy, skills and supply chain development.

To read the article in full please visit the UKEA website, or for further information please visit the ESCO website.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Cyclops Raises Money for The Philippines Typhoon Appeal

Cyclops Electronics held a dress down day here in our York office to help support The Philippines Typhoon Appeal, raising £80!

Typhoon Haiyan which struck on 8th November 2013, was the strongest tropical storm to ever make landfall and affected hundreds of thousands of people across the Philippines.

The Disaster Emergency Committee agencies and their partners have now delivered aid to more than 700,000 people across affected areas but aid has still yet to reach some of the most isolated communities.

To keep up to date with the appeal or to make a donation, please visit the DEC website and click on the red 'Donate Now' button.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the dress down day to raise money for this very worthy cause.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Investing in Inventory is Not the Liability it Once Was

In a recent article in the CIE magazine, Adam Fletcher, chairman of Afdec and ECSN, talks about how the opinion on investing in inventory needs to be rethought as it's not the liability it once was.

It's a well known fact that excess inventory is a financial drain on any business. What's not as well known is that moving inventory (turning stock or consumed materials), is a real business asset for the electronic component supply network industries.

Commonly, manufacturers' inventory is measured as being below, on, above or grossly above target levels based on forecasting, results which purchasing departments then need to answer for. The disaster scenario is a 'stock-out' (no inventory) situation, generally caused by unforeseeable technical or supply problems or an unusual increase in demand. 'stock-out' situations have a knock on effect on sales targets and leaves managers wanting to know what went wrong and how quickly it will be removed.

Just-in-time, lean manufacturing is used in an effort to hold inventory in the range between 'below' and 'on' target levels. This approach works best when forecasting is accurate and stable and component lead times are low to stable. 

For the last decade lead times for a wide range of electronic components have been low, typically under two weeks, but this has not always been the case. In 2011, when a natural disaster occurred, lead times rapidly increased from 6, to 12 and then to 16 weeks and remained at that level for several months.

During this time, companies reliant on lean manufacturing had to reduce their output in line with availability and faced a huge loss in revenue. Some even had to temporarily close down plants altogether.

Fletcher goes on to explain that authorised distributors support over 95% of electronic component requirements. One of the important but little recognised roles of a distributor is to aggregate multiple customer demand and put the necessary inventory in place to effectively buffer the customer from lead time fluctuations.

Cyclops Electronics, an independent stocking distributor also offers a free Scheduling Service which gives you complete piece of mind, improved productivity and cost savings.

To read about all the benefits of our Scheduling Service, please visit our website.

Or alternatively, give us a call on +44(0) 1904 415 415 to talk through the options we offer.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers Face Ever-Increasing Challenges

In a recent article, SGS report that we are on the 'tip of an environmental iceberg' when it comes to implementing processes to effectively manage the collection, risk assessment, and quality assessment of material data across the supply chain.

Electrical and electronics manufacturers around the world are facing an ever increasing demand to be held accountable for every molecule of material contained in their products which may impact the health of the environment, consumers and individuals responsible for manufacturing, recovery, recycling and disposal of end of life products. 


The Challenges faced by electrical and electronics suppliers and product manufacturers today include:
  • An ever increasing growth of global regulations: Back in 2002, there were about  25 regulations for substance restrictions globally, compared to around 200 presently in 2013. The products in scope of the regulations have also grown due to the impact of legislation such as RoHS and REACH.
  • The complexity and volume of material identification and reporting: Materials and substances need to be identified and the data stored and be accessible to the company as well as consumers.
Steps To Help Overcome These Challenges

If you are a supplier of materials, you will need to identify and report the chemical composition of your supplied materials to the capacitor manufacturer. 

If you are the manufacturer you must obtain material composition disclosure information from your suppliers to pass on to your customers. If your material supplier cannot or will not provide the information you will need to take further actions such as removing the supplier from your Approved Manufacturers List (AML) or if that is not possible, having the material analysed by an accredited materials testing laboratory.

If you are an original equipment manufacturer you will need to have a system in place to store, manage and make available, the data you received from your suppliers, and linked to your product bill of material. These data records, in the case of RoHS II would become part of your Technical Documentation File for your product and must be kept on file for ten years and made available to an EU member state enforcement officer when requested.

To read this article in full, please visit the SGS website, or alternatively visit the Cyclops Electronics website to learn more about RoHS and REACH regulations. 

Monday, 18 November 2013

Join Us In Donating To The Philippines Typhoon Appeal

Millions of people have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan which struck the Philippines on 8th November 2013. 

Typhoon Haiyan was 300 miles across and was the strongest tropical storm to ever make landfall. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost everything and are in urgent need of emergency shelter, food and clean water.
Photo courtesy of DEC
The Disaster Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said “The public’s reaction to the sheer devastation left by Typhoon Haiyan has been quite simply remarkable. We are so grateful for the huge volume of donations, which are vital to fund the work done by our member agencies’ emergency teams.”

