Category Archives: Blog

Remote Diagnostics/Telemedicine. Doctor With A Stethoscope On The Computer

The Push for Remote Diagnostics

May 18, 2020

The Public Need for Remote Healthcare

Before the most recent concern of highly contagious diseases, healthcare and technology providers recognized the need for remote diagnostics.

With the extenuating circumstances of the most recent outbreak, there is an even bigger demand for at-home healthcare and screening in attempt to limit in-person interactions between patients, doctors, and staff members.

Remote diagnostics, or at-home screening, allows doctors to monitor the patients’ temperature, heartbeat, ECG, blood pressure, and more from a remote location.

The same technology could also be useful to patients who are immobile, have difficulty traveling, and live in rural areas.

Additionally, this technology would free up necessary medical supplies, like hospital beds for critical patients, personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as reduce hospital bills for patients.

Remote Diagnostics

The Tech that Makes It Happen

Advancing technology has miniaturized even the most elaborate of machinery that wasn’t thought possible before.

Recently, a company in India developed an extremely accurate ECG instrument that is the size of a keychain. This provides a viable alternative to buying a large and costly machine that isn’t needed.

Entities like Care Hub are already pushing to release kits to those who are self-isolating or can’t go into the doctor’s office. These kits come with all the technology necessary for at home monitoring.

Many hospital networks are now pushing Telehealth visits, virtual video chat appointments with patients and doctors, versus in person screenings that increase risk for doctors and other patients.

Other companies like Masimo are creating single use monitoring devices that connect to an app which guides patients through a series of questions regarding their symptoms. These devices are sent out in a multi-day supply. After completion, the results are sent to clinicians to help coordinate the patient’s needs.

Remote Diagnostics

Where Johnson Medtech Comes In

Johnson Medtech creates custom printed circuits that are used in single use vital sign monitoring devices.

Our technology has been adapted to be waterproof, extremely thin, and comfortable to wear. With a global footprint we have the economy of scale for any order and can deliver it using our logistic network.

For more information please contact us.

Red Semi Truck; solenoids in semi trucks

Your Guide to Solenoids in Semi-Trucks

May 15, 2020

Even though solenoids are found in many household items such as washing machines, dishwashers, doorbells, sprinkler systems, they are most known for the roles they play in allowing automobiles to run smoothly. Many car enthusiasts know of all the different solenoids found in cars and trucks, but how about in semi-trucks? Semis are much larger than standard vehicles and therefore house a greater number of solenoids than traditional vehicles.

It takes many components to make trucks operate properly, decrease emissions, and increase efficiency. Solenoids are an important component of semis. Let’s take a different look at the different kinds of solenoids and their functions.

The Purpose of Solenoids

Solenoids are a simple concept; in that they work by converting electrical energy into mechanical energy. This happens by creating a magnetic field which then produces the desired motion. Solenoids operate either a push or pull operation and some can actually do both. Simply put, solenoids signal for valves to open or close as well as to tell certain components to come on or shut off.

In some cases, such as in the transmission, there are multiple solenoids that work together to execute a function.

Starter Solenoids

The starter solenoid is the most recognized solenoid and is used to initiate the engine. This type of solenoid installs in either one of two ways. The first and most common involves attaching it directly to the starter. The second includes detaching it from the starter. In a detached starter solenoid, it instead attaches under the fender well or on the firewall. This solenoid sends a powerful electrical current through the starter motor, which prompts the engine to turnover. This allows the motor to start under its own power.

Transmission Solenoids

This type of solenoid is a valve that is used to control the flow of transmission fluid throughout the engine. This, in turn, allows the truck to shift gears. The transmission solenoid typically installs in the transmission valve body, control unit, or control module. It is important to understand that trucks do not have just one transmission solenoid. There are several solenoids in the transmission for each gear that allows for shifting. The truck’s engine control unit or transmission control unit senses the speed of the truck and sends a signal to the appropriate shift solenoid in the truck to allow upshifting or downshifting of gears as needed.

Four-Wheel Drive Solenoids

Four-wheel drive solenoids are responsible for engaging and disengaging the four-wheel-drive feature of the semi. The size of the truck will depend on the number of solenoids required to initiate the four-wheel drive. You will find an even number of solenoids on each side of the truck in the housing. A failure in any one solenoid will cause the four-wheel-drive feature to either work improperly or not at all. A point of interest is that solenoids are not found in trucks that you have to engage and disengage the four-wheel-drive feature manually.

Solenoids for Doors and Hoods

Door solenoids are powerful enough to open even the toughest doors and hoods of semi-trucks. The number of solenoids per door or hood will depend on the size of each component. Solenoids allow for easy opening of each component by either the push of a button or the flip of a switch. There are solenoids available that are anti-rust and will last much longer than cheaper quality solenoids that are subject to rust, cracks, and leaks.

Window Solenoids

Manual windows will not have solenoids, but semis that have automatic windows will have solenoids. The function of the solenoids is to signal the windows to move up and down. This can either be by a remote, button, or a switch.

Fuel Injection Solenoids

The bottom line is that your semi will not run if the engine is not receiving fuel. The fuel injection solenoid’s function is to tell the injectors when to release fuel to the engine. There are different types of fuel injection solenoids available that are able to reduce emissions and increase the efficiency of the vehicle.

