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Exploring Balun Transformers

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In the world of electronics, it’s common to hear about two varieties of lines—balanced and unbalanced. Balanced lines have two conductors, which feature equal currents running in opposite directions. An example of balanced lines is twisted pair cables. On the other hand, unbalanced lines feature just one conductor and a ground, like a coaxial cable.

Baluns are two-port components that are placed between a source and a load. They serve to join balanced lines to unbalanced lines. The term “balun” is derived by combining the words “balanced” and “unbalanced.” Baluns are a specific variety of transformer used to convert unbalanced signals into balanced ones (or vice versa). They often isolate a transmission line and provide a balanced output.

Why Balun Transformers?

While there has been recent emphasis on the importance of balun transformers, they aren’t a new development. Baluns have been utilized as a mean of resolving the single-ended/balanced dilemma since the early days of wireless telephony. However, recent expansion in the realm of portable, handheld, and IoT applications has created exceptional demand for small, low-power baluns.
Baluns are often viewed as a passive component and can sometimes be “glossed over” in RF discussions because they do not add obvious value to the RF signal chain. Despite this, baluns have numerous typical applications. They are a critical part of numerous electronic devices that the public relies on daily. Some of these include:

• TVs
• Antennas
• Microwaves
• Cable moderns
• Coax Alliance applications

Recent years have seen an increased use of differential configurations when it comes to RF ICs. Their internal topology allows for improved noise immunity and heightened RF performance at a low-cost increment. The nature of IC designs affords manufacturers the capability to create products with improved capabilities that cost less than their predecessors.

The MPS Difference

MPS-brand balun transformers are known for their exceptional impedance transformation. As with all baluns, they convert unbalanced impedance to balanced impedance and vice versa.

Our balun transformers feature a low profile, making them ideal for specialized applications where larger components may prove difficult. Their compact footprint and high performance translate to tiny powerhouses with exceptional capabilities; they offer higher performance than traditional lumped-element and ceramic baluns.

In addition, our balun transformers meet regulatory requirements and are RoHS compliant. We serve clients in a wide variety of industries, and our baluns are ideal for use in CATV, multimedia applications, wireless infrastructure, and other consumer electronics applications.

Does Your Application Require a Balun Transformer?

At MPS Industries, we’re proud to offer our clients a variety of balun transformers that have been specifically designed to meet the needs of virtually any application. We also offer a myriad of magnetic components intended for use across numerous industries.

Our team has years of experience in manufacturing electronic components, and our clients consistently return to us because of our broad product line, custom design capabilities, and quality services. Our in-house engineering group is always available for local support and we’re committed to providing products that exceed customer expectations.

Interested in learning more about MPS Industries’ balun transformers? Get in touch with us today or request a quote to speak to one of our team members about integrating balun transformers into your next design.

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Understanding Power Transformers

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Transformers convert an AC system’s electrical power at one current or voltage into electrical power at a different current or voltage without using rotating parts. power transformers provide this critical function as components of electrical and electronic circuits. Besides the common application of stepping voltages up or down, these magnetic components can also be used to provide isolation for impedance mismatch and other applications.

How Power Transformers Work

Understanding how power transformers work is key to understanding what transformers do. Transformers use magnetic coupling to transfer electrical power between AC circuits—they do not create their own electrical power. The transformer’s core offers a controlled path for the magnetic flux the transformer generates due to the current flowing across the coils.

A basic transformer’s primary components include the input and output connections, the coils, and the core.

Input and Output Connections

A transformer’s input side is known as the primary side as the primary electrical power which needs to be changed is connected on this side. The output side is commonly referred to as the power transformer’s secondary side. On this side, electrical power is transferred to the load. This incoming transferred electric power may be either decreased or increased depending on the load’s requirement.

Winding

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The Latest in Phase Shift Full Bridge Topology

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If you are looking to build a higher efficiency converter for applications such as AC-to-DC power supplies, battery chargers, or renewable energy, we recommend Phase Shift Full Bridge (PSFB) topology as a solution to explore. Here we provide an overview of the topology – how full bridge converter hardware is arranged, including its nodes and connecting lines – that goes into a PSFB converter.

Full Bridge Converter Topology

Over the years, full bridge switch topology has been designed and developed for high power regulators, specifically those between 100 and 1,000 watts.

