Introducing Brian, GCT’s New Business Development Manager

Brian Smallwood Business Development Manager GCT

We have a new addition to the team! Please join me in welcoming Brian Smallwood, GCT’s New Business Development Manager for the Americas region.  This also means we have another opportunity for a Q&A session, here’s what was discussed:

Q1.  How are you settling into your new role at GCT?

Things have been great with GCT since I started;  two weeks of training, a meeting with our leading distributor and several customer visits on the East and West Coasts so I’ve certainly been kept busy!

Q2. Can you give us a some background on your career to date?

With a degree in mechanical engineering, I started my career as a design engineer before realizing technical sales was my true calling.  I have been in sales for 13 years ever since in roles within Channel Partner Management, Sales Engineering and Outside Sales.  The last five were for a harsh environment connector company – the company sold connectors and cables for subsea (20,000ft+) applications as well as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), Remote underwater vehicles (ROVs) and military installations.  During those five years I indirectly managed a team of representatives/distributors in North America.

Q3.  What skills and experience have you bought to the GCT team?

I have spent years managing representatives effectively in the cable/connector arena.  I know how to manage a sale from beginning to the close.   I am nearly fluent in Spanish and speak some Portuguese.

Q4.  Which GCT products are popular in your territory?

Can I say all of GCT’s products?!  Most ranges are proving popular across the Americas region and this is testament to GCT’s quality and diverse product portfolio.  If I had to spotlight some, I would say USB, SIM and board-to-board connectors are hot right now.  I can also see our newly launched USB3160 and SIM7200 ranges doing very well thanks to their distinct advantages over the competition.

Q5.  Are there any market and product trends do you see currently?

Customers are increasingly looking for small size, high data rates and reliability.    With today’s market pressures, price and lead-time are also huge drivers, both of which GCT has continued to work closely with and improve for all its customers.

Q6.  Is there anything else you would like to add?

I am looking forward to visiting the majority of our customers and distributors in 2017 and the prospect of obtaining new ones.  GCT’s growth in the region has been outstanding and I’m thrilled to have joined the team at such an exciting time for the business – I very much look forward to developing this further as GCT’s New Business Development Manager.

A Bright Idea for GCT’s Micro USB Vertical Connector

Solar Jar Compton Verney - GCT's Micro USB Vertical Connector USB3140

It’s often the simple ideas that work best.  Take the Consol Solar Jar, a clever little product which combines the simplicity of a jar with solar powered LED capabilities though its integrated solar cell lid.

Suntoy, based in South Africa manufactures the Solar Jar which has proved very popular and this trend has no signs of stopping.  The original concept was to provide a green and renewable light source for people in areas without electricity.  After becoming a cult item in South Africa, the rest of the world wants in and the product is now used for decorative and functional purposes too.

Now let’s be honest, the sun’s rays aren’t always guaranteed to be strong enough depending on the weather conditions and where you are in the world, so an optional power input source to counteract these situations would be prudent.  This presented GCT an opportunity to include one of its industry leading micro USB connectors for additional charging capabilities.

Due to the design within the lids electronics, space on the PCB was limited.  GCT’s USB3140 was the ideal choice – a Micro USB vertical connector with its space saving footprint – it also made charging more accesible versus other micro USB Styles.

More recently, the success of the product has culminated in two week long Illumination Event at Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park in Warwickshire, UK.  I attended one of the sessions and it was great to see the solar jars in action. GCT is proud to be part of something which is not only making a difference to people’s lives, but also something for individuals to express themselves creatively.

You can find out more about GCT’s exciting USB connector range here, including the recently launched USB3160, a new ultra-low profile vertical Micro USB.

 

Join GCT at Electronica 2016 Munich

There’s not long to go before Electronica 2016 opens it doors again at the Messe Munich, Germany.  I’m pleased to announce that GCT it will be exhibiting this year showcasing its innovative range of connectors and custom cable solutions.

It will be a perfect opportunity to see our newly launched USB Type-C connector range, along with other great product lines including Board to Board, SIM and Lighting connectors plus many more.  All this can all be found in Hall B2, Booth 456, where you can also receive expert advice from the team on all our products and solutions.