Cyclops Electronics will be holding a dress down day on Friday 29th November in aid of the Philippines Typhoon Appeal. All proceeds raised for the appeal are being used to deliver food, water, household items and tarpaulins to those affected by the typhoon. 


If you would like to make a donation please visit the DEC website and click on the red 'donate now' button.


Monday, 11 November 2013

Hazardous Chemicals Now Banned in Medical Devices

On October 22nd 2013, the European Parliament voted in favour of the European Commission's proposed ban on the use of hazardous chemicals in medical devices.

The ban applies to chemicals that are CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic to reproduction) and EDCs (endocrine disrupting chemicals) that are contained in medical devices that come into contact with the body of patients or are used to administer, transport or store medicines, body fluids or other substances, including gases in concentrations above 0.1% by weight.

The use of CMR and EDC in devices used to treat children or pregnant/nursing women, should be phased out within 8 years of the regulation going into force. That is, unless the manufacturer can prove there is no suitable or safer alternative to a device containing these substances.

As well as this new proposal, there are many other laws relating to hazardous substances for medical devices, please see an overview in the table below. 























Please visit the SGS website to read the article in full or find out more about medical device non-chemical EU-laws.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween From Cyclops Electronics!

Here in our York head office we've been getting into the spirit (no pun intended!) of things with a Halloween fancy dress day!
 
Members of staff went to a lot of effort with their costumes and we even held a vote for the three best dressed.

The lucky winners were: Our Purchasing Buyer Charlotte in first place (middle), second place was Head of Purchasing Donna (right) and third place was Cyclops Account Manager Anne (left). 

Well done to all the winners and a big thank you to all who took part! 

Happy Halloween!!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Cyclops Raises Money For The Breast Cancer Campaign Charity

This week Cyclops Electronics held a charity bake off and a 'wear it pink' dress down day, all in aid of the Breast Cancer Campaign charity. 

At the beginning of the week we held a 'bake off' and raised an amazing £150. We had two days of volunteer bakers and a kind donation from The Marbeca Bakery, to help raise a whopping £121. We also raffled off a special collection of cupcakes, again donated from The Marbeca Bakery, which raised £29. 


Then to round off the week, we held a 'Wear It Pink' dress down day, with members of staff wearing pink in support of the charity. We managed to raise a fantastic £110, meaning a total of £260 was raised for the Breast Cancer Campaign charity.  


A huge thank you to everyone who took part and to The Marbeca Bakery for helping raise money for this worthy cause.

To find out more about the charity, please visit the Breast Cancer Campaign website


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

OEMs Advised to Review Supply Chain to Help Avoid Indonesian Mined Tin

OEMs are advised to review their supply chains in an effort to stop the procurement of tin from Bangka Island, Indonesia.

Recent research suggests that dangerous tin mining practices have caused deaths and environmental devastation on the Indonesian island. A report recently published by Friends of the Earth, 'Mining for Smartphones: the true cost of tin', documents a six month investigation and reveals the little-known environmental impact and social costs behind the mining of tin in Indonesia.

The report notes its key findings as:

Dangerous and unregulated tin mining. Police figures show that in 2011, an average of one miner a week died in an accident. Reports of child labor in the unofficial mines are common.

Coral and sea life is being threatened. Silt from tin mining is killing coral reefs and sea grass eaten by turtles, driving away fish and ruining fishermen's livelihoods.

Farmland and forests are being destroyed.
Farmers struggle to grow crops in soil left acidic after the destruction of forests for tin mining.

Tin is used in the solder to connect components in mobile phones, tablets and other computer products. The report states that tin mined in Bangka Island has been found in some of the biggest selling smartphone brands.

Several large smartphone manufacturers have publicly addressed the issue and have evidenced their awareness, and in some cases, intentions to avoid it.

To read extracts of their statements and this article in full, please visit the EBN website.

Monday, 21 October 2013

The 15th Annual ERA Conference

The ERA 15th Annual Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) and the Environment Conference is to take place on 13-14 November 2013, at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport.

The conference will bring together important public policy figures, technical experts and compliance professionals to give a unique and comprehensive perspective on the recent and future developments for environmental regulatory compliance.

The following major areas will be covered:

Conflict minerals/responsible sourcing – With the US Dodd-Frank Act deadline in May 2014 nearing and the EU considering its policy options concerning conflict minerals, this area will take centre stage. Signe Ratso, the European Commission Directorate General for Trade, will be the key note speaker on this matter.

Substances and obsolescence (RoHS2, REACH and global developments) - Iain Nicol at UK government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), will discuss the key changes brought in by RoHS2 and explore the areas of uncertainty. There will also be speakers discussing the legislation in China, the problem of obsolescence and substitutions and also the sustainable management of chemicals.

