Greater manufacturing connectivity, communications
Harting connector systems and cables, circuit board connections, Ethernet switches, RFID systems, and circuits printed on 3D molded plastic were shown at the Harting annual press conference and customer event, highlighting current and future capabilities of the third-generation family business. See photo gallery at bottom.
Connectors and cables, circuit board connections, Ethernet switches, RFID systems, and circuits printed on 3D molded plastic were shown at the Harting annual press conference and customer event. The Oct. 9 event, highlighting current and future capabilities of the third-generation family business, was held in St. Charles, Ill., a few miles from Harting’s Elgin, Ill., facility. Customer meetings preceded the media event.
Members of the Harting family (see photo) discussed current and future company capabilities, as a pioneer of connectivity technologies and solutions. Among first company developments was a power connector; now connectors regularly carry power, signal, and data, and can be customized for other needs, such as pneumatics and hydraulics, as well.
Technical experts covered four main areas of Harting products and solutions (see photos):
- Industrial connectivity: modular, rugged space-saving, easy-to-use products from Harting Han and Harting PushPull product lines
- Electronic connectivity: robust board connectivity and new board-to-board and board-to-cable solutions as well as complex, high-speed backplane design, and production services
- Smart network infrastructure capabilities: with rugged Ethernet network switches and industrial radio frequency identification (RFID) components and systems
- Mitronics: Harting 3D Molded Interconnect Device (MID) prints layers of circuits onto molded plastics, minimizing the need for wiring and boards inside components.
Strong fourth quarter
Family and other Harting representatives emphasized the need to understand customer needs to meet long-term (2020) company goals for growth. With final tally of 2013 results still in process, Jon DeSouza, president and CEO of Harting Inc. of North America and Harting Canada Inc., noted some challenges in the North American market in the first half, but said the second half bounced back, with a strong fourth quarter.
Philip Harting, Harting vice president, also in charge of networks and connectivity, said current estimates put turnover near 500 million Euro, as the company continues to expand from passive to active systems. “My grandfather developed the original Han connector,” Harting said, noting appreciation he receives when family members visit customers, asking about their needs. He expects continued growth for Harting and expansion into intelligent systems over the next 10 years. One new initiative underway is an effort at adding intelligence to Harting modular connector systems, so process and machine data can be pulled into higher-level systems at the point of connection.
Dietmar Harting, Harting president and personally liable partner (second generation), discussed Harting’s “tremendous opportunities” in the wind industry. The company manufactures connectors, cabling, assemblies, and other components for wind power generators’ connection to the power grid. With Germany set to retire its fleet of nuclear power plants by 2022, Dietmar Harting expects renewable energy opportunities to grow. At the German headquarters, Harting changed the gas supply from natural gas to 100% CO2 neutral biomethane in January 2012. A part of this gas was used to produce CO2 neutral electricity in Harting’s block heat and power plants. (In total, Harting produced 1,583,353 kWh CO2 neutral electricity in FY 2011/12.) Since January 2013 the company has been receiving all electricity from hydropower.
The German-based company has more than 2,200 employees in Germany and 3,800 employees globally. Harting Technology Group is located at 1370 Bowes Rd., Elgin, Ill., and there are more than 40 subsidiaries and branch offices globally. Key markets include automation technology, automotive, energy, electronics, packaging, transport engineering, industrial devices, broadcasting, stage and events technology, machine construction, medical technology, embedded computer systems, and industrial network infrastructures.
- Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering and Plant Engineering, mhoske(at)cfemedia.com.
See links to other Harting information at bottom and more pictures.