Diesel Fuel Shut-Off Solenoid

A diesel fuel shut-off solenoid is responsible for the regulation of fuel to the engine. It contains an inlet pipe, which then transports the diesel fuel from the fuel line to the solenoid valve. This type of solenoid is typically installed as part of the main electrical system. This means that abnormal temperatures or malfunctions will be monitored and if something goes wrong, the electrical current to the solenoid is shut off. The valve then closes and prevents fuel from reaching the engine.

Solenoids Power Accessories

Many vehicle accessories are powered by solenoids, and semis are no exception. Unlike traditional vehicles, semis must have the ability to perform unique functions. For instance, dump trailers must have the ability to lift and lower the bed. This is accomplished with the use of solenoids. In fact, solenoids are used to power many special features of semi-trucks.

How Many Solenoids Do Semi Trucks Have?

There is not a one size fits all answer to this question. The fact of the matter is that the number of solenoids will depend on what size semi you have and what features are on it. For example, is it a four-wheel drive? Does it have power or manual windows and doors? What kind of special functions are installed on the semi? The answer to all of these questions will impact the number of solenoids on your truck.

Turn to the Solenoid Specialists

Johnson Electric is the premier expert in solenoids for semi-trucks. Our specialists can walk you through all your options and help you decide on the best option to fit your needs. If you aren’t quite sure what you need, we are more than happy to give you professional advice on what might work best for your needs. Contact us for more information on our line of high-quality solenoid products.

Big Green Sport Snowmobile Jump. Cloud Of Snow Dust; powersports

Powersports Vehicle Manufacturers and Starter Solenoid Suppliers: A Symbiotic Partnership

April 27, 2020

People everywhere in the U.S. are enjoying the great outdoors. As a result, the number of consumers buying ATVs, snowmobiles, and personal watercrafts continue to grow. The demand for powersports vehicles is projected to expand from $11 billion in 2018 to $14.5 billion in 2025. With the prospect of so many buyers taking to the trail and the lake with their vehicles in the next several years, powersports vehicle manufacturers have good reason to rejoice.

The reliability of these vehicles is key to customer satisfaction, so a robust electric starting system is important. Most powersports vehicles are powered by internal combustion engines, and are operated through the use of handlebars and a push-button starter.

Because of the way a powersports vehicle is designed, a critical component of an electric starting system is a starter solenoid. It is essential because, if it goes bad, the vehicle will be difficult to start or it won’t start at all. While the principles of how a starter solenoid functions are fairly straightforward, it requires troubleshooting to figure out why it has failed.

Here is a basic overview of what a starter solenoid is, how it works, and how one can go bad.

What Is a Starter Solenoid?

A vehicle’s electric starting system requires a large amount of current to create the torque needed to turn over the engine. The conductors needed to carry the current must be large enough so that there is no drop in voltage. Wiring these large conductors to the vehicle’s ignition switch directly wouldn’t be practical, so an electromagnetic switch is used to control the current instead.

This large magnetic switch is the starter solenoid and it is mounted on the starter motor that it controls. Starter solenoids come in several shapes and sizes, but they almost always are designed as either linear solenoids or rotary solenoids.

A basic linear solenoid has an electrical coil wound around a cylindrical tube with a plunger that moves in and out of the body of the coil.

The other type of starter solenoid is a rotary solenoid. In contrast to the back and forth motion of the linear solenoid, the rotary solenoid produces a circular or angular motion, in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction (or sometimes both). This type of starter solenoid also has an electrical coil, but it has a steel frame with a magnetic disk attached to an output shaft positioned above the coil.

Both linear and rotary solenoids are available as either a holding type that is continuously energized or a latching type that has an ON-OFF pulse.

How Does It Work?

The starter that turns over the motor of a powersports vehicle has two separate circuits: one for low currents and one for high currents. Both are connected to the battery. The starter solenoid acts as a switch to take high current from the battery to the high current load at the starter. It uses a low voltage circuit that makes a contact point between the start button on the vehicle’s handlebars and the battery when the button is pressed.

The starter solenoid also uses the electromagnetic force created when current flows through its windings to produce a mechanical movement. The movement pushes the pinion, engaging it to the ring gear of the engine’s flywheel. When the starter solenoid is triggered, it starts the starter motor of the internal combustion engine.

What Happens When a Starter Solenoid Goes Bad?

A starter solenoid goes bad when there isn’t enough current being sent to the starter after the start button is pushed. The solenoid may behave in certain ways before failing completely or after it has gone bad. Here are the most common signs of a struggling starter solenoid.

  1. When the start button is pushed, the starter solenoid makes a series of rapid clicks. Sometimes a dead battery will make a similar sound. But if the vehicle’s battery has enough charge, this sound means that the starter solenoid is not making enough electrical contact with the starter. Loose connections, corroded terminals, or worn or welded-together contacts can cause this problem.
  2. The starter continues to run, even after its drive gear disengages and the start button has been released from the ON position. The starter solenoid’s contacts stay connected because they have been burnt out as a result of heat and high currents. The surfaces of the contacts have melted and fused together, which creates a continuous flow between the contacts. If this problem isn’t fixed quickly, it can cause severe damage to the starter.
  3. The starter solenoid makes a single click and moves slightly. This sign indicates that the solenoid is trying to engage. It may be broken, or there may be a faulty connection between the solenoid and the starter. Another cause could come from reduced conductivity resulting from dirt, corrosion, or breakage.
  4. The starter engages but doesn’t disengage even after the start button is released. The solenoid has burnt-out contacts that stay closed even after the engine is turned off. The return spring on the solenoid’s plunger may have lost its elasticity from repeated use.