End-of-life and material recovery (WEEE, batteries) -  Speakers will explain the current status of the new WEEE2 Directive due in 2014 and how this directive will likely change recycling and enforcement in practice.

Lifecycle (ecodesign and sustainability) -  Adam Romanowski of the European Commission’s DG-Energy will be discuss the current state of play regarding the EU Ecodesign Directive.

Compliance and Enforcement - Phil Earl, head of the UK BIS’ Product Regulation Team will look at potential changes and implications of the proposed Product Safety and Market Surveillance Package (PSMSP).

To read the article in full, please visit the Electronics Technology Network website or follow this link to view the conference programme.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Your Opinion Counts, Read The Results From The Cyclops Electronics Service Evaluation

I am pleased to announce the results of the recent Cyclops Service Evaluation.

The survey was conducted by selecting 330 company contacts at random from the last 12 months.

Thank you very much to everyone who took part, your feedback is really important to us. These results will help us to develop and improve our services in the future in order to serve you better.

And Here Are The Results...

"Answering Enquires" and "Communicating Effectively and Regularly" were rated as our top performing qualities with 91.7% of customers rating us as excellent or very good.

97% of customers said that they would contact Cyclops again when requiring an independent electronic component distributor.

"On Time Delivery" was seen as the most important quality that customers look for when buying from a distributor. 91.1% of customers rated our delivery as excellent or very good.

The main fears or frustrations when buying from an independent distributor were receiving counterfeit parts or not having the traceability back to the manufacturer.

The part search database was the most frequently used resource on the website with 23.5% of customers using this often or sometimes.

LinkedIn is the most used social media platform with 32.4% of customers using this to connect with other professionals or source information.

We Are Developing Our Services Too!

Over the coming months we will be developing our service offerings using the results from our recent service evaluation. We have already redefined and developed our key service features.

View our NEW 7 Great Reasons to choose Cyclops Electronics as your independent electronic stocking distributor.

If you have any comments or feedback from our recent service evaluation, please get in touch or leave any comments in the box below.

Are You Up To Date With RoHS?

These Regulations implement the RoHS Directive which bans the placing on the EU market of new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than the agreed levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants.
Manufacturers, authorised representatives, importers and distributors need to understand the requirements of the RoHS Directive to ensure that they comply.
- See more at: http://www.bis.gov.uk/nmo/enforcement/rohs-home#sthash.z1g6Sss5.dpuf
The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS 1) came into effect in 2003. Then, in 2011 RoHS 2 came into force replacing RoHS 1 on 2nd January 2013. 

The RoHS Directive bans the placing on the EU market of new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than the agreed levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants.

Manufacturers, authorised representatives, importers and distributors need to understand the requirements of the RoHS Directive to ensure that they comply.

The RoHS Directive undergoes continual amendments with the most recent coming into force on 22nd July 2014, called the RoHS 2 recast. 

The Main Intentions Behind the RoHS Recast:
-Developing better regulatory conditions
-Increasing the level of legal clarity & certainty
-The adaptation of the Directive particularly within medical devices & monitoring & control instruments
-Aligning & harmonising RoHS with other EU legislation
-Preventing risks to human health & the environment

The Key Differences:
1. Scope:
-A gradual extension of the requirements to all electrical & electronic equipment, cables & spare parts, with a view to full compliance by 22nd July 2019
-Clarification of important definitions
-Provision for a review by July 2014

2. Restrictions of new substances:
-A methodology for the assessment of new hazardous substances in EEE
-The list of restricted substances to be reviewed by July 2014
-Opportunity for member states to propose new substance restrictions

3. Exemptions:
-Clearer & more transparent rules for granting, renewing or deleting exemptions
-obligations for manufacturers to apply for exemptions & to carry out assessments

4. Coherence with other EU-Legislation:
-New Legislation Framework (CE marking & declaration of Conformity)
-Regulation on the restriction, Evaluation, Authorisation & Restriction of Chemical (REACH)

To read the directive document in full please visit the European Commission's website.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Koch Industries To Buy Electronics Firm Molex

In a recent announcement, Koch industries have confirmed they are to buy global electronic components company Molex, for $7.2 billion.

Koch Industries are one of the world's largest privately owned companies and currently own a highly diverse group of firms ranging from refining and biofuels, to fertilizers and commodity trading.

Koch Industries has agreed to pay Molex's shareholders $38.50 per share, for a total equity value of approximately $7.2 billion. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year and will see Molex become a standalone subsidiary of Koch. Molex will continue to be operated by the company's current management team and will also keep its existing name and head office, located in Lisle, Illinois.

Martin Slark, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Molex said, “this transaction will allow us to build on Molex’s proud past and strengthen us for a powerful future. We are excited to work with Koch to continue our track record of growth and investment in people, innovation and technology.”

