The Wireless Competence Center at Rutronik Elektronische Bauelemente is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. The specialist team has enabled Rutronik as one of the pioneers in the distribution market to focus its efforts on wireless technologies. The Competence Center team now boasts almost 20 members and has an extensive product portfolio at its disposal for assisting customers all over the world to select the optimal protocol, hardware and software, certificates, and security concepts.
Rutronik founded the Wireless Competence Center (WCC) in Sweden in 2005 with four wireless application specialists, product managers, and material managers. Then, just as now, they offered customers support with high-frequency design, measurements for certifications, and selecting suitable protocols and profiles. In addition, the Competence Center is on hand for Rutronik sales staff with any questions they have concerning wireless technologies, encryption solutions, and Internet connections. This knowledge is passed on to the customers in a range of seminars, some across the whole of Europe, and webinars on the latest topics in the field of wireless technology. “In 2005, our line card was still limited to mobile telephone modules and solutions for local radio links; simple GSM/GPRS modules were traded at € 50 per unit. In the meantime, there are modules available on the market offering better performance at less than half the price,” said Bernd Hantsche, the now marketing director of the Wireless Competence Center, who as a product manager was the interface between the Swedish team and the headquarters in Ispringen, Germany, back then.
Today, Rutronik’s product range spans a diverse spectrum of wireless hardware solutions from transceiver chips to connectivity chips right up to system-on chips, from Nordic Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics, Microchip, Telit, and Redpine Signals, for instance, as well as all standard wireless protocols. Specific M2M SIM cards including card holders, as required for the realisation of Industry 4.0, are a particular highlight in the portfolio. Rutronik EMBEDDED offers customers plug-in, certified components for short development cycles and for medium to large component requirements for industrial, automation, and medical engineering applications. SMD components for high-volume lifestyle, home comfort, healthcare, and safety applications are bundled under Rutronik SMART.
“We are currently trying to make the leap from the digital age into the networked age of the Internet of Things. We and our customers alike have to orient ourselves accordingly to be able to stand strong against competition in the future too. After all, these new developments bring with them new potential, and the one who works out how to tap this potential the quickest and best will come out on top. At the same time, it is also necessary to keep the safety risks under control,” said Bernd Hantsche. “In doing so, we want to and can support our customers. Thanks to our deep roots in the market with close contacts to established suppliers and start-ups, we keep track of the latest trends and technologies at all times and can make them available to our customers.”