Q. Please give us an overview of Amphenol’s operations and product offerings? What new interconnect products did Amphenol introduced during REI 2017?
Founded in 1932, Amphenol has grown to be one of the world’s largest interconnect and cable manufacturers. The company designs, manufactures, and markets electrical, electronic, and fiberoptic connectors, interconnect systems, and coaxial and specialty cable. Today Amphenol has a diversified presence in high growth markets that it has cultivated over its 75 year history.
At Amphenol, technological innovation happens every day. For current, during REI 2017, Amphenol has come up with two innovative solutions. First one is bimetallic connector for solar EPC which has been developed with the collective efforts of Amphenol and an Indian Company of high repute.
The second one energy storage based high performance Radsok contact technology i.e. E-power lite.
More details can be accessed on our website www.amphenol-industrial.com.
Q. Please tell our readers about your current market share in India and reasons behind your success in this market?
We accomplished approx. 40% market share in India by capitalizing on the vast range of opportunities being created by the revolution in solar that is taking place within all of our end markets and strengthening our position. Our consistent focus is on technology innovation and customer support. Amphenol is known for its quality and high performance products. Our H4 PV connector has been ranked #1 by Photon International. Amphenol ‘s all Solar products meet new IEC62852 standards along with TUV and UL.
Q. Currently, Amphenol does not have manufacturing assets in India. When can we expect Amphenol to establish production facilities in India? What are the major obstacles you see in establishing production facilities in India?
Amphenol has established low-cost manufacturing and assembly facilities in the three major geographical markets of the Americas, Asia and Europe/ Middle East/ Africa. Amphenol is not new to India, we have manufacturing footprints in India as old as 45 years. At present we have seven manufacturing facilities(Viz. Pune (01), Bengaluru (02), Chennai (03), Coimbatore (01)) in India already, complementing our existing business. While to further expand our product lines and technological capabilities, Amphenol will come up with solar product line and cable assembly in India soon.
Q. PV Connectors and Junction boxes are a critical reliability component but are not much talked about. Please let us know more about your reliability lab where periodical quality tests are conducted on your products and how stringent are these tests?
PV connectors, junction boxes and cables are very often overlooked as they aren’t a large % of the BOM costs. However, it’s been shown that poorly designed connectors can account for nearly 70% of PV system failures. This is why we make every effort to ensure we make the highest performing connector. Our customers and we realize that UL and IEC standards are only a baseline for checking the product, but not necessarily indicative of the real life conditions our products will see during their usable life. Therefore, we conduct random quarterly environmental testing on our production parts. This testing goes far beyond the requirements of UL and IEC standards. Sometimes 2x or 3x the standard and also with mechanical loads added to the environmental and electrical exercise.
It’s not good enough to certify once and trust that the same quality will continue as production tools wear and material lots may vary. This is why we repeat the harsh testing every 3 months on real production parts.
Q. What research efforts are Amphenol participating in to develop connectors and related products?
We are constantly working with our raw material suppliers, industry experts and certification labs to enhance product quality and safety. There are plenty of known cases where poor quality PV interconnect has led to catastrophic failure. We want to ensure we are the best in class and provide high performance, safe and reliable components with the highest value for our customers. It’s also common for field installation to be the cause of interconnect failure on PV systems so we try to make our product as easy to use as possible and look at innovative ways to protect the system in case of mistakes.
Q. What kind of system solution is offered by Amphenol?
This is really vast area to describe, as I discussed this before, Amphenol is world’s largest designers, manufacturers and marketers of electrical, electronic and fiber optic connectors, interconnect systems, antennas, sensors and sensor based products and coaxial & high-speed specialty cable. We are offering interconnect solutions from Mobile phone to Space satellite. In context of Solar, we offer solutions for Module OEM, rooftop solar, PV plant and energy storage with DC & AC side interconnect solutions under product lines, namely, H4 PV connector, Helios Junction Box, Customized Cable harness, Energy storage jumper cable and connectors.
Q. Are there any data / information available on the installations using Amphenol’s interconnects products? What is the distribution model for Amphenol’s products?
Let’s keep it specific to solar, we’ve sold about 400M connector pairs since we started and if we estimate average of 265W/ module… that’s 106GW installed globally! We’ve also supplied EPC cable assembly products to over 1.2 GW primarily in India , 6GW in N America till date but growing in Middle East and Latin America now.
Q. How is Amphenol assisting client with services post-sales?
We provide on-site product installation training and educate customer to take best out of the product. Apart from this, one can have aid of online video uploaded on Youtube. Further, if the need be, our engineers are available at short notice to serve our valued customers.
Q. What type of opportunity does the Amphenol see in the Indian market? How do you see your business goals merging with solar sector in 2017?
Considering the 100 GW vision and billions of dollars funding, a large scope exists for obtaining the growth momentum in India’s solar sector on EPC, Module Manufacturer and Energy storage. We are working with our customer to understand their need to develop new product and expand our market share every year. We look at India as one of our strategic market in coming years. As per prime minister of India guideline on Make in India, we will soon have local presence in terms of manufacturing solar and energy storage products to expand in Indian market.