New technologies and materials have led to significant improvements to these converters and regulators. The most noticeable change is the size of the converters, which are now five to ten times smaller than previous models. The efficiency of the switches has also improved, from 70% to over 95%.

 

Phase Shifted Full Bridge (PSFB)

Many power applications such as AC-to-DC power supplies, battery chargers, and renewable energy applications require high efficiency and high power density.

Phase shift full bridge converters are used in high DC bus voltages and low output voltage with high power applications. To lower switch losses, decrease costs, and improve efficiency, an additional resonant inductor is sometimes added into the PSFB circuit. Doing so also provides zero voltage switching (ZVS).

Customers looking to build a higher efficiency converter will often turn to PSFB topology.

For such applications, MPS can customize both a high-efficiency PSFB transformer and a resonant inductor with low losses for high current and high frequency.

Included features:

  • Designs of up to 20 KW or more
  • Customizable mounting options
  • Thermal potting for cold plate mounting

Dual Active Bridge (DAB)

Bidirectional dual active bridges are developed for use primarily in battery storage, grid-tied inverters, and interface solar systems. Similar to PSFB transformers, the output for dual active bridges is four switches that are used to generate the bidirectional functionality.

Contact MPS Today

All MPS Industries products are designed in-house and can be customized to meet your unique specifications. Our engineering team will provide you with magnetic components that best fit your application or industry, all while staying within the necessary budget. Our product line includes a number of different power transformers and inductors. Check out our line of planar transformers – including phase shift full bridge transformers – here or contact us today to find out more about our products, services, and capabilities.

Maximizing Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Power Efficiency

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MPS Industries, Inc. was proud to participate in this year’s Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo. Undoubtedly the largest H/EV trade show in North America, the expo brought together over 8,000 automotive engineers and executives and more than 600 leading suppliers from across the industry and around the globe. The event provided a great opportunity for companies to display their latest electric and hybrid products, solutions, and technologies under one roof.

This year, MPS Industries took the opportunity to showcase our line of magnetic components designed specifically for the automotive industry. We presented our products to a wide audience and networked with hundreds of industry professionals who expressed interest in our innovative solutions. Based on this feedback, we wanted to discuss the importance of transformers and inductors in electric and hybrid vehicles.

Transformers and inductors are one of the most critical components in a vehicle’s power transmission system. These simple yet powerful devices are primarily responsible for a vehicle’s power performance and efficiency. Below, we discuss the role that transformers and inductors play in both electric and hybrid cars.

Hybrid Vehicles

Components in hybrid vehicles are regularly subjected to harsh conditions such as extreme temperatures and excessive vibration. Hybrid transformers and inductors must therefore be capable of operating in such environments while efficiently delivering power to the vehicle’s various systems. The most reliable of these electronic components have an operating temperature range between -55oC (-67oF) and +150oC (302oF).

In hybrid vehicles, component installation space is usually restricted; this is especially challenging since the surrounding equipment generates a large amount of heat. Transformers and inductors need to be located in areas with ideal cooling and ventilation access. Because of these limitations, transformers and inductors must meet specific size and weight requirements for use in hybrid vehicles. Once optimally sized and correctly installed, these magnetic components can achieve input to output energy efficiency ratios of up to 99%.

MPS Industries offers a variety of high current fixed inductors designed to withstand the extreme physical environment and power load demands of the typical hybrid vehicle. Their exceptional heat dissipation properties and minimal power loss at high frequencies ensure that they can operate at high temperatures with minimal effect on performance. Additionally, our inductors are designed to be compact, reducing the likelihood of issues arising due to spatial constraints.

Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles typically have greater power demands than hybrid or gasoline powered vehicles. Complex drivetrain management, traction motors, and other necessary features are high consumers of electrical energy; electrical load requirements are further compounded by the addition of convenience features such as auxiliary heating and cooling systems. As such, electric vehicles require transformers and inductors that can meet the needs of these increasing demands.

Magnetic components in electric vehicles must not only be able to withstand considerable amounts of heat and voltage, but they must also help in maximizing fuel efficiency and minimizing CO2 emissions. Furthermore, similarly to hybrid vehicles, transformers and inductors in electric cars must also be able to handle excessive amounts of vibration.