Visitors to the stand can learn why GCT products have been the perfect solution for their design requirements, with millions ending up in devices and equipment ubiquitous to our daily lives. This is why GCT has become the first choice for many leading brands looking for quality interconnect products and services.

There will also be a chance to win some fantastic prizes at the show, including a Neato Botvac, Bose Wireless Speakers and LifeBeam Smart Cycle helmet – all of which utilise GCT connectors!

Electronica 2016 Munich will take place at the Messe München between November 8 – 11 2016. To request your complimentary one-day ticket e-code to the show (typically priced at EUR 34.50), please apply here. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Electronica 2016 Munich GCT

 

Thru-hole headers in tape and reel packaging

 

So you’ve been searching for a component and finally manage to find a part that meets the requirements perfectly, only to discover that it cannot be packaged appropriately for production processes, how frustrating!

GCT recently rose to the challenge with the BG041 series board to board connector through its custom packaging options.  Thru-hole 8 pin header connectors with 2.54mm pitch are only available in bulk packaging, a standard option in the industry for this type of product.

BG041-Thru-hole-header-with-Cap

The customer required tape and reel packaging so that parts could be vacuum pick and placed for automated assembly.  To make things more difficult, a small cavity with a mating post height and tail length of 1.5mm was also required to house the part, tricky to say the least for tape and reel..

As a result, GCT now has the ability to supply thru-hole headers in tape and reel packaging.  By designing and tooling a custom tape and reel cavity to allow the thru hole pin header to be picked and placed in the surface mount process, GCT has demonstrated its capability and flexibility in providing a solution for the customer.

Thru-hole-headers-in-tape-and-reel-packaging-600x275

For any custom packaging requirements on board to board connectors or anything else, we’d love to hear from you.

You can find GCT’s full range of board to board connectors here, along with more information on PCB connector packaging here

 

Meet Lars, GCT’s New German Sales Manager

Lars Klapproth German Sales Manager GCTWhat better way of introducing the latest addition to the GCT team than a Q&A session? Lars Klapproth joins us as our new German Sales Manager and has participated in a short interview. Let the questions commence!

Q1.  How are you settling into your new role?

It’s been a lively and busy month so far.  Meeting the wider team and learning about the GCT product portfolio has certainly helped me ease into the role quickly.

Q2. Can you give us some background on your career to date?

My career in sales spans over 20 years, 14 of which have been in the connector industry focusing on the automotive market.  I’ve also held roles outside of sales, such as Key Account Management and in Engineering.

Q3.  What skills and experience have you bought to the GCT team?

I adopt a very customer-centric approach in order to attract and retain top-tier clients.  Building customer relationships and providing excellent customer service is critical for growing any business and this is what I excel at.  My experience dealing with distributors, CEMs and OEMs will also be valuable.

Q4.  Which GCT products are popular in your territory?

Board to board connectors and Smart card connectors are very popular in the German market.  I also see an increasing demand for Modular Jacks and USB connectors, but most GCT lines tend to perform very well due to the product quality and suitability across a wide range of applications.

Q5.  Are there any market and product trends do you see currently?

The concepts of the ‘connected world’ and the Internet of Things (IoT) are now reality and with it brings a new wave of electronics to the market.  Many of these devices require GCT products such as USB assemblies, board to board connectors, SIM and memory card connectors.  Take home automation for example, our products meet the need of demanding and sophisticated features that equipment require in this sector.  Renewable/Green Energy and Wearable technology are also sectors that will see strong growth.

Q6.  Is there anything else you would like to add?

I’m very enthusiastic about our recently launched USB Type-C range and I expect this will be very popular in Germany.  GCT will also be exhibiting at Electronica Munich this November and I’m looking forward to meeting with many customers, new and existing.

GCT’s Vertical Micro USB Plug used in Cluster HAT application

GCT are excited to work with Cluster Hat, which uses 4x vertical micro USB plug connectors interfacing a (Controller) Raspberry Pi A+/B+/2/3 with 4 Raspberry Pi Zeros. Configured to use USB Gadget mode, it is an ideal tool for teaching, testing or simulating small scale clusters.