Charles Koch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Koch Industries, considers Molex “an exciting acquisition which provides a significant new platform for growth”.

To read the article in full, please click here

We currently hold 2,105,411 Molex parts and have 796 line items in stock. Please visit our website to search our online database.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Cyclops Are to Take Part in The Great North Run

Cyclops employees are to take part in the Great North Run on Sunday 15th September 2013. Here in our York office we held a dress down to show our support for our fellow colleagues. We managed to raise £80 in sponsorship money which will be donated to the The Guy Francis Bone Cancer Research Fund.

This charity was set up by Guy Francis, brother-in-law of Cyclops' Senior Account Manager, Matthew Pannett. Guy lost his fight against cancer in 2002 at the age of 23 years. He felt it was essential that there should be research into the primary bone cancer osteosarcoma, from which he had suffered and for which he had already worked hard to raise funds himself.

To find out more about this worthy charity or to give a donation, please visit the website,
http://www.gfbonecancer.org.uk/

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Explosive Fire at Hynix DRAM Plant

South Korean owned Hynix, said production should resume shortly after an explosive fire broke out at their China based memory chip plant in Wuxi.

The fire started at around 07:50 GMT yesterday during chip equipment installation and was extinguished in under two hours. Luckily no one was seriously injured in the fire, Hynix  stated that there was only one minor injury and the fire was not as severe as it might seem.

Photos taken at the scene by local media show thick, black smoke billowing from the plant,  but Hynix assure that because the fire was concentrated in the air purification facilities, that are linked to the rooftop of the fab, the smoke seemed much worse than it actually was. 


Photo courtesy of chiphell.com

Hynix are the worlds number two maker of DRAM chips and fears that the fire could increase prices yet again (please read our blog post Dram Prices Set to Rise in 2013) are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Their Wuxi plant produces around 40-50% of their total DRAM output, so suspension of this plant could lead to a shortage in an already tight market.

Hynix has stated that there is currently no material damage to the equipment and therefore they expect to resume operation soon, so overall production and supply volume will not be affected. We will bring you news on this issue as it happens.

To read the article in full, please click here.

Have you thought of scheduling parts to avoid lead times? At Cyclops we offer a free Scheduling Service which will give you complete peace of mind when shortages or long lead times occur as your order can be scheduled up to 12 months in advance, this also helps keep the cost down too.

For more information on our Scheduling Service, please visit our website.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Toshiba Announces the Opening of New Thai-Based Semiconductor Facility

Toshiba have today announced that their Thai-based Group company, Toshiba Semiconductor Thailand (TST), has completed its relocation to a new semiconductor manufacturing facility.

Situated 140km north-east of Bangkok, this state of the art facility has already started mass production, marking the company's recovery from the devastating 2011 flooding.

Construction of the plant began in July 2012 and limited production started in April of this year, the facility is now operating at its current target capacity and is 1.4 times the size of the flood damaged plant.

TST carries out back-end processes, the assembly and packaging of small signal devices and photocouplers, both product areas where strong demand growth is expected. Small signal devices control current and voltage in digital consumer products and are essential components in products such as smart phones and tablets. Photocouplers are widely used in industrial products, including inverters.

To read the press release in full, please visit the Toshiba website.

We currently hold 2,479,698 Toshiba parts, use our online component search tool which gives you instant access to all our stock.  


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Bank Holiday Opening Times

On Monday 26th August 2013 we will be closed for the bank holiday weekend from 16:30 (BST) Friday 23rd August 2013, reopening at 08:45 (BST) on Tuesday 27th August 2013.

In the meantime though we are here to help source all your electronic component requirements. Whether it is shortage, obsolete or day to day electronic component requirements, click here to conduct an instant components search using our extensive online search database that has access to over 10.2 million components globally.


Monday, 19 August 2013

DRAM Prices Set to Rise in 2013

According to semiconductor market research company, IC Insights, DRAM average selling prices have increased each month throughout 2013. The price jumped an estimated 42% in quarter 2 2013, compared to the same period in 2012 following a 22% rise in quarter 1 2013.

IC Insights forecast that the DRAM average selling price will grow to $2.53 by quarter 3 which will be 50% greater than quarter 3 2012. It is then expected to decrease slightly in quarter 4 to $2.52. Please see image below. 



IC Insights believe that one contributing factor to the increase in DRAM price is that fewer suppliers are participating in the DRAM market today compared to 2010. Also DRAM capital spending as a percent of sales has declined from 31% in 2011, to 19% in 2012 and is forecast to be only 12% in 2013.

With a reduced amount of new capacity being added, the supply-demand balance is now favouring DRAM suppliers, as demand is beginning to overtake supply, resulting in the increase in price.

Also with the computer industry moving more towards smart phone and tablets over the traditional notebook and desktop, most suppliers have scaled back their output of lower priced PC DRAM and transitioned to higher priced mobile DRAM.