The Symptoms of a Faulty Starter

If you’ve worked through the troubleshooting for a bad solenoid but have not found any of the symptoms listed in the previous section, it’s time to look at the symptoms of failing starter. Here are the most common symptoms of a starter that isn’t working properly.

  1. The vehicle doesn’t start. Although there may be other reasons for this problem, such as a bad battery or broken wiring, it’s very possible that the starter isn’t working. If this is the case, the problem may lie with a failed circuit. No matter how many times you press the start button. If the circuit is just starting to fail, there may be a clicking sound as after you have pressed the start button.
  2. The starter remains on, even after the engine is started. If you stop pressing the start button, the circuit to the starter closes, which should cut off power to the starter motor. If the starter remains on after the engine has been started, then the main contacts in the starter relay most likely have melted together in the closed position. In this case, the starter relay will be frozen in the ON position, and damage to the starter, circuit, relay, and transmission is possible if the problem is not taken care of immediately.
  3. Sometimes the vehicle starts, sometimes it doesn’t. Excessive heat, dirt, or other debris can damage the starter relay, causing intermittent operation of the starter. In a number of cases, bad wiring exposed to dirt is the cause behind intermittent starting difficulties.
  4. A clicking sound comes from the starter. Sometimes you might hear this sound if your battery isn’t holding a charge. But it also could mean that your starter relay is not sending a full electrical current. The starter relay either sends a full current or it doesn’t send a current at all. Sometimes, though, there will be instances when a damaged starter relay causes the starter to emit a clicking noise.

Johnson Electric’s Starter Solenoid Solutions for Powersport Vehicles

The problems associated with a failing starter solenoid or a faulty starter highlights just how much is riding on the electrical circuits of these components. Customers expect dependable performance from their powersports vehicles under the toughest conditions, which means they need to start every time.

Johnson Electric offers robust starter solenoid solutions for manufacturers of jet skis, ATVs, snowmobiles, and other powersports vehicles. These solutions include STA Tubular solenoids, Tough Seal rocker switches, and PowerPod™ starters. All of the solutions are designed to resist vibration and corrosion, greatly reducing the chance of loose, dirty or corroded connections. Lightweight and compact, these solutions provide a lot of power and utility for their size.

What’s more, Johnson Electric has tailored these solutions specifically for each kind of powersports vehicle.

  • Marine vehicles. The starter solutions for jet skis and marine outboard motors are water-sealed and designed for the exact requirements of the vehicle.
  • Snowmobiles. Starter solutions produced by Johnson Electric are cold-cranking and have been tested in extreme conditions. They have been created especially for outdoor applications.
  • ATVs. With 100% cranking ability, Johnson Electric’s starter solutions are designed to work reliably under the most punishing outdoor conditions.

Whether your company manufactures snowmobiles, ATVs, jet skis or other powersport vehicles, Johnson Electric has starter solenoid solutions that will help them start strong every time. Your success in bringing a quality product to your customers is also our success, and we value the partnership we share with you.

For more details about a starter solenoid solution that is custom-engineered for your powersports product, contact us today.

Tired Truck Driver In His 30s Resting In Front Of His Semi-truck

How Johnson Electric solves Truckers’ Top 5 Frustrations with Semi-Truck Solenoids

March 6, 2020

Solenoids may be the most important part of a semi-truck you’ve never heard of before. Even those with decades of experience in the trucking and manufacturing industries may not know the important role a solenoid plays in the daily life of a truck driver. Any driver who has been out on the road for long, though, will be very familiar with the solenoid and the role it plays in getting them and their cargo from Point A to Point B.

Understanding and overcoming those frustrations can lead to happier drivers as well as more efficient deliveries. Here are five common frustrations with semi-truck solenoids and how Johnson Electric can solve them.

Common Frustrations with Solenoids

They Can Be Temperamental in Extreme Weather

Solenoids aren’t known for their reliability in very hot, very cold, or very wet weather. In hot weather, the coil can’t dissipate the heat created, and the resistance of the coil increases. That means the solenoid can’t close and the coil that’s inside will burn out. You may experience something similar in extremely cold weather. If you’ve ever tried to start your car or semi-truck only to hear it click but not turn over, that could be because the solenoid is simply too cold to engage. This will happen more often if the solenoid is getting old and needs replacing.

It’s not just hot and cold weather that can stop a solenoid from working. Wet weather is another concern. Too much moisture can lead to corrosion, which can have a major impact on the solenoid’s functionality.

To avoid unnecessary maintenance issues for customers, automotive solenoids from Johnson Electric undergo a 12-hour salt spray test to check for corrosion. Each solenoid is closely inspected by our engineers at the end of the test.

