Carbon footprint project earns AS-Level pupils Engineering Education Scheme accolade

• Blundell’s School project team worked with local power supply manufacturer

TDK Corporation is pleased to announce a team of AS-Level pupils at Blundell’s School working with TDK-Lambda UK has not only qualified for their Engineering Education Scheme (EES) certificates but also for the GOLD Crest Award, which is widely recognised and respected by UCAS for university admissions in STEM subjects.

Run by the Engineering Development Trust (EDT), the EES scheme links teams of A-Level students with local companies to work on STEM-related projects. Following on from last year’s Wind Tunnel project, the project this year was to establish a method for measuring the carbon footprint of TDK-Lambda UK’s production facility in Ilfracombe.

Blundells Certificate

The Blundell's team worked alongside Product Performance Manager, Adrian Irwin (pictured right) who offered advice and assistance to the pupils whenever needed.

The 4 person team from Blundell’s worked alongside Product Performance Manager, Adrian Irwin who offered advice and assistance to the pupils whenever needed: “The project team went way beyond their remit, which was to provide a measurement and display method of calculating our facility’s carbon footprint. The team provided some good ideas for improvement activities that we may take further.”

Early on in the project, the team worked closely with Tim Puttick, Environment Manager: “The main take-home from the project was to establish and work as a successful team. The knowledge they gained about CO2 emissions, how they are calculated and what the figures represent is invaluable.”

Puttick adds: “The team was very inquisitive – they did think about where to go next with the results. It wasn’t just a case of submitting their findings, they did very well to take the data that we had and convert it into meaningful information.”

For more information about TDK-Lambda, please call us directly on +44 (0)1271 856600 or visit the website at:


60A Non-isolated SMT Point-of-Load Converters with PMBusTM

• Digital adaptive control
• Parallel operation with current sharing
• Configurable sequence and fault management

TDK Corporation introduces the TDK-Lambda iJB series of 60 amp non-isolated SMT
DC-DC converters for high current applications. These compact POL modules offer an extremely high power density and high operating efficiency from light to full load conditions; they are PMBusTM read and write compliant and digitally controlled, allowing for a great deal of flexibility and customisation to address a broad range of applications including communications, test, broadcast and industrial equipment.

The iJB series performs local voltage conversion from 8-14VDC bus voltages at up to 93% efficiency and features adjustable output voltages from 0.6 to 2.0V with a precision set point accuracy of 0.5% and extremely accurate current read-back – the digital adaptive control feature accommodates a wide range of external load capacitance. Measuring 26.8 x 24.1 x 9.7mm, the iJB power modules offer an extremely high power density and support easy paralleling with interleaving for implementation in higher current applications.

For more information about TDK-Lambda, please call us directly on +44 (0)1271 856600 or visit the website at:


Introducing the HWS-A Series of 15-150W Industrial Power Supplies

TDK-Lambda presents a short video that shows the key features of the new HWS-A series of 15-150W power supplies for Industrial and Automation, Broadcast, Test and Measurement and LED Displays and Signage applications.

To read more about the HWS-A series, please visit:

If you have a question you’d like to ask TDK-Lambda, please feel free to use the online FAQ form and we’ll get back to you with an answer to your question as soon as possible.


Brace of NDMA Awards for TDK-Lambda

TDK-Lambda has been recognised at this year’s NDMA (North Devon Manufacturers Association) business awards, receiving two accolades. The awards were in recognition of TDK-Lambda’s achievements in the categories ‘Environmental Project of the Year’, a joint project with Smurfit Kappa, and ‘Manufacturer of the Year’.

Smurfit Kappa Barnstaple, part of one of the leading paper-based packaging companies in the world, has worked alongside TDK-Lambda to reduce their combined mileage associated with waste transport. In the winning ‘Environmental Project of the Year’ the two companies worked together to optimise space when delivering power supply products to customers. The results of the project have reduced TDK-Lambda’s waste transportation mileage by 75% per year. Similar results were achieved for Smurfit Kappa Barnstaple; by decreasing fuel consumption, they were able to reduce their CO2 emissions by 5.8 tonnes. Together they have not only reduced CO2 emissions but also minimised residential noise and traffic on the roads.