To read the article in full or to download the report, please visit the IC Insights website.

If you are being affected by price increases, why not try Cyclops' Scheduling Service. Your orders can be scheduled up to 12 months in advance, so you get fixed prices, meaning no surprise price fluctuations!


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Cyclops Gains Another Year of ERAI Membership

Here at Cyclops we believe in putting something back into the industry, that's why we have gained yet another year of ERAI membership. We renew our membership at the ERAI every year and have been members since 1997.

The ERAI are a privately held information services organisation who monitor, investigate and report on issues affecting the global semiconductor supply chain. At Cyclops we feel it is important to keep our membership up to date to ensure that we maintain our customers' trust.

ERAI's services enable companies to perform industry specific risk mitigation on suspect counterfeit, high-risk and non-conforming parts and also on problematic vendors and customers.

As an electronic component distributor, we understand the risks counterfeit parts pose, this is why we launched our Combat Counterfeit Electronic Components Campaign. We also offer our popular FREE 8 Step Guide To Buying Electronic Components With Confidence And Avoiding Counterfeits.

We have also developed a unique set of procedures and techniques for the authentication of electronic components, to find out more about this process, please visit our website or view our Anti-Counterfeiting, Inspection and Testing Procedures video below. 


Friday, 9 August 2013

Cyclops Run the York 10k for The Guy Francis Bone Cancer Research Fund

Cyclops employees took part in the gruelling York 10k Run For All on Sunday 4th August 2013. All sponsorship raised was donated to the Guy Francis Bone Cancer Research Fund.

This charity was set up by Guy Francis, brother-in-law of Cyclops' Senior Account Manager, Matthew Pannett. Guy lost his fight against cancer in 2002 at the age of 23 years. He felt it was essential that there should be research into the primary bone cancer osteosarcoma, from which he had suffered and for which he had already worked hard to raise funds himself.

To find out more about this worthy charity, please visit the website:
http://www.gfbonecancer.org.uk/

To view more pictures from the event, please visit our Facebook page.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Cyclops Raises Money for The MS Society

Cyclops held a dress down day here in our York office to help support The MS Society and raised £70!

Our customer Steve Ambrose from Ambrose Electronics, is taking part in a 100 mile run on 10th August to help raise funds for this worthy charity. Steve will aim to complete the run in only 21 hours! The MS Society aims to raise money towards research into the cause and cure for this condition and provides support, information and services to those affected. 


Thank you to everyone who participated in the dress down day and from all of us here at Cyclops, we wish Steve the best of luck! 

To sponsor Steve, please visit his Just Giving page here - 
http://www.justgiving.com/Steve-Ambrose2 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

6 Substances Added to the SVHC Candidate List

In June 2013, the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) updated the Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) to include 6 more substances. The current list contains 144 substances which will be added to over time. To see the full SVHC list, read our related blog post here.

According to the draft multi-annual work programme 2014 – 2018 which was published back in May of this year, ECHA expects to receive 50 substance proposals per year in this five year period.

The table below shows the new additions to the list. To read this article in full, please visit the SGS website. The notification deadline for the 6 new substances added to the Candidate List is 20 December 2013.




Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Findings From the Recent IHS Rare Earth Minerals Report

Back in May of this year, China tightened the Rare Earth export quota due to a wane in demand (read our blog post covering this story here) which inevitably led to a price increase.

IHS have conducted a report looking at the opportunities and threats for Rare Earth Minerals, their findings show a positive forecast for growth, demand and pricing.

In the years leading up to 2009, China was the largest supplier of Rare Earth Minerals. In 2010 prices began to increase substantially and by the middle of 2011, they were up by 10 or 15 times the 2009 market price. This increase in price was due to the Chinese Government decreasing the export quotas and applying heavy tariffs. China also forced the closure of many small and illegal mining companies to help preserve the environment.

With Rare Earth Minerals being an essential component in many industries, we need to try and understand if another crisis like this will reoccur.

Looking forward to 2017, IHS forecast that the total world demand will increase from 110,000 to 160,000 metric tons. On the supply side, the current total world capacity for Rare Earth is estimated at 141,000 metric tons, with 70% of that installed in China.

However the situation looks positive, with Australia and the US starting up production in late 2011 and making up 21% of the worlds available mining capacity, IHS believe that by 2017 there could be 350,000 metric tons of available capacity. Which is an increase of 200,000 metric tons per year from 2012.

China is predicted to remain the major producer, but a large portion of its share could be reduced and transferred to other producing countries, those who previously had the capacity to produce, but gave up due to decreasing prices or environmental issues.

Along with these increases in demand and capacity, it is also believed that we will see a more stable price, with no expected pricing spikes as Rare Earths will become more available. With stable pricing comes an improved supply chain, with reduced risk, a reduction of tightness on supply and less reliance on China.

