IEN Europe: 35 years of experience, headquarters in Baar, Switzerland, high quality certifications to meet global production standards... What can you tell more about Traco Power?
F. Haas: The company roots go even back to 1944, but for more than three decades we have been the leading manufacturer of DC/ DC converters, AC/DC switching power supplies and customer-specific power supply solutions. Founded in 1944, the company is still owned today by the fourth generation founding family. We employ around 120 employees in Switzerland, Germany, France, Ireland and the USA. 20 of them are engineers and we own top-of-the-line test laboratories at the development site in Ireland plus more than 100 additional engineers in the partner plants. We are very proud of our history, our success and most important, of our employees.
The commitment and the strategy of the owner family to keep our company promises and to keep the company oversea able, focused and flexible has really paid off. Within the last 35 years we where able to react quickly to every trend like digitalization, electro mobility, IoT or Industry 4.0. Due to our flexibility we can launch new products quickly, answer customer’s design questions within hours and delivery nearly 100% of our portfolio directly from our warehouse within 48 hours. Once a product is launched, we keep it on stock for decades and guarantee a truly long-time availability to our customers. As you can see on our building, we are truly ''Reliable. Available. Now.’’
IEN Europe: As a power supply specialist, what’s the product you are most proud of?
F. Haas: We introduce between 20-30 product series per year with 25 - 40 models each. This means that we launch 2-3 models every
day. In particular, we expanded the product range in our “medical” and “railway” core segments. Today, we offer the widest range of medically tested DC/DC converters between 1-30 watts. For railway application, we expanded our product range in the 3-300 watts sector, and in the near future we will even be able to offer converters with a 12:1 input. It would be difficult to highlight one single product we are really proud of. Rather, we are proud that for 35 years we have been able to offer our customers the right, lean product mix for decades. All this is made possible by our employees and partners who, thanks to the right contacts and years of experience, know the market and customers very well.
IEN Europe: Do you think that the power supply market is still a sector where the high quality of products is important?
F. Haas: Absolutely. The coming technology trends will undoubtedly involve miniaturization, mobility, robustness, efficiency (degrees of effectiveness) and the networking of electronic devices. However, these “trends” not only concern the technologies alone, but in particular the compliance with the ever stricter regulations imposed by globally harmonized standards and guidelines. The use of new technologies in security- sensitive and functionally critical applications (e.g., in medical technology or passenger transportation) also requires increased reliability, quality, service life and - last but not least - seamless traceability of electronic key components.
Today, it is essential that Total Quality is established in the earliest phase of almost any development. In this regard, a developer today has to do more than simply provide a functional solution. Data, communication, safety, time-sensitive transport. The product designers thus carry a much higher responsibility for their developments’ quality today than they did 10 year ago. We are all aware of the fact that this trend not only continues, but is being further developed at a rapid pace.
IEN Europe: How much is your network of distributors important for your business? Which markets do you reach presently?
F. Haas: A solid and worldwide covering distribution network is the backbone of our organization. For decades, we have maintained a very close partnership with our distributors, and we will continue this distribution strategy. In order to better support our distribution partners locally, we have opened small subsidiaries in France and the USA in recent years. This strategy has proved its worth and we are considering rolling it out in other countries as well. We now have branches in Switzerland, Germany, the USA and France, where we support our distribution partners and customers locally with local experts.
IEN Europe: Which features do you plan to add to your products in the future?
F. Haas: Instead of a feature I’d rather mention the next big bang: It will be a best-inclass 850 Watt medical grade power supply. Regardless of this highlight, it needs to be mentioned that Traco Power will complete its AC/DC power supply offering from 2 to 1000 Watt. For applications where ruggedized components are required (like railway or transportation) we will shortly introduce a DC/DC converter with a 12:1 Input. With this product we complete the range of 3-300 Watt DC/DC converters for those applications.
IEN Europe: What are customer needs in regard of higher demands for energy efficiency and compact designs?
F. Haas: In the industrial environment, there has been rapidly increasing demand for professional IoT applications. Common characteristics include the ability to distribute intelligence by connecting various sensors and actuators with decentralized control. The ability to make them smart is that these sensors and actuators can collect and communicate data and are designed to be managed with intelligence. Miniaturization, low power consumption, high efficiency, small size are playing an increasingly important role for those products.
The market for industrial IoT applications will continue to expand as more applications evolve, including (home) healthcare, infrastructure, utilities, home automation and smart homes, vehicle, mobility and more. These professional IoT trends will undoubtedly involve miniaturization, mobility, robustness, efficiency (degrees of effectiveness) and the networking of electronic devices.
Sara Ibrahim & Kay Petermann