Companies Often Don’t Replace Them on Time

This is one of the frustrations that’s particularly strong for drivers working with a company vehicle instead of their own semi-truck. Solenoids, like most moving parts on a vehicle, will eventually need replacing. How often you replace a solenoid will depend on many factors, including:

  • Working conditions of the vehicle
  • What mechanism the solenoid is controlling
  • How often you fire the solenoid
  • How regularly you maintain the vehicle
  • The quality of the solenoid

If the solenoid is being used constantly in tough conditions, most manufacturers will tell you that you’ll get about 500,000 actuations. This example is specific to applications for out tubulars for tractors.

Good maintenance can net you ten times as many uses. The problem is that drivers operating company-owned trucks have very little control over the maintenance schedule. That means they can get caught out waiting for a solenoid replacement while trying to meet strict delivery deadlines.

It’s Easy to Misdiagnose a Solenoid Issue

Is it the solenoid or the starter? That’s the timeless question a trucker will ask themselves when their rig fails to turnover. Because these systems work together and depend on each other to start the engine, if one fails then neither will work. It can be tough to know which element is causing the issue, though. If the solenoid has gone bad, then you’ll still be able to start the engine if you can pass the electrical current through the starter. If you’ve ever seen someone start their vehicle with a screwdriver, that’s what they were doing. The metal of the screwdriver acts as a connection between the two points, bypassing the solenoid and allowing the engine to turn over.

Fortunately, solenoids are easy to replace. If you misdiagnose the problem, though, it can mean the costly and time-consuming replacement of the entire starter mechanism. That’s more money and more time down the drain – and more frustrations – for what could have been an easy fix.

They Like to Be Clean

Of course, trucking isn’t exactly a clean job. There will be plenty of moisture and debris on the road that can get inside the engine of the semi-truck and create issues. Most manufacturers will build in protection around the solenoid to prevent dirt and debris from getting inside the value. Seals used for this purpose can get old, crack, and wear away, leaving the solenoid exposed and vulnerable. Regular maintenance and replacing solenoids at the first sign of wear and tear can prevent a total breakdown.

Coolants Can Short Them Out

Semi-trucks need coolants. They help prevent the truck’s systems from overheating, so coolants aren’t something that a driver wants to go without but keep coolants away from solenoids. That’s because water-based coolants can contain fine metallic pieces. If that liquid (and the metal it contains) comes into contact with the solenoids, it can short them out.

Even if it doesn’t short out the wiring, coolants can cause other issues. Coolants can attract dust, so spillage on or near the solenoid can start to clog up the mechanism. Some coolants are sticky in certain weather conditions, another issue that can prevent solenoids from working correctly. The best method is to keep coolants away from solenoids. If you do experience a spill or a leak, clean up the coolant right away.

Key Ways to Prevent Most Solenoid Frustrations

You can prevent most of the frustrations caused by performing the proper maintenance and buying quality solenoid parts in the first place. High-quality rotary and linear solenoids will be able to stand up to harsh conditions better and wear out slower. Making sure solenoids are clean, well-lubricated, and replaced at the first sign of wear and tear should help keep your drivers and their trucks running smoothly. Have more questions about getting the right solenoids for your fleet? Get in touch with our team now.

unscheduled downtime

The True Cost of Unscheduled Downtime Due to Electrical Equipment Failure in Your Warehouse

February 11, 2020

Modern warehouses and distribution centers rely heavily on their electrical equipment. This machinery helps move products from the shelf to the shipping area. The more efficiently that movement happens, the lower your costs are, and the better your bottom line. But when that electrical equipment fails, that unscheduled downtime can translate into significant losses for your company. According to The Manufacturer, 46% of unplanned downtime is due to hardware failure and malfunction. That means the operational integrity of your electrical equipment plays a significant role in both the productivity and profitability of your warehouse.

The real costs of unscheduled downtime are both direct and indirect. Along with the expenses, there can be long-term repercussions for your business that can impact you for months or even years. That includes shaken customer trust and a surge of opportunities for your competitors, both of which take a considerable amount of effort to overcome. And it’s all caused by something as small as a stopped conveyor system.

So how much money is your business losing to unscheduled downtime? And how can you help prevent it from happening? Let’s break it down.

The Direct Costs

These costs are directly associated with faulty electrical equipment. You can usually tie these expenses to a specific episode of downtime, and they’ll have an immediate impact on your bottom line.

  • Repairing the machinery. The first and most obvious cost of an electrical equipment failure is the cost of getting the machinery back up and running. This expense will vary based on the equipment, the replacement parts needed, and the cost of an outside repair technician if required.
  • Loss of productivity. The longer those repairs take, the higher this particular expense is going to go. Depending on the machinery, work may not stop entirely, but it’s sure to slow down. That means fewer orders going out the door and less money coming in.
  • Canceled orders. Customers now expect their orders to arrive in two days or less. If your warehouse can’t deliver on those speedy expectations, then you can expect some customers to cancel their orders.
  • Operational costs. While downtime prevents money from coming in, it does nothing to stop money from going out. Your business will continue to pay for the overhead costs of simply existing. That includes heating, lighting, and labor charges. Those are unavoidable expenses, but they aren’t being offset by any income when your warehouse is at a near standstill.

The Indirect Costs

Indirect costs tend to be more long term in nature. They may not be directly tied to an incident of unscheduled downtime but can have an impact on your business’ future.