So overall the Rare Earth Minerals market is predicted to remain stable, with improvements being made and costs remaining steady over the next few years.

To watch IHS' free webinar discussing this report, please click here.


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Electronics Industry to Receive a €4.8 Billion Boost

The Electronics industry is set to get a €4.8 billion investment for research and innovation from the European Commission's Research and Development plans for 2014 – 2020. The funding will help boost components, system design and manufacturing capabilities.

The Commission announced a joint technology initiative for Europe's electronics sector,  Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership (ECSEL). The ECSEL will get an EU contribution of up to €1.2 billion which will be matched by contributions from Member States, industry partners will also be putting in around €2.4 billion.

This funding highlights the importance of the electronics industry itself and also the sectors it helps. Neelie Kroes the EU Vice President sates that “electronics supports and enables a huge value chain, reaching across the economy”. Cars, planes, trains, medical and health equipment, home appliances, energy networks and security systems, will all benefit from the funding. It will help improve European capabilities and capacity to design and manufacture state of the art electronic components and systems.

The initiative aims to tackle issues such as the EU's decline in global share of the electronic components and system area, maintaining Europe's leadership in areas such as embedded systems, semiconductor equipment and materials supply and to also try and increase energy efficiency and improve security.

EMS provider Daniel Josefsson, part of the Cyclops Group, have helped manufacture prototypes and bring them to market for industries such as; Aerospace and Defence, Fire and Safety, Medical and Automotive.

DJ are constantly developing their portfolio and knowledge, if you have any unusual requests please let get in touch. Call the team NOW on ++ 44 (0)1904 436456 or email web@djsonltd.com.

To read the article in full, click here.


Cyclops Group Raises Money for The Williams Syndrome Foundation

A huge well done from all at Cyclops to our customer Ian at ASD Lighting who completed a grueling 24km Peak District pursuit on Sunday in aid of The Williams Syndrome Foundation. Despite the hot conditions, Ian and the others managed to complete the walk/mountain climb in just 5 hours. Cyclops held a dress down day here in our York office to raise money for the foundation. A statement from Ian:

"From myself, Paul, Kath and The Williams Syndrome Foundation I want to say a massive thank you for your kind donations which helped me raise just over £1020. In total we have raised about £3700 with donations still coming in we are hoping to hit £4000. The money and the awareness this has raised is a massive help to everyone at the Foundation. Many thanks again." 


To sponsor Ian please visit his Just Giving site here:  
http://www.justgiving.com/Ian-Skirrow

To find out more about the foundation, please visit their website.


Thursday, 4 July 2013

Good News For The Electronics Industry as Semiconductor Inventory Falls in Q1

IHS have reported that good news could be on the horizon for the electronics industry, stating that the excess stockpiles that were created during 2012 (read our blog post covering this story here), have now been cleared.

This excess stock clear out was undertaken in anticipation of a resurgence in demand for electronic products which is expected by the second half of 2013.

According to IHS, semiconductor inventory declined to $37.6 billion in the first quarter, down by 4.6 percent from $38.4 billion in the forth quarter of 2012.

The graph below shows IHS' estimate of inventory held by semiconductor suppliers in terms of revenue.













The decline in inventory was paralleled by the drop of semiconductor revenues which fell 5.1 percent following the normal seasonal demand pattern.

Sharon Stiefel, analyst for semiconductor market intelligence for IHS states “While overall chip revenue declined in the first quarter, falling inventories among chip suppliers - combined with expanding stockpiles at distributors, contract manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) - indicate that consumer demand for electronics rose during the period”.

This being said, inventory levels are expected to rise again in the second quarter. This will be in response to the positive order rates from manufacturers, but consumer stockpiles are thought to remain relatively flat.

Follow this link to read the IHS article in full.


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Do Your Components Meet Your Needs?

In a recent article on EBN, Ken Bradley, President of Lytica Inc, discusses how to ensure that a component will meet standards, perform as expected and be in supply when you need it.

Bradley lists the major three elements as being:
  • Certifications that the supplier and its products are in compliance with regulations and standards
  • Confirmation that the supplier's product will perform consistently so that your own product certifications remain valid
  • Assurance that the supplier's supply chain performance will remain aligned with your needs
Bradley also believes that certification is proof of conformance to requirements and conformance is the definition of quality.

Requirements regarding safety and the environment, such as RoHS, Reach, UL, FCC emissions and conflict minerals reporting, must be met before products can be made or sold in a country. Companies must also comply with the Export and Import regulations which are relevant to them.

Bradley goes on to explain how it's best to seek out suppliers who have been accredited by third-party agencies and have documentation issued to them confirming compliance. He also covers the need to be informed of any changes made by suppliers, as sometimes these changes can be made after compliance but they still meet the requirements.

Here at Cyclops we pride ourselves upon our commitment and dedication to our customers, and this includes our commitment to quality standards.

