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European King Finds Favor with American Cables for His Electric Car
When the King of Denmark needed a power cable for his new electric vehicle, his automobile company recommended one from a maker of custom cables in America, MEGA Electronics. "The King of Denmark was buying an electric vehicle (EV) and found out about our cables through the car company that we're working with in Europe," Guy Francfort, the vice president of sales and marketing at MEGA Electronics, recalled proudly. "There was no modification needed for the cable. We just recommended a cable that is used for heavy construction tools, like for jackhammers and wet saws."
The cable that ended up in the King's garage is a 220 volt cable that plugs into his home outlet. Francfort says an EV typically has a spark charging box, which not only takes the electricity, but also monitors how much energy is in the battery. "The EV cables we're making right now are for export," said Francfort. "The cable type is an H07-BQF, which was originally designed for use with heavy tools in Europe. It has an unbelievable bending radius, resistance to abrasion and scratching, and is nearly indestructible and super-flexible. It also resists low and high temperatures, as well. Right now, we're supplying it to the U.K., Switzerland, and China, and we're working on supplying additional markets. In this country, there's an EV cable rating, so we have to submit it to the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) for the rating."
MEGA Electronics (www.megaelectronics.com) was founded in 1994, and now supplies markets worldwide with its customized power cords, power supplies, and power converters. The company's headquarters -- where it provides sales and engineering support and manufacturing -- is located in New Brunswick, New Jersey. "We make all of the power cables in-house, and some of our products are made overseas at our other plants," says Francfort. "Most of the business for the DC/DC converters is for the automation industry, such as robotic arms or conveyor belts, but they're also used in automobiles, airplanes, and trains. The company is divided into two divisions—power cords and power supplies. For the power supply division, we've actually got some green energy power supplies, which use a lot less energy when they're in the standby mode."
The company has added a fully-automated production line to build its cables. Before the automated line was installed, assemblers would have to manually work on materials in the cut and strip area, and then take them to a crimping and molding area. "With the automated line, we just throw the cable materials on it," Francfort explains. "The fully-automated line does the cutting, stripping, crimping, and molding, and then adds the plug and connector. This automated line has saved us a lot on labor costs, and it ejects a completely finished power cord at the end of the line."
MEGA Electronics is skilled at developing and testing new advanced materials for the company's parts and components. The R&D on new materials is usually based on customer demand. The company is developing a new cable, which will be universally approved for both North America and Europe. "It's been a challenge to meet both standards at the same time and to have materials that will work well in the production line," the company's vice president remarked. "We're buying the materials, rubber and neoprene, for the jackets for the RF cable. We buy the raw materials and then make the coverings for the cable by extrusion. We also process the copper wires by using 8mm rods, and then drawing them down to as small as 0.05mm, and then we do the bunching and twisting and extruding of the jacket."
Due to the nature of its work, the company has electronics designers and engineers on staff. Not only is R&D and testing performed in-house, but also engineering for manufacturability for the power supplies, converters, and a wide variety of cables. Connectors and plugs are all custom-designed for a client's specific application or industry.
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