MPS Industries’ Switching Transformers are an ideal solution for all types of electric vehicles. These transformers help manage temperatures for considerably improved fuel efficiency. We offer Phase Shift Full Bridge Transformers and Inductors that feature Zero Voltage Switching (ZVS), which allows for high-frequency and high-voltage operations without compromising system efficiency.

Transformers & Inductors from MPS Industries

MPS Industries, Inc. is a leading provider of electronic components for a broad spectrum of industries and applications. With manufacturing processes certified to TS16949 and strict adherence to PPAP and IMDS requirements, we specialize in the manufacture of transformers, inductors, and other electromagnetic components for the exacting specifications of the automotive industry.

Our ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 certifications are a testament to our commitment to producing high-quality magnetic components while aligning with environmental sustainability goals.

At MPS Industries, Inc., our engineers and technicians collaborate closely with automotive clients to design and manufacture custom high-performance solutions tailored to meet or exceed their mechanical and electrical specifications.

If you have questions about MPS’ transformer or inductor options for hybrid or electric vehicles, or if you would like to learn more about our work within the automotive industry, contact us today!

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The Manufacturing Buzz on Earth Day Initiatives

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Earth Day has emerged as a buzzword for the manufacturing industry.

The industry at large is becoming a proud participant in a global sustainability initiative. Local businesses sponsor community drives, and if/when capable, worldwide efforts to exhibit green commitments and spread the word.

The true essence of Earth Day is not in one-off measures or arbitrary celebrations. It is in making conservation and environmental consciousness a habit and the mainstay of everyday operations.

At MPS Industries, we build a culture around Code Green – a body of standards and practices that lets us manage our environmental responsibilities.

The History of Earth Day

Earth Day has become a massive movement with a lot of organic momentum. Every April 22nd activists and organizations in the US (and the world) dedicate time to drive home the truth about sustainability and our planet.

In recent years, there have been breakthroughs in fields like waste management and clean energy, showing the public how we can all make a difference in our environment.

Businesses in manufacturing accord it the same respect as Manufacturing Day. It is an opportunity to talk about the eco-friendly steps that the sector has taken and to cement a unique proposition for the future.

MPS Lives Earth Day, Every Day

MPS lives every day like Earth Day.

We have made eco-consciousness a non-negotiable part of our core values.

While we respect processes and the efficiency that manufacturing best practices offer, we are equally focused on the cost of our growth in regards to environmental impact.

Join us in making a conscious environmental effort by certifying for the ISO standard below.

ISO 14001 Environmental Code

At MPS, we have secured the ISO 14001 environmental code certification. We comply with stringent requirements like audits, communications, labeling, and life cycle analysis which allow us to measure the impact of our work on factors like climate change, then successfully minimize the impact.

We work with some of the most “green” sectors in the market right now including Electric & Hybrid vehicles. The shift imbues our business model – from procurement to shipping – with commitment to the well-being of the environment.

Will you go green this Earth Day? If the philosophy of reduce-reuse-recycle resonates with you, please follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for related updates.

You can also use our blog as a resource or contact us here.

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Spotlight on Women in Manufacturing

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We support gender diversity and inclusion at MPS Industries. As a leader in manufacturing magnetic components for industries ranging from automotive to military, we recognize the importance of setting a positive example for other organizations. We encourage strategies designed to lessen the gender gap.

Women only make up 1/3 of U.S. manufacturing jobs. Today, the sector faces the lowest number of females since 1971. So why is it that the number of women in the industry is declining despite the growth of the overall number of manufacturing jobs in the United States?

About Gender Disparity

Unfortunately, misconceptions about manufacturing have kept many women from wanting to enter the industry. For example, there are assumptions that facilities are unkempt and that grueling physical work is part of every position. Neither is true. There is also the sense that managerial roles are held only by men.

Reducing the Gender Gap in Manufacturing

Encouraging women to pursue careers in manufacturing is a goal of STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Production) Ahead. This initiative highlights intriguing, fulfilling careers in the industry and celebrates female accomplishments to not only the industry but also to society. Lessoning a skills gap is possible with efforts such as this one to motivate more women to seek manufacturing-related jobs.

The Manufacturing Institute, which showcases world-elite talent in manufacturing, will honor 130 women from across the United States with the STEP Ahead award in April at a gala in Washington, D.C. The winners have made impressive achievements in the community and their organizations as manufacturers. With women being significantly underrepresented in the sector, STEP Ahead is helping encourage the next generation of women to join the manufacturing workforce.