We have invested significantly in testing technology, procedures and standards, including following the procedures set out by our ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 9120 certification which was awarded to us by SGS, who are a trusted leader in certification to standards in the aerospace industry.

To read more about our Quality Standards, please visit our website.




Wednesday, 29 May 2013

European Semiconductor Market Shows Signs of Recovery

The Distributors' and Manufacturers' Association of Semiconductor Specialists (DMASS), have released figures showing a 16% increase in semiconductor sales for the first quarter of 2013.

Although this quarter ended 5% lower than the same quarter last year, things are looking promising with sales reaching 1.48 Billion Euro. Chairman of DMASS, George Steinberger,  argued that although the market still shows signs of risk, particularly through price pressure and production shifts, the booking situation has slightly improved, meaning that another year of decline looks unlikely. He claims that the worst is obviously now behind us.

Regional growth/decline is quite varied, with a 1% growth in the Nordic and Eastern Region and a decline of over 9% in Germany. The UK market however, was down by 3% at 123 Million Euro in Q1.

Product wise, Programmable Logic declined by -11.3%, while Optoelectronic Devices grew by 2.3%. Analog products, the biggest segment decreased by -2.8% and also MOS Micro saw a decline of -6.9%. Sensors grew by nearly 13% and Other Logic (mainly ASSPs) remained flat.

To read the article in full please click here

Friday, 24 May 2013

Price Increases for LEDs as China Tightens Rare Earths Export Quota

China currently supplies more than 90 percent of the world's rare earths and accounts for over one-third of the known global reserves.

China's Ministry of Commerce sets rare earth export limits twice a year. The first allotment for 2013 was set at 15,501 tonnes, down from 21,226 tonnes for 2012's first setting. The reasoning behind this decrease was that China saw a wane in demand last year but hopefully if demand picks up we will see an increase for the second 2013 allotment quota.

Rare earths comprise of 17 chemical elements and are a key ingredient in the manufacture of phosphors which are used in LEDS, fluorescent tubes and CFls. The metals are also used in precision-guided weapons and missiles meaning that overall global demand is high. As a result of the quota restrictions, the price of the materials has increased, meaning that the end product has also had a price increase. Please bare this in mind when ordering or forecasting.

In a recent article however, Japan claim that they have found vast amounts of reserves of rare earth metals on the Pacific seabed that can be mined cheaply.

The deposits that have been discovered lay just two to four metres from the seabed surface and are at a higher concentration than anybody could have predicted. Exploration will continue for another two years before plans are made to start production but it is believed it can be extracted by using pressurised air with minimal disturbance of the sea floor. 

Read the article in full here.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Cyclops are Awarded AS9120 Accreditation!

Cyclops are very pleased to announce that we have recently been awarded the prestigious AS9120 quality accreditation.

The AS9120 Standard is the requirements for a Quality Management System based on AS9100 which adds 100+ additional requirements that are specific to distributors who carry aircraft electronic components like, fasteners, electronics, gaskets, etc. It helps ensure that the materials are handled properly and the part is tracked from manufacturer to customer.

AS9120 was developed for pass-through distributors of aerospace items and addresses chain of custody, traceability, control and availability of records. AS9120 provides suppliers with a comprehensive quality system focused on areas directly impacting product safety and reliability including:
  • Splitting - Specific requirements for batch splitting and lot splitting, and how conformance to specification is maintained.
  • Airworthiness Certificates - Defines the documents issued by cognizant civil aviation authorities that certifies that parts meet the required airworthiness requirements.
  • Control of records - Record requirements differ significantly for distributors of aerospace product. AS9120 defines those requirements.
  • Traceability - Defines specific requirements for traceability from receipt until delivery.
  • Evidence of Conformance - Specific documents are required by distributors as evidence of conformance. AS9120 defines those requirements.
An AS9120 certificate demonstrates that we are committed to our customers and to the Aerospace, Military and Defence industries.

Cyclops was awarded the AS9120 by the world’s leading certification, audit and verification organisation, SGS. SGS are a trusted leader in certification to standards in the aerospace industry and their recommendations ensure our operations are efficient and cost-effective, while complying with the requirements of the AS9120 Standard.

Follow the link to download our most recent ISO Certificate.


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Cyclops Who's Who - The History of Electronic Component Manufacturers

Over the last 50 years the Electronic Component Industry has been changing. Mergers, acquisitions and spin offs have played a key part in the shaping of the Electronic Component Manufacturers that we know today.

But what is the history behind the Electronic Component Industry?

We have developed a useful guide containing information on the history of over 500 Electronic Component Manufacturers which we believe will tell the story of the last 50 years right up to Who's Who in 2013.

To receive your FREE copy please contact us on +44 (0) 1904 415415.



 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Are U.S Companies Prepared for Conflict Minerals Reporting?