Cluster Hat with vertical micro USB plug 2

GCT’s USB3150 is a low profile, tiny footprint vertical micro USB plug, perfect for applications such as docking and charging.  You can pick up stock at Farnell, Newark or Future Electronics.

Here’s some more information and links to Cluster Hat’s website:

  • USB Gadget Mode: Ethernet and Serial Console.
  • Onboard 4 port USB 2.0 hub.
  • Individual Raspberry Pi Zero power controlled via Controller Pi GPIO using 4 x GCT’s Vertical micro USB Plug (USB3150)
  • Connector for Controller Serial Console (FTDI Basic).

As with most things there are many ways to configure the ClusterHAT. Designers have demonstrated with the links below.

  • Assembly – Connecting the ClusterHAT (plugging/unplugging the Pi Zeros).
  • Software – Installing our Customised Raspbian for the Controller and Zeros.
  • Control – Controlling power to the Pi Zeros

Stock of Raspberry Pi USB connector available at Newark

For Global Connector Technology’s (GCT) North American customers, we have stock of Raspberry Pi USB connector at our channel partner Newark.  This is the dual USB2.0 A type connector used on the Raspberry Pi.  Link to Newark website.

Dual USB Connector USB1035

This connector allows space saving as two USB A interfaces stack on top of each other.  It’s rated for use from -40°C to 85°C with a mating cycle rate of 1,500 cable insertions.

See more information on USB1035-GF-P-0-B-B on the GCT website.  Including drawing, product specification, 3D models & links to distribution stock.

PCB stacking connectors above 50mm

Planar PCB connection when the PCB spacing is greater than 50mm is a challenge using traditional, economical elevated pin headers and sockets as the length of the pins can cause distortion either during the product manufacturing process or in the final assembly process.

An alternative option is to utilize a low cost PCB in place of the elevated pin header.

PCB stacking connectors above 50mm

The picture shows an example from GCT’s 2.00mm pitch board to board connector range. Receptacle connectors are mounted on both horizontal PCBs.  BF100 on the uppermost PCB and a BF120 on the lower PCB.

On the vertical PCB the uppermost connector is a BF060 with the lower part being a custom shrouded version.

This arrangement can be made using parts from GCT’s 1.00, 1.27, 2.00 & 2.54mm pitch ranges.

Filter to find PCB stacking connectors above 50mm using GCT board to board connector link

GCT exhibiting at Del Mar Electronics and Design Show – San Diego, CA May 2016

Del Mar Electronics

GCT are exhibiting at the Del Mar Electronics & Design show in San Diego, California on 4th and 5th May 2016.

Come and meet our connector and cable assembly experts and learn more about how GCT products are the design choice for many leading brands, spanning a wide variety of products and markets

We look forward to seeing you at booth 570 in the Exhibit Hall.

To register for free go to – http://www.mfgshow.com/electroshows/delreg.cfm

To learn more about GCT go to GCT’s website.

Custom PCB header with supporting feet

PCB header with supporting feet

We’ve been working with a customer who needed a customized stacking header with an extended height but tiny footprint to stack two PCB’s in parallel orientation. We offered an elevated header from our 1.00mm pitch board to board connector range, this looked like a perfect solution, but was prone to tipping during the solder process, a problem magnified by the tiny contact pitch.

To help balance the connector we molded a custom insulator and produced a PCB header with supporting feet.  The feet were designed to strategically to work around existing components on the PCB, which enabled the customer to avoid a PCB re-design.

Turnaround time on this design was seven to ten days.

Another problem solved with a clever solution from GCT’s custom connector team!  We can offer a wide range of custom PCB header solution, from simple modifications of existing parts all the way up to a bespoke PCB header solution.

If your PCB header requirement seems out of the ordinary speak to GCT, our low tooling charges and minimum order quantities might surprise you.

Link to Global Connector Technology board to board pages.

Link to Global Connector Technology custom PCB connector pages.