NDMA Business Awards - Environmental Project of the Year
Patrick Sweeney, General Manager of Smurfit Kappa Barnstaple and Tim Puttick, Production Manager at TDK-Lambda UK, are presented the ‘Environmental Project of the Year’ award by Clive Scott, Chief Executive of award sponsor Aero Stanrew.

In recognition for its continued investment in R&D, ISO13485 certification, and work with local schools TDK-Lambda was awarded Manufacturer of the Year. The firm has significantly expanded its R&D department floor space by 41%, and is recruiting additional engineers into its design team to help accelerate new product developments. Its recent ISO 13485 certification demonstrates TDK-Lambda’s commitment to the medical market and recognises the highest level of traceability and quality control throughout the product development lifecycle and the product’s lifetime with customers.

AS-Level pupils at Blundell’s School, working with TDK-Lambda, have just qualified for their Engineering Education Scheme (EES) certificates. The team’s project was to establish a method for measuring the carbon footprint of TDK-Lambda UK’s production facility in Ilfracombe. Run by the Engineering Development Trust (EDT), the EES scheme links teams of A-Level students with local companies to work on STEM-related projects.

Jackie Carson, Operations Manager at Wise Employment Group, sponsors of the Manufacturer of the Year category said: “We are very proud of our long association with the NDMA and its support and championing of local manufacturing. I understand it was a particularly hard year for the judges with so many excellent and very deserving nominees in so many diverse categories!”

NDMA Business Awards - Manufacturer of the Year
Jackie Carson, Operations Manager at Wise Employment Group, presents the Award to Phil Scotcher, General Manager of TDK-Lambda and his team.

For more information, please visit the TDK-Lambda website.


When should external diodes be used with a power supply?

There are several instances when external diodes (or FETs) are used with power supplies:
1. Driving DC Motors
2. Series Operation
3. Redundant Operation
4. Battery Back-up

1. Driving DC Motors
There can be confusion regarding the use of external diodes when powering DC motors; mostly where to place the diode or what their purpose is. There are two types of DC motors; a brushed DC motor and a brushless DC motor.

Brushed DC motors
With this type of motor, the magnets are stationary and the coil spins – electricity is transferred to the spinning coil by the use of ‘brushes’. The advantages of this type of motor are low initial cost and easy speed control.

When the power is interrupted, the motor coil will act like an inductor and will try to continue to produce current, effectively becoming an inverted voltage source. This will apply a reverse polarity to the power supply and can cause damage. (Back EMF – Electro-Magnetic Flux)

Inserting a diode, as shown above, provides a current path for the reverse motor current and will clamp the reverse voltage to a level no greater than the forward voltage drop of the diode. This protects the power supply’s output capacitors and other components from being stressed by the reverse voltage.

Brushless DC motors
Brushless DC motors, often referred to as BDCMs or BLDC motors, have permanent magnets that rotate and the armature is fixed. Although more expensive than brushed versions, they are more reliable in the long term as there is no brush or commutator wear and position control is more accurate.

When the motor is turned off or reversed, it will act as a generator and produce a high voltage spike. This spike can cause the power supply’s overvoltage protection to trip, shutting down the unit. By using a diode in series with the output, as shown below, the spike will be blocked from interfering with the power supply.

In both cases a general purpose diode can be used, providing that the voltage and current ratings for the diode are correctly calculated.

2. Series Operation

It is quite common practice in the industry to operate power supplies in series. The benefit is that voltages greater than 60V can be obtained using off-the-shelf products.

It is possible to connect several power supplies in series, but please read the precautionary notes below:

Connect back-biased diodes across the power supply terminals as shown below.

Rate these diodes at the same output current as the power supplies.