  • Loss of customer trust. When equipment isn’t working in a warehouse or distribution center, then customer orders aren’t fulfilled. While that can lead to direct costs like canceled orders, the indirect cost of eroding customer loyalty can be an even bigger expense. If customers aren’t getting their orders on time, they are much more likely to choose another supplier the next time. For B2C warehouses, it can lead to negative online reviews too, which could scare away potential customers in the future.
  • Boosts the competition. The more you drive away your customers with delayed shipments, the better it is for your competition. If their operation is sailing along without a hitch, then you’ll be at a big disadvantage in the market.
  • Risks to employee health and safety. Most electrical equipment has the benefit of taking the physical burden off of your workers. They don’t have to walk as far, lift as much, or put orders at the risk of human error. When the equipment is down, though, the human labor force has to pick up the slack. That can increase their on-site risk of injuries and accidents, and this leads to more expenses for your business through worker’s compensation claims.

The Bottom Line

The expenses are adding up when equipment is down. But what are the real monetary impacts on your bottom line when your warehouse is at a standstill? It’s going to be different for every business, based on operational expenses and productivity rates. But it’s going to happen. One survey found that organizations experienced an average of two periods of unscheduled downtime over the past three years. Aberdeen’s study on Asset Performance Management found that the average cost of unplanned downtime was anywhere from $10,000 to $250,000 per hour. Those costs are on the rise too, meaning decreasing downtime year over year is fundamental to the success of a business.

So how much time is your business losing to unscheduled downtime? Turns out, most companies don’t know. More than 70% of companies fail to track their as a metric. The International Society of Automation estimates that most manufacturing businesses lose about 5% of their productivity when production lines are slowed or halted, while others may be losing as much as 20%. If you are one of those warehouses failing to track these incidents, there is a good chance you are underestimating your losses. Tracking this downtime can lead to a clearer understanding of the problem, while also providing some cues to possible solutions.

Preventing Electrical Equipment Failure

There are two primary ways of avoiding electrical equipment failure on your warehouse floor: investing in quality equipment and giving it the right preventative maintenance.

A small price tag may lure some warehouse managers into buying discount electrical equipment for their distribution center. While the upfront costs may be appealing, the long term cost of low-quality equipment can be devastating. Investing in quality conveyor systems, solenoids, and pallet systems can be an expense that pays for itself. Not only will the equipment last longer, but the decrease in unscheduled downtime can lead to far greater productivity within the warehouse itself.

Secondly, and perhaps even more importantly, is the issue of preventative maintenance. Making sure you clean and maintain your equipment regularly will go a long way to ensuring it stays up and running. Make sure you keep a schedule of when significant equipment is due for maintenance and replacement, so nothing falls through the cracks. Analyzing downtime and maintenance schedules can help you build predictive maintenance plans too, that way you can anticipate potential breakdowns and work to prevent them before they happen.

While calculating the costs of unscheduled downtime can be difficult, it’s an undeniable necessity for your warehouse. That data can help you increase your bottom line in a big way. Knowing how severely your warehouse is impacted by faulty electrical equipment will be the first step in keeping those expenses down. Looking for better electrical equipment to power your warehouse? From motors to solenoids, talk to our team to learn more about how we’re helping distribution centers like yours keep their systems running.

package theft; shadow of a thief before packages piled up in front of a door

Porch Pirates Creating Product Opportunities

February 10, 2020

Where’s My Package?

packages left on porch; watch for package theft!With e-commerce on the rise and not planning to slow down anytime soon, the need to protect shipments is becoming an industry in its own. According to Shorr Packaging, out of over a thousand people who were surveyed 24% had personally experienced package theft. This number does show a nearly 7% decrease over the past two years; but it still amounts to billions of dollars lost for companies like Amazon who typically will ship replacement products. That means not only does the retailer pay for the products stolen; they also pay the shipping and logistical costs to transport the package to you.

With thousands of packages disappearing from porches every month, many people believe that delivery companies aren’t doing their share to prevent package theft. Some even go as far as changing their online shopping habits to avoid their products being snatched in broad daylight. Police are also having trouble catching criminals, with some police departments reporting only 7 percent arrest rates.

Taking Action

Being proactive with purchasing is the primary method to prevent parcel theft. The popularity of the Ring doorbell, a home security doorbell that records movement in front of your door and is owned by Amazon, seems to be a great preventative. These doorbells paired with the private social media app Nextdoor, which is a forum to post neighborhood information that includes thefts, are being used to catch and deter potential thieves.

package being scanned; package theftAnother route consumers are using is alternative delivery options, such as picking up packages at separate locations. This has led to a boom of activity in the smart locker market. Customers need an easy and secure way to pick up their packages without the need for an attendant.

Smart lockers allow delivery people to drop off packages that require specific codes to unlock after being deposited. Amazon themselves have debuted the Amazon Hub Locker as their own solution. As of right now, they have less than 10,000 lockers, but plan on evaluating thousands of prospective locations every month coming this year. Companies are even creating smart locks and lockboxes for your home deliveries, though they can run well over 100 dollars.

