“LEDs become better and cheaper, not better or cheaper”

“LEDs become better and cheaper, not better or cheaper”

Interviews |
By eeNews Europe

eeNews Europe: Which segments of the value chain does Endrich cover?

Christiane Endrich: Our core business is B2B distribution. New is that we recently launched manufacturing activities and our own brand of modules. In collaboration with our partner Turck Duotec we produce LED modules as low-cost alternatives for solutions that are available at the market.

eeNews Europe: Do you intend to expand these activities?

Endrich: Well possible, if we see the demand from our customers. For the time being, we first wait and assess our success.

eeNews Europe: What exactly is your unique selling proposal?

Endrich: We put great emphasis on technical support. For this reason, our sales representatives have to be experiences engineers with a degree in electronics. This also applies to all internal sales staff. This ensures that we can offer our customers a specific, bespoke offering. We don’t just sell products but offer complete solutions from one single source. In the LED market this enables us also to offer complete solutions. In the first place we sell Citizen high power LEDs, but we combine these with add-ons from other vendors – with thinks like drivers, reflectors, optical systems, heat sinks and so on.

eeNews Europe: How does Endrich support its customers in the field?

Endrich: Our sales engineers visit our clients on a regular basis along with experts from Citizen. And on our homepage we offer many configuration tools for several product segments. In the LED segment, we have for instance a lumen computer that helps customers to find out which LED solution fits best his needs.

For many of our customers in the field of General Lighting, the LED technology still is relatively new and bears challenges. Many of them do not run an own electronics department. In such cases it helps that we can answer all relevant technology questions.

eeNews Europe: How does your regional coverage look like?

Endrich: We supply our customers worldwide from our headquarters in Nagold (Germany). Endrich maintains offices in Austria, Spain, Hungary and France. And we plan to launch a subsidiary in Romania since Eastern Europe as a whole shows strong growth. Plus, we have a subsidiary in Switzerland, Novitronic AG. The distribution rights differ between manufacturers. In the case of Citizen, for example, we have the sole distribution rights for the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland).

eeNews Europe: How do you assess the current market chances for OLEDs?

Endrich: At Endrich, OLEDs belong to our display activities rather than to lighting. Anyhow, the quality of OLED products has significantly improved, they are now much more lasting and offer a good contrast. Of course, there is a clear distinction against normal LCDs at the price level.

When it comes to LEDs, our focus is the chip-on-board business. We see good success in the wattage segment between 30 and 60W, in particular in applications such as retail lighting and high-bay lighting for halls.

eeNews Europe: Into which direction will the market go – more towards lower pricing levels or more towards higher quality?

Endrich: I think it will be a combination of these two. New chip generations offer improvements in quality, for instance in colour rendering or in binning. In the market, MacAdam Step III has already been established as standard. At this level, colour differences are no longer visible to the eye. The next step will be MacAdam Step II which enables even tighter binning.

eeNews Europe: Do you also run activities in smart lighting?

Endrich: We focus on exterior lighting. For example, we offer lighting modules with integrated radar sensors that can be used to dim street lighting. In contrast to the popular pyro sensors which react on temperature, radar modules react on moving objects and can differentiate of there is a car, a human, or just a cat. Thus, radar sensors can offer better performance in exterior lighting.

eeNews Europe: Is the impression correct that Endrich shuns working with European manufacturers?

Endrich: We don’t avoid them, but European manufacturers typically have their own sales channels and we don’t want to be just another vendor which would mean that we would have to differentiate ourselves by the price. Instead, Endrich is interested in long-term parterhips with our customers. We want to be the contact for our customers in all technical concerns. And, in contrast to your impression, we indeed have some European suppliers in our sales program.

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