Electronic Products & Technology

Powering up an ecosystem of efficiency

The power conversion market is exploding and the fastest way to manufacture these products quickly is to work with a curated ecosystem

September 17, 2021  EP&T Magazine

Throughout the world there is an ongoing transition from the internal combustion engine (ICE) to electric powertrains. We are moving towards a more electrified future through the continued expansion of charging networks and as electric powertrains continue to lengthen driving ranges. Demand for all sorts of Electric Vehicles (EV) is exploding.

To meet this demand, manufacturers of innovative power conversion products are having to create solutions that can be manufactured efficiently during ongoing supply chain shortages. The challenge is to successfully obtain competitive material costs and deliver best-in-class products.

The EV-NRGY 12.5W DC Fast-Charger. Source: SMPC Technologies Ltd.

Dorigo Systems saw an opportunity to offer power conversion companies a sophisticated manufacturing solution that has the right balance between design expertise and electronics manufacturing. Leveraging Dorigo’s 33 years in contracting manufacturing, the team wanted to bring power conversion products to market as efficiently as possible with the lowest BOM costs.

Partner with best-in-class suppliers

“It was clear that we needed to work smarter during these challenging times,” states Danial Arooj, Manufacturing Manager, Dorigo Systems. “Many choices existed to serve the needs of the growing power conversion market and we determined that building a curated network of experts would best propel our customers’ great ideas to market – faster.”

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Dorigo Systems partners with best-in-class suppliers using their curated ecosystem. These partners collaborate with their engineers in Design for Manufacturability (DFM) to ensure designs are built to be the best.

For power conversion customers, leveraging the expertise of SMPC Technologies has been critical to Dorigo’s ongoing success. Both companies are located in the growing Power District of Burnaby, BC where industry-leading companies, such as Ballard Power Systems, are bringing the best power conversion products to market.

Tony Ziccardi and Gueorgui Anguelov, SMPC Technologies Ltd.

SMPC Technologies has been at the forefront of power conversion pioneering the commercialization of LLC technology used in high power conversion products. For over 20 years, SMPC has been designing power converters with very high power conversion efficiency and power density with low BOM costs.

“We are used to working with young, driven enthusiasts in this field,” states Gueorgui Anguelov, President and CEO, SMPC Technologies Ltd. “What we often see is that these companies don’t have the depth of knowledge in power conversion to increase design. Designing great products requires a multi-disciplinary effort using engineering expertise that few companies have in-house.”

Working with Dorigo Systems, SMPC is changing how power conversion products are brought to market. Not only does SMPC offer design solutions, they also know how to efficiently manufacture high power conversion products for dc-dc converters (unidirectional or bidirectional), ac-dc rectifier, ac-ac converters and dc-ac inverters.

EV-NRGY 14k4W is an innovative Level 2 multi-residential/commercial charging station for the Canadian Market. Source: SMPC Technologies Ltd.

“We are designing solutions for companies that are experts in their field of understanding but not as knowledgeable about actual chargers,” says Gueorgui Anguelov, “We focus on providing solutions for Tier 2 and 3 level chargers to these organizations who are seeking a complete solution.”

Level 3 chargers are the future for the EV market and will be similar to today’s gas stations where EVs can charge up quickly along highways. Anguelov points to Tesla’s Supercharger Stations which are currently driving this infrastructure throughout North America.

Often OEMs come to a point where they have to decide to design in-house or outsource. It’s common to try and keep EV charger manufacturing in-house – is this really the best option?

A strong case for outsourcing

By trying to keep all aspects of EV charger manufacturing in-house, companies are quickly discovering that it’s a struggle to innovate the product, scale production and keep costs low.

“The EV charging industry is currently a young, low-margin industry,” comments Gueorgui Anguelov. “This is where an engineering and manufacturing partnership offered by Dorigo Systems and SMPC can make a dramatic difference in being competitive in power electric designs.”

Danial Arooj, P.Eng., Dorigo

Partnering with Dorigo Systems ensures the power conversion designs can be prototyped and then scaled up for manufacture. As Dorigo is located nearby to SMPC, they stay within North America, avoiding 25% trade tariffs providing economies of scale to customers.

“We have built a nimble organization,” Anguelov continues. “We are able to implement change in a matter of days versus weeks compared to larger firms which is a huge asset in this competitive marketplace. We also have good relationships with parts suppliers which is even more important today.”

The power of a curated ecosystem

The curated ecosystem offered through Dorigo Systems ensures a complete solution for power conversion customers, including:

* Advanced computer simulation

* Optimization of electronic circuits and magnets

* Thermal management using advanced CFD codes

* Compliance with the strictest EMI safety standard

* Design for large scale and low cost manufacturing

* Design of analog and digital control systems

* Costing

* Prototyping

* Electronics manufacturing.

“Dorigo Systems is the best fit to manufacture the products we are building,” states Tony Ziccardi, director of program management, SMPC. “The team is willing to learn how to build the entire power conversion product from setting up dedicated lines, purchasing equipment, and training them to meet our specific requirements. Dorigo Systems can handle the most demanding and high complexity products and assemblies.”

“Entry level prototypes are needed quickly and built by us once SMPC finalizes design,” states Arooj. “From there, an SMT line is set up at Dorigo Systems for the efficient manufacture of designs.”

“A great example of work completed through our ecosystem are the charging stations designed and manufactured for a leading charging solutions provider,” says Tony Ziccardi. “Their electric vehicle charging stations can be used in a variety of parking lots making charging services easily accessible by EV drivers.”

Level 3 EV charging stations

Dorigo Systems manufactures the charging station and electronic components for SMPC’s EV-NRGY 12.5W DC Fast-Charger is a high performance, low profile charger specifically designed to be incorporated into Level 3 EV charging stations. Dorigo assembles, packages and ships this industry-leading Level 3 charger.

The EV charging industry is at the forefront of a new battery fuelled future powering cars, motorcycles, boats and so many other means of transportation. Being able to strategically power these vehicles will propel the adoption and growth of the EV industry as a whole. Dorigo and SMPC are ready to design the next generation of charging stations which will meet the needs of our electrified world.

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This article was written and submitted by Dorigo Systems Ltd., a turnkey contract electronics manufacturer based in Burnaby BC.

 


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