MCB Electronics, established in 1996 in Lombardy, nearby the iconic Lake Como, is specialized in tailor-made industrial power conversion equipment. The company offers a comprehensive all-around service, from the design of the electronics to the international after-sales customer service relying on a pioneering R&D Department, a high-specialized assembly line crew and an expert test and calibration team.

Interview with Francesco Franco, Head of Sales and Marketing at MCB Electronics.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Francesco Franco: MCB Electronics main expertise is, hands down, powering the most various electrical devices deployed within automated production and testing lines, providing broad ranges of voltage, frequency and current thoroughly sized in both input and output according to the specifications provided by the end customer. MCB Electronics, as we speak, is serving more than 30 industries and marketplaces among which stand out:

  • Household appliances (washing machines, dishwashers, hobs, range hoods, micro waves, TV, Hi-fi Systems etc.)
  • HVAC devices (boilers, chillers, etc.)
  • Industrial electrical equipment (electric motors, transformers, welding machines, compressors, hydro cleaners, circuit breakers, current transformers etc.)
  • Medical devices (CT, MRI, ultrasound, sterilizers, etc.)
  • Automotive (powering test benches, battery pack testing, on-board battery chargers testing etc.)
  • Avionics and Military.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

F.F: Before talking about products and latest releases, it’s important to highlight the actual business turning point in MCB Electronics history, dated November 2020. After 24 years brilliantly lucrative through mere OEM partnerships and serving several national and international brands, the three enlightened shareholders decided to invest time and money to tip the strategy over aiming at the enhancement of their own brand at local and international level. Brand recognition and brand reputation activities, along with a full refurbishment of the product families, were made possible with the hiring of high professional profiles in all the departments of the business with solid international experience.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

F.F: AC/AC Power Sources – 3 functions in 1 unit (Frequency Converter, Voltage Regulator, Voltage Stabilizer)

  • 1-phase input, 1-phase output (1.5kVA – 7.5kVA)
  • 3-phase input, 1-phase output (10kVA – 25kVA)
  • 3-phase input, 3-phase output (9kVA – 150kVA)

AC/AC and AC/DC Current Generators (very high current, very low voltage)

  • up to 150kVA/150kW
  • up to 40kA output within the max deliverable power

AC/DC Power Sources equipped with Battery Charging function

  • up to 200kW
  • up to 1500Vdc within the max deliverable power
  • up to 500A within the max deliverable power
  • Optionally equipped with battery charging feature

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

F.F: The keys for a sustainable and steadily growing business are the market differentiation and the customized approach fulfilling the most disparate inquiries: not being subject to the volatile trends of a specific market and offering full bespoke solutions guarantees the continuous fueling of the company reorganization process without particular concerns. 90% of the turnover is generated from our bread and butter AC-AC Power Source products family with a high-rate deployment in the manufacturing plants of most of the major household appliances, HVAC and automotive players. Still relevant and strategic the brand new and ongoing partnerships with Engineering and System Integration companies.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

F.F: Electrification and therefore the EV (electric vehicles) market are undoubtedly the hype of the moment: testing of battery packs, testing of on-board battery chargers, design of charging stations, not mentioning the cutting-edge hydrogen generation systems. If on one hand it’s the physiological technological progress to pave the way to new trends, on the other hand politics plays a fundamental role nowadays: the EU2035 fossil fuel cars ban it’s the main incentive to the change. The power conversion industry consequently follows and adapt to it: DC bidirectional and regenerative power supplies are booming with a fierce competition between handful stakeholders. MCB Electronics attentively monitors the situation, screening the option to plunge into this market too; for the moment it can still make the difference deploying AC-AC power upstream the complex battery testing systems delivering in output several AC configurations, from the EU 1-phase to the US 1-phase or 2-phase, from the EU 3-phase to the US  3-phase.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

F.F: MCB Electronics, as previously mentioned, since 2020 has been busy reengineering the whole AC/AC power sources product line starting from the 1-phase models, officially launched at the Coiltech Fair Italy in September 2021. These units, up to 7.5kVA have been completely revamped taking quality, reliability, interfaceability, and user-friendliness to the next level.

At a glance:

  • Compact 3U D500 Rack 19’’ design against the 5U D560 of the past design
  • Double output voltage range 150Vac and 300Vac [PH-N]
  • Frequency output up to 1000Hz custom
  • Feature to convert the voltage regulator into a current generator
  • 3 local control panels including a leading-edge 7’’ touch screen entirely designed and developed by our R&D department
  • Sensing function as standard
  • RS232 and Ethernet with SCPI protocol as standard
  • MCB owned analog 12 poles interface with 0-10Vdc protocol as standard

Beside this ongoing activity, soon shifting to the 3-phase models, MCB Electronics has invested in Augmented and Virtual Reality developing an interactive app which gives the opportunity to the users to retrieve all the technical data of the products as well as to take a literal full-immersive tour into the power sources architecture. 

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?

F.F: The underway and relentless business model reorganization combined with the implementation of a new own-brand strategy has been bringing a series of a countable and uncountable benefits. 

MCB Electronics closed the FY2020 with a turnover of 1.42m€ relying merely on third parties, thus being devoid from any direct market control. 

Two financial years later, MCB Electronics can account:

  • 1 direct sales manager Italy
  • 1 direct sales manager Poland
  • 1 direct sales manager Spain
  • 1 international sales director
  • 6 distributors (Scandinavia, Czech Republic and Slovakia, UK, Morocco, India, Vietnam, Egypt)
  • 2 manufacturing representatives (US, Egypt)
  • 3 partnerships with system integrators (Canada, Poland)

The growth in the past FY2022 is by 2 % digits getting so close to 2m€ and exceeding our business plan by 120k€.

FY23 is the year of the consolidation with the empowering of the internal sales team, with the generation of consistent sales from any of our open partnerships and the definition of 3 further distribution agreements in strategic areas such as US and Turkey.