How Johnson Electric Plays a Role

 As a top provider of motion solutions, Johnson Electric has technology capable of supplying a solenoid to fit any locking need. Our new B7 solenoid is able to be a quick drop-in replacement without needing added tools to install. Also, with its forward-thinking nail head plunger design it is able to eliminate the need for extra attachment hardware.

For more information please visit us at

Sales Manager Showing Electric Cars, Charging Station To A Young Couple

How the Hybrid and Electric Cars Segment is Growing

February 4, 2020

Electric and hybrid vehicles are, in many people’s view, the way of the future. According to Mordor Intelligence, the hybrid vehicle market is likely to increase by 10.23% between now and 2024, with the most significant growth being in Asia. Hybrid and electric cars are growing in popularity as gas prices rise, government incentives are put in play, and environmental concerns become more important.

The following factors are driving the growth of the segment:

Increased Range

The range of electric vehicles and the electric-only range of hybrids continues to grow. Although not everyone can afford a Tesla with a range of almost 400 miles, there are now a variety of cars available with 200+ mile ranges.

Because there are now charging stations in more locations, it’s feasible to do a cross-country drive in an electric vehicle without a lot of pre-planning. Even an “average” vehicle has a range of 100 miles, enough for commuting and most routine driving. Fast chargers allow for an 80% charge in about 20 minutes; this means you can charge your car while you get lunch.

However, for long-distance driving, the hybrid or plug-in hybrid is king. Plug-in hybrids work like electric cars for short distances (10 – 50 miles), then like regular hybrids afterward. They can generally travel up to 300 miles on a single tank.

Oh, and not having to stop for gas can save a surprising amount of time.

Electric Cars Are Actually Fun

Electric vehicles were once associated with golf carts and British milk floats; their top speed of 15mph frustrating morning traffic. However, a modern electric car can be more fun than a gas-powered vehicle. Electric motors provide plenty of torque, giving these cars a fast 0 to 60 and a lot of “pickup.” More practically, it’s a good deal easier to merge.

Emissions Limits

Emissions limits are becoming ever stricter in some places; the easiest way to comply with them is often to buy a hybrid. Plug-in electric cars provide even better alternatives, producing no emissions at all. Worrying about getting into trouble for emissions come inspection time is a huge reason why many people are going electric.

While buying a fully electric car is a huge leap, a hybrid is still cheaper on gas, with lower emissions. And they accomplish this without a significant change in your routine. Many people switch to hybrids and never look back.

Tax Rebates

Although some tax rebates for electric and hybrid vehicles are going away as gas tax revenue drops, others are still in place. Over time the remaining rebates will go away; however, the price drop as electric technology becomes more widely adopted mitigates any sticker shock. These tax rebates can total up to several thousand dollars off the price of the vehicle. This often covers the typical gap between a regular car and a more expensive hybrid.

Increased Longevity

Electric cars have fewer moving parts. A typical gas engine lasts about 140,000 miles. A study of Tesla vehicles showed that at this point, their batteries were holding about 8% less charge than when brand new. Experts predict an electric car battery may last well over one million miles. Not only will it probably outlast the body of the car it’s in, but there are secondary uses being explored for used car batteries.

While we don’t know for sure because electric cars are still relatively new, it’s likely that your electric vehicle, if well looked after, will last for years to come.

They also need a lot less maintenance — no more trips to Jiffy Lube for routine oil changes. The transmission is also much simpler in electric cars, although more complicated in hybrids. The savings in both time and money is significant.

Gas Prices

Gas prices are rising in most areas, especially in the United States, where drivers have long been used to paying a lot less for their fuel.

Although an electric or plug-in hybrid will result in an increase in your electricity bill, the EPA estimates savings of at least $4,000 over five years. In Europe, where gas has always been more expensive, the savings can be even more significant.

Because of all of these, it’s time for manufacturers to step up to the plate. The availability of hybrids has become mainstream, but electric vehicles are still very much a special-order item. This is particularly true at budget levels lower than the Teslas. However, electric cars are definitely the future and the market segment will continue to grow.

Hybrid vehicles contain a solenoid clutch that works as part of the switching system between internal combustion and electric motors. A second solenoid clutch switches between drawing power from the engine and drawing power from the wheels to charge the batteries. These solenoid clutches are critical elements of how a hybrid vehicle makes good use of both power sources.

Where We Come In

As a major supplier of solenoids and motors, we are very interested in the research being done with solenoids as a primary electromechanical system.

To find out how Johnson Electric can help with solenoid clutches, solenoid starters, and other essential components for hybrid and electric vehicles, contact us today.

Charging Electric Vehicles; Silver Color Car. Charging Station

Growth in the Market for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

January 28, 2020

Electric vehicles (EV) are not new to automotive markets. Beginning with the automaker giant, Tesla, other OEMs have supercharged their efforts in bringing affordable, reliable, and safe electric vehicles to the masses.

Many inventors, entrepreneurs, presidents and automakers have been fascinated with the transfer of electricity in some form or another. The earliest commercial use of electricity to power an electric vehicle was exhibited in an experimental train; it ran briefly between Washington and Baltimore (about 40 miles) in 1851. Although that experiment ultimately failed, we take note at the progress we’ve made over the last 170 years.

As the market for electric and hybrid vehicles continues to grow, Johnson Electric pledges to be the technology leader, through familiar and uncharted territory.