On August 22 2012, the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted in favour of a Final Conflict Minerals Regulation.

The final rule requires publicly traded companies in the U.S to annually disclose information on the source of conflict minerals contained within their products and whether any of these minerals originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These minerals include tantalum, tin, gold and tungsten.

EBN report that out of 134 electronics industry managers who attended a recent IHS webinar discussing the regulation, only 7.5% said they were well-prepared for compliance.

Companies must disclose conflict minerals information on a calendar year basis, January 1 - December 31, and the information must be provided using a new form called From SD. This form must be filed by May 31 2014 with information from calendar year 2013.

To find out more information please visit the IPC website who have put together a useful summary of the final rule. 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Investing in Inventory is a Wise Choice

In a recent article in Electronic Sourcing Magazine, Adam Fletcher, chairman of the Electronic Components Supply Network, discusses how investing in inventory is a wise choice for manufacturers, despite it being considered by many as a liability.

Adam explains how one important, but often overlooked role of a distributor is aggregating customer demand and investing in inventory to effectively buffer their customers from fluctuations in lead time availability.

When the devastating earthquake struck Japan in 2011, electronic component lead times increased from an average of 6 weeks to 16 weeks and remained at this level for several months. This led to some manufactures having to put production on hold and even close down plants all together as they couldn't obtain critical electronic components, resulting in a loss of revenue.

Adam believes that this problem can be avoided with a customer/suppler partnership. That's why here at Cyclops we offer our free of charge Scheduling Service.

Our Scheduling Service gives you complete piece of mind, as we source all the parts you will require for anything up to 12 months, so if disaster strikes again, you won't be affected. We store all the parts here in our warehouse, freeing up your valuable space and then work with you to create a delivery schedule that can be varied to suit your needs. We also offer you a fixed price, meaning that you wont be affected by any price fluctuations.

With our Scheduling Service you also only pay as and when you require the parts, we don't ask for the money upfront, so your money isn't tied up in inventory.

Adam Fletcher also believes that unavoidably change will happen again and sooner than we may think, so make sure you get the security you need to prevent any stoppages or surprises and to ensure the smooth running of production.

To find our more information about our Scheduling Service, then contact us on +44 (0) 1904 415415. 


Thursday, 28 March 2013

Cyclops Easter Opening Times


Our UK office will be closed for the Easter holidays on Friday 29th March 2013 and Monday 1st April 2013. We will be open as usual on Tuesday 2nd April at 08:45 (GMT) for all your electronic component requirements. 

If you have any enquiries on your desk, send them over and we will work on them straight away after the Easter break.

You can also conduct an instant components search using our extensive online search database that has access to over 10.2 million components globally. 


Thursday, 21 March 2013

ECHA Publishes SVHC Consultation List on 4 March 2013

On 4 March 2013, the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) published the Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) consultation list containing 10 substances. Interested parties have 45 days, ending 18 April 2013, to submit their comments to the agency in regards to identification, further information related to use, exposure, alternatives and also the risk of the proposed substances.

These new additions are a result of the recently published road map for the identification of SVHCs from the European Commission, published on 6 February 2013. This road map is not only targeted at currently known SVHCs but also at identifying new potential substances to be included in the candidate list by 2020.

The candidate list currently contains 138 substances, this will expand to 148 should all 10 proposed SVHCs be accepted. A list of these 10 substances and their potential uses are listed in the table below.

For more information on the industry REACh regulations, please visit our website.

This article in full can be found on the SGS website.

POTENTIAL USES OF 10 POTENTIAL SVHC PUBLISHED BY ECHA ON 4 MARCH 2013

POTENTIAL USES OF 10 POTENTIAL SVHC PUBLISHED BY ECHA ON 4 MARCH 2013




Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Are you Forecasting for your Financial Year Ahead?

As the beginning of the financial year is nearing for some companies, we understand that many will be looking at how they can increase productivity and cash flow as well as saving on costs. This is why we would like to take this opportunity to highlight our Scheduling Service we offer here at Cyclops.

Our Scheduling Service can offer you many benefits including: 
  • Boosting manufacturing productivity
  • Fixed pricing for anything up to 12 months in advance
  • High volume discount
  • Reduced order to delivery lead time
  • Increased quality through batch testing 
  • Reduced risk of 'line down' or 'stoppages' to your production line
Plus many more, please click here to read them all.

How it works..... Once you have secured a contract, forward your electronic component requirements to us with your projected delivery dates. We will then source the required components and supply you with our proposal.

Once you have reviewed the proposal and are happy with it, contact us to place your order for the full quantities and provide us with your anticipated delivery schedule, this can be varied to suit your needs. Then.... do nothing. We will provide you with the right stock, at the right time, meaning a smoother supply chain and cash flow.

To take advantage of this great service, enter your part number to search our database.

Or to request more information, please call us on +44 (0) 1904 415415.