The winners of the 2020 LEAP Awards (Leadership in Engineering Achievement Program) were announced last week in a digital ceremony, with products across 12 categories, including embedded computing, power electronics, and test and measurement. Critical to LEAP’s success is the involvement of the engineering community. No one at WTWH Media selected the winners. Instead, our editorial team did the arduous work of assembling a top-notch independent judging panel, comprised of a cross-section of OEM design engineers and academics — 14 professionals in total. This judging team was solely responsible for the final results.
In the Power Electronics category, Cornell Dubilier garnered the silver for their PPC Series or 1mm-thin polymer aluminum electrolytic capacitors. The series of ultra-thin polymer aluminum electrolytic capacitors represents a totally new capacitor form factor and is esigned specifically for applications requiring high ripple current and the thinnest possible profiles. In addition to being just 1 mm thin, the PPC uses versatile packaging technology that makes it possible for capacitors to be formed into custom shapes and sizes to accommodate available space.
“A single PPC capacitor offers the capacitance and ripple current equivalent to dozens of SMT capacitors or a bulky cylindrical device,” said Mario DiPietro, Product Manager at Cornell Dubilier. As an example, a single PPC capacitor is equivalent to a parallel bank of 50 or more polymer tantalum capacitors and occupies one-fourth of the height. Also, circuit reliability is improved by using a single component versus an entire array of SMT capacitors.
Custom values are available within a capacitance range of 8,000µF to 20,000µF, with working voltages ranging from 6.3 to 24 WVDC. Operating life is 2,000 hours @ 125° C. The PPC is rated for 10g peak for vibration and withstands shocks up to 100 g’s (MIL-STD-202, Method 213, Condition I). With flat tin-plated copper terminations, it is possible to mount the device off-board or directly to a PCB. Mounts with 3M double-sided VHB tapeTM, to ensure that the entire capacitor surface is kept rigid.
The judges commented: “A game-changer for what is typically a stubborn design problem to solve in major product integration and footprint shrink. The flexible shape feature opens up a whole new set of possibilities in product design for what is often a very large part called for in the Bill of Materials.”
The silver LEAP award for Power Electronics went to Weidemuller Inc. for their PROtop industrial power supply featuring a single and three-phase input. With an output with 12, 24 or 48Vdc, from 3 until 40A, the supply can be assembled in 35mm DIN rail inside electrical panels. Supply constant DC voltage to all devices of control and instrumentation.
PROtop power supply combines the highest efficiency and compact housings with high durability and direct parallel connection without diode modules. This reduces costs and creates space in the control cabinet, creating a reliable power supply that can withstand harsh environmental conditions for targeted, preventitive maintenance. Due to the powerful DCL technology, even difficult loads, motors, for instance, are operated smoothly, while circuit breakers are triggered reliably. Good communication capability allows permanent condition monitoring and full integration with control systems.
PROtop’s power supply can be connected to a communication module for a retrofit solution that allows for the transmission of process data to the higher-level control system. This networks the power supply to other components within the system. The solution is remote-controllable and is integrated into a system’s condition monitoring.
The integrated OR-ing MOSFETs in PROtop provide high power with minimal dimensions and do not require any additional assembly or wiring work. This reduces system costs and saves space in the control cabinet. The parallel operation option makes current sharing easier and guarantees maximum long-term stability.
Texas Instruments capture the bronze award with the UCC 12050, the first IC developed with TI’s new proprietary integrated transformer technology said to disrupt the way designers approach isolation and EMI. The 500-mW, high-efficiency isolated DC/DC converter features the industry’s lowest EMI and 5-kVrms reinforced isolation and 1.2-kVrms working voltage to protect against high-voltage spikes in industrial applications, from grid infrastructure to industrial transport.
Its 2.65-mm height enables designers to reduce their solution volume by as much as 80% compared to discrete solutions and 60% compared to power modules – with twice the efficiency of competing devices. In addition, as applications like test and measurement, medical and factory automation equipment become smaller, power becomes more distributed and power density becomes a key concern for customers. The UCC12050 delivers twice the power density of comparative isolated power modules.
TI’s integrated transformer technology enables high-density isolated DC/DC power conversion, while maintaining low EMI— imperative for power-hungry industrial systems. Designers are demanding that EMI is mitigated or reduced inside the chip. With this proprietary technology embedded inside the package, the device eliminates the need for external ferrite beads or chokes to mitigate EMI, which is typically done today in systems with just a native transformer.