Intelligent solutions for Power System Design Engineers

Design specification changes during the development cycle came out as their largest challenge closely followed by meeting cost and schedule targets, resource issues

Andy Gales, Vice President, Worlwide Sales Enablement and India Sales, Vicor Corp.,
Andy Gales, Vice President, Worlwide Sales Enablement and India Sales, Vicor Corp.,

Vicor Corp. is a worldwide leader in power technology. The company offers world class levels of size, efficiency and flexibility in power supply systems based on revolutionary power architectures, topologies and power components. Andy Gales, Vice President, Worlwide Sales Enablement and India Sales, Vicor Corp., in his recent visit to India, discussed Power System Design Tools with Devendra Kumar, Editor, ELE Times. He also discussed the efficiency and user friendliness of Power System Design Tools as the way to solve design queries of Power Design Engineers. Excerpts.


ELE Times: What are the problems faced by Design Engineers for Power System Development?

Andy Gales: Commonsense would lead you to believe that their problems would be largely technical-Cost, EMI, cooling etc – but when we asked design engineers globally as part of a survey it was much more complicated than that. Design specification changes during the development cycle came out as their largest challenge, closely followed by meeting cost and schedule targets, resource issues.  EMI was the most challenging problem for them on the technical side. Over all there are many challenges that design engineers need to cope with when developing power systems.

ELE Times: How the Multitasking in the power system design engineer is affecting their efficiency and expertise?

Andy Gales: Juggling the priorities of several projects concurrently requires great skill from the design engineer.  Last minute changes to priorities or specifications can be demoralizing to those with less experience.

ELE Times: What are the main priorities of Power System Design engineers while development of the product?

Andy Gales: The main priority for design engineers is to provide a high-performance solution that meets the specification and cost goals of the product.  Product specifications are documented and they have to be ready within the time allocated. Meeting all the challenges and doing so within the time constraints, makes their job complex.

ELE Times: In a nutshell, tell us about the outcome of the survey Vicor did?

Andy Gales: The survey was very surprising for us, with specification changes seeming to be just about inevitable – engineers are required to make changes in their power design and need help to do so. Power Component Design Methodology is our answer to their problem. Design tools are available on our website that help engineers develop Power Systems from scratch with very little Product knowledge necessary. With tools like the Power System Designer (PSD), engineers can specify the input and output of the power design that they are looking to build and just by pressing a button the tool gives them solutions against key metrics. The PSD also gives easy access to our Whiteboard, allowing engineers to load up the design for analysis and optimization with a single click.

ELE Times: Was the survey specially designed for India or its worldwide survey?

Andy Gales: It was a world-wide survey but India was a very significant contributor. We had more than six hundred and fifty responses worldwide, with a 10% contribution from India, which is a significant number.

ELE Times: Vicor is doing very good business in India so what are the areas of operations in India?

Andy Gales:  In India, Vicor opened its first office in Bangalore in 2012 and in Delhi this year. We have engineers at our both offices providing support to our customers locally and covering north and south India.

ELE Times: How important is the Indian market for Vicor and how big is the business in India?

Andy Gales: As we have set up our two offices in India, we see a big potential. Make in India has provided very good opportunity to see a very significant increase in design-in activities. India today represents a small part of Vicor’s worldwide business but we see this growing in the coming years.  Indeed, we are very optimistic about growth in India.

ELE Times: Indian consumer market is very big so what share Vicor is accepting in terms of AC and DC converters?

Andy Gales: In other countries worldwide Vicor has a double-digit market share in the DC to DC market.  For the Indian market in the coming five to six years, we are expecting similar share from many different market segments.

ELE Times: What are your future targets and goals?

Andy Gales: We would like to see the double digit market share in coming years, with growth exceeding 30% per year. Double-digit market share is our primary goal and we are on track to do that.

ELE Times: For our audience information, what is the business model Vicor is adopting for establishment and expansion in India?

Andy Gales: Vicor provides support infrastructure for our distribution network. We now have distributors in many cities in India. Our goal is to address the technical and commercial issues of our customers. We provide local support to distributors through our Bangalore and Delhi offices. Our Distributors also have trained engineers, with whom we work closely to provide customers with the best solution.

ELE Times: What is the marketing strategy Vicor has adopted in India and how it is different from other countries?

Andy Gales: We regularly run seminars across India, allowing us to meet our customers directly and to understand their issues while suggesting solutions to their problems. Vicor is also involved with exhibitions, webinars and magazines like ELE Times.

ELE Times: What are the focus areas for your products?

Andy Gales: Traditionally Vicor has a big presence in the defense market at India but we are broadening our focus to include the industrial market, which is going to be a key market. The industrial market comprises many different application segments like Automotive, Lightning, Medical, Process control, Manufacturing. So Vicor has a very broad market strategy to address these diverse areas.

ELE Times: What are the global trends in Modular Power components?

Andy Gales: It is validated by our survey that power components have come of the age. They are now the most viable solution for many different applications. For many years now our power components have met a broad range of engineers’ requirements in terms of input voltage or output voltage or output power.  And with the PSD and other online tools, we are helping engineers specify solutions very quickly.  And getting it right the very first time.

ELE Times: What are the advantages that your customers have in dealing with Vicor?

Andy Gales: One of the intangible is the expertise of our application engineers. Vicor has a very talented team of engineers who know the market and applications very well, and this kind of expert knowledge is very helpful in providing solutions. Vicor also has broad range of standard products, which helps to choose the best solution for any particular customer.

ELE Times: What are the range of product Vicor is offering?

Andy Gales: Vicor range from AC- DC high power solution of 2 or 3 Kilowatts down to single output regulation stages less than 5 Amps. Vicor can seamlessly integrate these components together to make complete power supply systems. Vicor can help customers with our broad range of products and with the help of our online tools and in-house application team in order to optimize the solution.

ELE Times: How big is the market for AC-DC and DC-DC converters in India?

Andy Gales: India has a lot of business opportunities with respect to AC-DC and DC-DC converters, which is why we have invested so heavily in the region.

ELE Times: In last two years what is your experience about doing business in India, as new government comes into play?

Andy Gales: Yes we have seen changes in last two years. We have seen growing interest from Indian electronics companies in our products, with solutions developed locally within India rather than exporting them from abroad.

ELE Times: Any message or thought you would like to share with your audience?

Andy Gales: Of course! Go and try our Power System Designer tool and you will be surprised by its capabilities. It is a free tool system on the web, which allows you to explore our product range without having an in-depth knowledge of our product. It’s a wonderful tool for solving real challenges, so visit Vicor’s website and try it.

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