The First Coming of Age for Electric Cars

Following the turn of the century, fleets of electric cars began to appear. Beginning with the first crude electric vehicle around 1832, the United States continued to boom with new inventions to make the electric automobile even better than the one before. Big names like William Morrison (who created the first successful electric vehicle in the U.S.), to others like Thomas Edison, Ferdinand Porsche, and Elon Musk; they are the movers and shakers of the automotive and energy industries.

Their inventions have paved the way for forward progress and continued success for electric vehicles. Robert Anderson developed the first crude electric vehicle in 1832. Over the years, the EV has become more practical with constant cycles of evolution. These include prolonged battery life and the hybrid of fuel.

At the turn of the 20th century, electric cars became increasingly popular, especially to women and those in urban locations. The ability to afford a vehicle was seen as a luxury and a status symbol. Electric cars of this time were quiet, easy to drive and didn’t produce smelly pollutants into the air as their gas-powered counterpart. By 1900, electric vehicles accounted for around a third of all vehicles on the road including horse-drawn vehicles.

The Rise of Gasoline Cars

In 1908, the Ford Model T made gasoline cars more widely available and affordable; they began making inroads through the market for electric vehicles. However, residents living outside major cities often had no electricity, which made it impossible to charge electric vehicles.

Therefore, the distribution system for gasoline grew faster than the electrical grid; inevitably this made gas-powered vehicles more practical and more popular than electric cars. Electric cars all but vanished by 1935 and remained in a kind of dark age for 30 years.

Oil Economics and Ecology

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, oil prices and political/economic forces made oil availability fluctuate. The Arab oil-producing states placed an embargo on their oil in 1973, which left the U.S. scrambling to develop domestic oil production.

Congress passed the Electric and Hybrid Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 1976, which authorized support for research and development in electric and hybrid vehicles. Consequently, a number of test and demonstration vehicles were produced with limited consumer functionality, like low maximum speeds and short battery ranges.

By the 1990s, the public raised concerns about gasoline-powered cars as pollution producers, focusing on environmental and ecological health. In turn, Congress passed the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendment, the 1992 Energy Policy Act, and new auto emissions regulations. Once again, automobile producers began to experiment with electric vehicles or modifying existing models to make electric-powered versions.

An Electric Vehicle Giant and Growing Market

As the market for electric vehicles continued to grow, the United States Department of Energy issued a $465 million loan to Tesla Motors to produce all-electric plug-in vehicles and to open a manufacturing facility in Fremont, CA to produce battery packs and other components needed for powering the vehicles.

Tesla Motors and its founder, Elon Musk, pushed the standards for electric cars, delivering battery and electric motor technology that could carry the Tesla car 200 miles on a single charge.

With the rise of Tesla, other automakers followed suite, accelerating their work on their own versions of electric vehicles, like the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, and Toyota Prius. In 2014, there were 23 models of plug-in EVs and 36 hybrid models on the American market; more than 234,000 EVs and 3.3 million hybrid vehicles were on the road worldwide.

The Charging Station Infrastructure Issue

Unfortunately, the shortage of battery charging stations on the streets and highways in North America is a significant factor in slowing sales. However, since Tesla developed a network of over 1,200 charging stations for their own models, other OEMs have followed suit.

Volkswagen announced plans to create 2,800 electric vehicle charging stations in 17 major U.S. cities by 2019. The project is part of the company’s legal settlement for its “dieselgate” lawsuit.

Electric cars have great potential in helping the U.S. create a more sustainable future. Johnson Electric intends to help propel the cause further, whether providing solutions for better door locks, or solenoids for engines. Contact us to speak with a representative today.

solenoid conveyor

A Solenoid’s Place in High Speed Parcel Processing

January 20, 2020

Authored by: Cody Link

Rising Shipment Rates

With the ever increasing E-Commerce market, parcel sorting will be a number one priority. It is estimated that packages being delivered by conveyor will reach up to 16 billion this year, and this number doesn’t include internationally, which will run up to around 87 billion packages.

With industry juggernauts like Amazon now providing not only two day shipping, but now doing one day shipping and delivering perishable foods this requires shippers to further automate their processes which need faster machines in order to keep their lines running efficiently and in line with customer demands.

Cities feeling the pressure of increased delivery traffic are opening up new, smaller warehouses that are needed to store the massive amounts of packages that need to travel to specific areas. These new warehouses will need parcel and sorting equipment that require high speed sorting capabilities.

In order to cut down on the number of shipments, retailers like Amazon and Boxed Wholesale, which is an online startup, try to condense as many items in a single shipment as possible. This may not be the best solution going forward though as UPS and FedEx are increasing their fee rates by lowering the threshold for weight charges starting this year. A drop from 70 pounds to just 50 pounds will force retailers to ship more individual packages in an effort to avoid be charged high delivery fees.

