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.