Why Recruit More Women?

Manufacturers stand to benefit from a higher number of females in their companies. With gender diversity comes a boost in innovation, rise in ROE, and more profitability. Adding women to organizations enables organizations to tap into a new talent pool and one that is well-educated too given the number of women earning degrees. They are professionals who can become effective leaders within the manufacturing industry.

Attracting, retaining, and promoting women within the manufacturing sector is crucial to growing the U.S. economy too. Women bring skilled labor as hard workers with creative and problem-solving abilities. A more diverse employee pool gender-wise, which is possible through STEP Ahead and efforts of associations like Women in Manufacturing, brings different mindsets, which makes for better problem-solving abilities within organizations.

Contact us today to learn more about our initiatives and high-quality products like power transformers and inductors. Also, follow our blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn to stay up to date in the industry.

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APEC 2018 is Just Around the Corner

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This year from March 4-8, San Antonio, Texas is going to be a popular destination for more than just the San Antonio Spurs or the Alamo. These dates are set aside for the premier global event for everything related to power electronics, APEC 2018. Held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, this 44,995 sq. ft. center will have speakers, sessions, workshops, committee meetings, and seminars on all the practical and applied aspects related to the power electronics business. This conference is more than just a ‘what’s new’ type of expo; it has a little something for anyone who works in power electronics and its related industries. MPS will be at Booth 526.

Who’s Coming

Speakers, vendors, and attendees come from a wide range of backgrounds in the industry, such as equipment OEMs, designers, manufacturers and suppliers, engineers, marketing, and sales. There are professional plenary, technical, and RAP seminars. This year, there will be over 300 registered exhibitors, all showcasing solutions in power electronics for a number of categories, such as: assemblies, magnetics, power converters, semiconductors, software and services, and more. Exhibitor seminars provide a close and upfront look at their products and services, delivered in half-hour increments.

Networking Opportunities

As a leading manufacturer of magnetic components, MPS Industries, Inc. is excited for this year’s show. We offer power transformers, inductors, LAN/RJ45s, common mode chokes, broadband magnetics, custom designed magnetics, and a wide range of transformers. We’re looking forward to networking with other industry professionals and talking with experts from the industries we service, such as: automotive, renewable energy, industrial, military and aerospace, medical, consumer electronics, and telecommunications.

To learn more about MPS Industries and to keep up to date on all things related to power electronics, you can read our blog, follow us on Twitter, and connect with us on LinkedIn. To learn more about how we can help you with our wide range of products or with a custom design, we invite you to contact us today.

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Manufacturing & Magnetics – An Important Industry Outlook

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With 2017 officially closed, now is the time to look towards industry predictions in the new year.

Industry Outlook Predictions

Projections for 2018 show positive outlooks for three of the main industries MPS serves.

The renewable energy sector, both globally and within the U.S., will always be at the forefront of debate and conversation. Renewables (in particular, wind and solar) will continue to increase their share of the power mix.

Industry experts have predicted that the medical market will continue to grow in the upcoming year, given the fast pace nature of technological advancements and increasing role of tech in medical devices. Our design team ensures our magnetic components meet industry requirements, such as UL544 standards.

In the global consumer electronics industry, the forecast is for a healthy demand in 2018, particularly for Smart TVs, 3D TVs, smartphones, and tablets. Connected devices that use magnetic parts continue to provide potential opportunities, especially as new data sources come to fruition.

Meeting Demands in 2018

Our broad product offerings will carry on into 2018 as our MPS team continues to manufacture magnetic components, including transformers and inductors, for industrial applications across a wide range of industries.

Clients will still be able to work with our experienced team to design and engineer custom electrical components as per request.

Having a diverse product line enables our team to effectively serve multiple markets worldwide from our headquarters in Gardena, California. Our high-quality lineup solves client needs across industries such as automotive, industrial, renewable energy, medical, military and aerospace, telecommunications, and consumer electronics.

Moving into the New Year

At MPS Industries, we embrace opportunities to fulfill customers’ visions and possess the skills to move quickly as industry demand increases across the sectors we serve. Our agility, both in strategy and operations, and excellent customer support, makes us a great choice for your magnetic components manufacturer this year.

Contact us today for your next project or any questions you might have. Also, follow us on TwitterLinkedIn, and our blog to receive the latest industry and in-house updates.