Invest in Accuracy and Proccesing

The world is shifting to fully automated systems which can increase package processing power by up to 70%. This will also eliminate errors and will increase the scalability of automated conveyor processing because it doesn’t rely on man powered staff during peak seasons. A smoother end to end process is necessary, and will create complete transparency in the shipping process.

shipping boxes conveyor

How Solenoids are the Ideal Solution

solenoid for conveyorThe shipping industry is taking ideas and data from high speed mail processing which sends items on a high speed conveyer to scan for delivery addresses and sort them appropriately. This is where the high actuation speed of a solenoid comes into play. Depending on the speed at which the packages are moved you may only have 20 to 40 milliseconds to successfully divert the parcel to the necessary bin or separate conveyer system which may need to further divert parcels. Our BTA line of solenoids only needs milliseconds to successfully divert a package to its appropriate location with minimal effort and zero downtime. Also with the silent operation and long life, with over 100 million actuations per solenoid, it is a perfect solution for sorting at high speeds.

For more information please contact us.

production tooling: robotic machine tool in industrial manufacture factory,Smart fac

7 Ways Your Production Tooling Manufacturer Can Help You Achieve Cost Efficiencies

September 30, 2019

Production tooling and machine fabrication are key to producing many electric components. Many electrical tools, cabinets, and other products require significant design and manufacturing. Whether designing parts for further manufacturing, tools, or other uses, a great production tooling manufacturer will help you achieve cost efficiencies.

Long-Term Manufacturing Relationships

When it comes to work processes, long-term relationships are the greatest help in achieving cost efficiencies. A manufacturer who has a relationship with its customers delivers consistent products and tools; they manage budget needs, and can free up customers to focus on running the business, instead of managing the supply chain.

What does a business look for in a long-term manufacturing relationship? A reliable tooling manufacturer helps their customers increase efficiency in many ways:

  • with quality work,
  • lean distribution and manufacturing processes,
  • exceeding environmental and hazardous substance regulations,
  • specializing in specific types of tooling, and
  • demonstrating a clear understanding of the materials they are working with.

Quality Over Quantity

A quality production tooling system focuses on reducing imperfections, not on producing the most widgets for the lowest cost.

Even though it may seem counterintuitive to pay more per-unit in order to achieve efficiency, reduced costs in production could mean a lower-quality manufacturing system, production delays, unreliable delivery timelines, etcetera.

Lean Manufacturing Distribution

A quality manufacturing focus works well with lean methodologies. The lean methodology focuses on a cycle of continuous improvement.

A production tooling manufacturer using lean distribution methods constantly analyzes the quality of materials and parts coming into the business, the rates at which they are brought in, and the costs associated with the distribution network. The review process leads to new planning and activity focused on reducing costs; while increasing the quality and reliability of parts and materials supplies.

Lean Manufacturing Processes

Similar to distribution, process management looks at the lean methodology to continuously improve the end product. This helps their manufacturing customers achieve cost efficiencies through reduced failures and rework, increased shelf-life of parts and equipment, and reliable, budgetable materials.

Achieving a lean manufacturing process is never a finalized work; but consistently analyzing the process of production tooling and the quality of the parts produced from the tooling will increase efficiency and lower customer costs.

Meeting Hazardous Substance-Free Regulations

Besides quality manufacturing and business processes, a great production tooling company produces materials in environmentally-friendly and humane methods.

Many of the parts in the electric industry require toxic chemicals such as lead, cadmium, or mercury. Components manufacturers must provide proper handling solutions and disposal of toxic chemicals & hazardous substances after the product’s completed life cycle. A great manufacturer meets and exceeds global, regional, and local standards to ensure the safety of laborers, shippers, and end-users of any material good.

Understanding Environmental Concerns

Besides the regulatory environment, quality production tooling takes into account how the manufacturing process impacts the environment.

Maintaining a good environmental track record fosters a better relationship with customers and reduces unnecessary fees and cleanup costs.

In addition to managing chemicals within the components, quality manufacturers monitor how their manufacturing processes affect the environment. A “proactive approach to monitoring and prevention” shows customers they  will receive the same quality materials from the manufacturer in addition to sustainable practices.

Specialized Tooling

A specialized tooling manufacturer provides unique solutions for their customers.

What types of tooling do they provide? A manufacturer who bends, cuts, assembles, and prints the entire process for the parts or machines provides a higher value service to their customers. On the contrary, some specialized materials can only be manufactured in certain ways; it must be treated differently depending on their inherent characteristics.

When considering a production tooling company, some may think of their product as a commodity, and one where technological advancements do not need to be considered when selecting a quality manufacturer. This leads them to choose a manufacturer who will significantly increase costs when it is discovered that they didn’t have the right tools for the right job and materials at hand.

Understanding Materials Science

In the last 50 years, advancements in materials sciences made many manufactured goods proprietary, not commodities. From fiber composites to advanced plastics, the materials used across multiple industries are changing quickly. To reduce costs, the right production tooling company  works to stay at the cutting edge of materials science. Quality manufacturers act as an ally for their customers, helping them select the right materials for the job and planning the costs and maintenance needs that go with the material

Cutting fiber composites is an entirely different process than cutting metal alloys. Bending plastics and bending metals are also different processes. A quality manufacturing business understands these differences and is specialized in the materials handling that is needed for producing the right machine for each customer.

For more than 60 years, Johnson Electric has provided quality production tooling and machining for customers in 30 countries. As we focus on quality improvement in our own manufacturing systems, we cultivate the lean mindset and remain current with new technologies. Contact us today to discuss your production tooling needs and how we can help you achieve cost efficiencies.

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