Founded in 1987, Mencom Corporation manufactures high-quality, cost-effective solutions that meet industrial electrical connector requirements. Their highly trained staff of experts utilize decades of electrical and electronic industry-related experience to develop the highest quality products available. In addition, this vast expertise allows Mencom to assist OEM customers in selecting the best products to meet their unique connection requirements. This ensures customers receive the most cost-effective solution possible, plus one that requires minimal installation time, reducing the customer’s total installed costs. Mencom is also the North American Master Distributor for ILME rectangular connectors. Mencom’s headquarters and warehouse facilities are located in Oakwood, Ga., just north of Atlanta. Interview with Mark Dixon, Marketing Manager at Mencom Corporation. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? Mark Dixon: Mencom offers innovative solutions that provide high-quality industrial electrical connectors for a wide range of applications in the manufacturing and automation industries including but not limited to robotics, machine building, packaging, energy, oil and gas, semiconductors, transportation and many more. Mencom also offers custom solutions to meet specific requirements and needs of the customers. E.E: What’s the news about new products? M.D: Mencom Connectivity Solutions for Hazardous Locations When electrical applications are used in or near hazardous environments where flammable gases, vapors, flammable liquids, combustible dust, or ignitable fibers may be present, there is a potential risk of a fire or explosion. According to article 500 of the National Electric Code (NEC) defined by The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), these hazardous locations are classified using the ‘Class & Division’ system. The ‘Class’ is based on the general characteristics of hazardous substances in the surrounding atmosphere, and the ‘Division’ is defined based on the likelihood of the presence of hazardous materials. Mencom Hazardous Location Connectors series is designed to meet stringent electrical requirements for protection under Class I Division 2 environments and certified by Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL). ‘Class I’ is defined as a hazardous location in which flammable gas or vapor may be present in sufficient quantities to be considered ignitable or explosive. ‘Division 2’ is defined as an area that is not likely to contain dangerous concentrations of flammable substances in closed containers. Common Class I Division 2 hazardous locations include refineries, utility gas plants, coal mines, and liquid-gas storage facilities. The part numbers for the hazard location connectors will have an ‘H2’ prefix (e.g. MIN-3FP-3 becomes H2MIN-3FP-3) that distinguishes them from existing Mencom SKUs. These connectors are available for most Mencom circular connectors series such as MIN & PMIN Series, M12, and Networks. They are rated IP65 (minimum) to IP67 (IP69), providing complete protection against ingress of dust, water jet, and steam. Their rugged structure with quick connect and disconnect design greatly increases installation speed without the use of special tools while providing more secure connections than hardwiring alternatives against machine vibration. Mencom also offers a locking mechanism for the MIN Size I (7/8”) and PMIN (1 3/8”) series to protect the connection that prevents unexpected interruptions between two straight plugs or between a straight plug and a mating receptacle. E.E: What are the ranges of products? M.D: – Molded cables and receptacles for sensors and actuators – MINI, M23, M12, M8, Micro-AC, Euro AC, Device Net, Profi-bus, Foundation Field-bus – Multi-pin industrial rectangular connectors for power and data lines – Panel Interface Connectors for safe and quick reprogramming requirements – DIN solenoid valve connectors for solenoids – Junction Blocks for power & signal distribution – Multi port connector plates for multiple connections in a small space – Conduit adapters for distribution of power & signal using conduit – Industrial networking and communication solutions – A wide variety of metric, PG and NPT cable glands, fittings and adapters E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? M.D: We believe that the industrial manufacturing industry is currently in a growth phase driven by the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies and advancements in technology. Mencom, in line with this trend, is committed to continuously improving its processes, products, and services in order to exceed customer expectations and consistently meet or exceed their requirements. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? M.D: Key trends in the manufacturing industry in recent years include the implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies in smart factories, a growing emphasis on sustainability, an increasing use of robotics and automation to improve efficiency and reduce labor costs, and diversification of supply chains to minimize disruption risks. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? M.D: One of our most innovative products is the panel interface connector (PIC) series. The PIC is a device that attaches to the exterior of control panels in manufacturing or automation settings. Once installed, it allows the user to easily access and interface with the computer, PLC or other programmable devices inside the control panel without having to open the panel door. This feature eliminates many potential safety hazards that come with an open electrical panel, such as the risk of arc flash. Due to its convenience and safety features, market demand for PICs has been on the rise in recent years. We offer PICs in standard metal housing, low-profile housing of different sizes, and can customize the interface to meet the specific needs of our customers and applications. We currently have over 2000 PIC designs in production and are continuously developing new designs. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023? M.D: We anticipate the demand for automation to continue to rise as manufacturers aim to improve efficiency and streamline processes. To meet these demands, we plan to invest in new equipment, process improvements and our employees. Additionally, we aim to diversify our customer base and expand our product offerings. The current global challenges such as COVID-19, geopolitical tensions, labor shortage, rising raw material costs and logistics have created a difficult environment for the manufacturing industry. With the potential for economic recession, the market is expected to become increasingly competitive. Despite these challenges, Mencom is committed to delivering high-quality products at competitive prices and exceeding customer expectations.