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MPS’ “Best Of 2017” Mechanical Components Feature

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As 2017 comes to a close, we’re highlighting some of our best products that we’ve shared with you over the past 12 months! These great features (& more!) will be available for your specifications come 2018 too… Don’t miss out!

If you’re looking for a high-power inductor with a quick turnaround time for design approval, you’ve found the right spot. Our HWI57A2 and H1300 series models can help you test your capabilities without the hassle of waiting for a full custom design. Avoid NRE’s, tooling, and long lead times with our ideal-for-your-requirements components. Their modular design allows you to connect each in series or in parallel for higher inductance and/or current.

Here are some of the advantages to keep in mind:

  • Units are semi-customizable
  • Lead connections can be optimized
  • Thermal potting available in 1,2, or 3 w/mk depending on requirements & targeted cost
  • Units arrive ready to bolt down, connect, and install
  • No need for an NRE
  • Shorter lead times than other fully customized inductors

Another high power inductor line that we shared this year: the HWIA2918S High Current HEW Flat Wire Inductor. Characteristics include:

  • Board level, surface mount components
  • High Current HEW™ Inductor in low-profile compact form
  • Inductance Range: 3.3 µH to 15 µH
  • Very low DCR
  • True 30 Amp handling capability on the wire
  • Dummy 3rd pin for mounting stability

As you’re designing keep in mind that our engineers are more than that. They are experts of the inductors, magnetics, battery, and energy fields, no matter what industry you’re purposing! We serve: automotive, industrial, medical, military, aerospace, telecom, and consumer electronics — and that’s only naming a few!

MPS is no stranger to quality and efficiency when it comes down to you high-power magnetics. Our continuous goal is to find ways to push the envelope when it comes to magnetic designs. The aim is to provide our customer with the most optimized solutions. When developing our high power standard product lines, we strive to improve both the efficiency and heat dissipation of our parts. MPS engineers understand that quality, compact size, and low DCR are crucial requirements for our customer base.

That’s why we’ve created series like the HWI34. Here’s a closer look at its profile:

  • Low profile, small footprint, compact form
  • Inductance Range 4.7 uH to 29uH
  • Exceptionally low DCR
  • Great heat dissipation
  • True 45-55 Amp wire handling capacity
  • Powered cores with distributed gap for soft saturation
  • For high-temperature environments – up to 125°C ambient (max temp 180C)
  • Higher current available
  • Different mounting available

We look forward to new product developments in the upcoming year.

Keep an eye out for our next entry on what is to come throughout 2018. We can’t wait to implement our own creations alongside those of our customers as well!

You can follow MPS updates on our blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages.

Remember that we know the importance of providing maximum support for your supplies. MPS’ engineers work closely with you to not only design based on your electrical specifications, but your mechanical requirements as well, including hardware selection and mounting optimization for your specific system.

Interested in what you see? Contact us today!

We wish all of our loyal customers and followers a very happy/healthy holiday season and new year! We look forward to connecting in 2018!

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How to Tell if Your High Current Inductor is Really High Current

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You’ve selected an inductor, but how can you tell if a high current inductor truly is high current? It’s crucial to confirm that the inductor you’re using matches the specifications you need and that they are capable of performing accurately.

Certain manufacturers use data sheets to mention the saturation current on the inductor “can be up to almost 100 Amp with 30% drop in inductance.” If you ask us, that’s a relatively vague description. It’s hard to tell if this explanation means that your inductor can actually be used at 100 Amp when the copper size can only carry less than 30 Amp and a 40°C rise in temperature. Power engineers often misinterpret the fact that these inductors are rated at the saturation temperature.

As a leading industry expert in high current inductors, MPS Industries manufactures high current fixed inductors in compact size packages with varying inductance ranges. We also provide full customization options for any of our products. Our inductors can be used as a true high current (>100 Amp RMS) rated inductor.

At MPS we carry a wide range of products. Our team is dedicated to increasing our offerings year after year to better serve your magnetic component needs.

Be sure to browse our inductors and contact us to speak with an Applications Engineer or Sales Representative regarding your inductor requirements.

If you’re in need of magnetic components, we can support you!

Contact us to speak with an MPS representative today.

Remember to follow our blogTwitter, and LinkedIn to stay up to date on related manufacturing and industry developments. We look forward to connecting with you soon!

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