In the event both power supplies do not turn on at the same time, or if the load becomes a short circuit, then the diodes will protect the power supplies from any applied reverse voltage.

Do not exceed the output to ground/chassis voltage rating. Inside most power supplies are noise filter capacitors connected from the output to ground. It is possible to exceed the operating voltage of those capacitors, particularly when configuring several units in series.

Avoid using ‘fold-back style’ current limited power supplies as these may lock up the power supply during initial switch on.

3. Redundant Operation

In order to achieve redundancy within a system, it is common practice to connect two power supplies together. (Please note: this is not to be confused with brute force mode current sharing)

If PSU #1 fails, theoretically PSU #2 should take over…however

If we were to look inside the power supply, the output voltage is usually monitored by an op amp and is then compared to an internal reference. If the output voltage is too high, then the comparator will lower the output voltage of the control circuit by reducing the switching converter pulse width. Likewise, if the output voltage is too low, the switching pulse width will increase to make the output voltage rise.

For example, PSU #1 is running at 24.0V and PSU #2 is set slightly higher at 24.1V. PSU #1’s control circuit will ‘see’ 24.1V as an output voltage and will turn the switching converter off believing that its output voltage is too high.

In the event of PSU #2 failing, the load demand will fall on PSU #1, which will then turn the switching converter back on and may cause a temporary loss of voltage provided to the load.

Adding a diode in series with each power supply output will stop the power supplies from “seeing” the other’s output voltage; although PSU #2 may provide the entire load, if it fails, PSU#1 will be active, ready to provide power and be able to keep a voltage available to the load.

4. Battery Back-Up

On many low cost, low wattage power supplies, overvoltage protection is provided by a Zener diode connected across the output terminals of the power supply. In the event of a control circuit malfunction causing the output to rise, the Zener will fail in short circuit mode, thereby forcing the power supply into overcurrent protection mode. In this case, it is assumed that ‘hiccup’ type current limit mode is being used.

If battery back-up is being used (or another power supply), then current will flow into the faulty power supply and cause overheating of the Zener and surrounding circuitry.

Again, a diode in series with the power supply will prevent this.

For more information, please visit TDK-Lambda


Laser Engraver

GWS 250W Power Supplies

The consistently high reliability of TDK-Lambda’s NV and GWS AC/DC power supplies led a machine builder to choose the products for its laser engraver. In addition to reliability, these industrial engraving machines need to be energy efficient; the two power supplies selected both offer high efficiency – another winning attribute.


Network Analyser

NV Series

TDK-Lambda’s long lasting relationship with a leading manufacturer of test equipment has resulted in the high reliability NV700 AC-DC power supplies being selected to be used in its latest analysis equipment. The manufacturer was also pleased with the high-level of technical support provided by TDK-Lambda before, during and after the selection process.


Digital Signage

NV Series

With the digital age we’re seeing more signs popping up in our everyday life – from telling us when the next train will depart from the train station to trying to entice us in buying something that we really didn’t want. Regardless of the application, these signs need to operate both efficiently and reliably, which is why the design team at a signage manufacturer chose to source their AC-DC power supplies from TDK-Lambda. The NV AC-DC power supply satisfies all of the power needs of the manufacturer, which is complemented by TDK-Lambda’s fast technical response times.


Factory Automation Equipment

HWS AC-DC Power Supply

The highly reliable, HWS single output industrial power supply from TDK-Lambda has been incorporated into a leading manufacturer’s industrial equipment. The HWS range’s low cost of ownership, robust design and global support, as well as lifetime warranty, contributed heavily towards the final selection process.


Food Processing Equipment

SWS-L series - Single Output Power Supply

Food processing equipment transforms raw ingredients into food that is fit for human or animal consumption. There are several different factors that need to be taken into account when designing such equipment, including hygiene, energy consumption, minimisation of waste and the labour used. With this in mind, one well-known manufacturer has selected the highly reliable, low cost SWS-L power supply from TDK-Lambda for use in its high quality food processing machines.