Conrad has been engaged on an exercise of creating a consistent identity for its operation cross the countries in which it operates. It has, for example, been increasing its profile as a broadline distributor to professional customers (as opposed to retail) in the countries (Germany, Austria) where it has a network of shops; and has been increasing its visibility in territories where it has a presence through an acquired company (for example, Rapid in the UK). A company spokesman commented that its target markets overlap; its professional customers may order through its website, but still use the shops for unplanned ad-hoc purchases: and the growing ‘maker’ community does both.
Some time ago Conrad created the separate identity of Conrad Business Supplies, to increase its profile among industrial purchasers. The company believes that has largely been achieved and going forward, will revert to the single identity of Conrad Electronic.
Among the products recently added to its range, that take its total catalogue to 700,000 product line items, are a number that address the design of Internet-of-Things products, wearables, and control systems. For example; “Controllino” programmable logic controllers (pictured, above) that are based on the Arduino platform’s conventions; three flexible PLCs are designed for a variety of automation tasks. The distributor is sourcing these PLCs from Controllino, a subsidiary of Austrian manufacturer SG-Tronic GmbH, for use in a variety of automation applications, including temperature management, advanced lighting and media control.
Also new to the catalogue is the Seeed Studio Linkit One, a development platform, ARM-based, for wearables and IoT, that provides MCU, Bluetooth, cellular modem, Wifi, GPS and audio support in one card. Conrad says it will be adding more Seed Studio boards. More directly addressing the control function is its own range of C-Control modules.
In the past year, Conrad has seen its product portfolio grow to surpass 700,000 line items, including 260,000 active, passive and electromechanical components, over 5,000 dev kits, 25,000 test & measurement devices, 50,000 types of electrical wire and cable, and over 150,000 tools and fixings.
The omnichannel distributor now offers with the range extension an even stronger product portfolio from international key brands such as MikroElektronika, Fairchild Semiconductor, TE Connectivity, Renesas Europe, Texas Instruments and Würth Elektronik. Available alongside these are 35,000 own brand products, which were co-designed at the Conrad Technology Centrum (CTC) and include the VOLTCRAFT, TOOLCRAFT and C-Control lines of high-quality power equipment, automation and tools. Renkforce, another in-house brand, offers advanced and versatile 3D printing equipment including the RF1000 – an entry-level 3D printer with optional print head adapters for milling and engraving.
The company’s new distribution centre in Bavaria is fully automated and incorporates TÜV Nord certified (DIN EN 61340-5-1) ESD handling processes and a large Electrostatic Protected Area (EPA) to help ensure that even the most sensitive electronic components and modules are subjected to safe handling throughout the supply chain.
Conrad Electronic; www.conrad.com