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A small company cannot compete in the streetlighting arena?

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Flyback

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Hello My friend works for a small Street-lighting company in the North of UK.
He says that whilst working there he is condemned to never being able to use his SMPS design skills…is this likely to be true?
His company buy offline LED drivers as follows from eg Philips………………
http://www.docs.lighting.philips.co...150W_0.1-1.05A_Prog_GL-F_sXt_929000709003.pdf

…they then fit these offtheshelf LED drivers into the lamp head, and voila….sell the streetlight.

Electrolytic capacitors
All the available offtheshelf , offline, isolated LED drivers for streetlighting , contain electrolytic capacitors. This is because this is the only practical way of preventing serious levels of 100Hz flicker in the light of the LED streetlight. (film capacitors could be used to help prevent high levels of 100Hz flicker, but it would be way too expensive to replace electrolytics with film capacitors) Serious 100Hz flicker is not illegal for streetlighting (neither is it in any way harmful)…however, high levels of 100Hz flicker are illegal in Europe for indoor lighting…and the fact that this is the case, is used as a scaremongering tactic to deter European customers from even accepting high levels of 100Hz flicker in streetlighting.

Electrolytic capacitor free streetlight driver
Anyway….he was told by his boss that he would be tasked with designing Electrolytic capacitor free offline streetlight drivers using SMPS……(the boss even managed to get a business development grant in order to investigate this)……the thing is, the 100Hz flicker problem virtually certainly means that this project is a hopeless loss maker……..seriously 100Hz flickering streetlights are never going to sell …at least not anywhere in Europe. (there’s no sane reason for this, but its just the way things are and will stay.)
Not only that, but a reasonably priced, isolated offline electrolytic-capacitor-free streetlight driver would likely use a single_stage_Flyback SMPS……..Due to being a Flyback, (and the high RMS current in it since it appears straight after the unsmoothed mains bridge output) such a converter would likely be less efficient than an offline led driver comprising a Boost PFC followed by say a 2-transistor-forward converter. (admittedly the latter would have an electrolytic capacitor bank after the Boost PFC stage……but it would likely be more efficient than a single_stage_Flyback of the same power level….so its another nail in the coffin of the electrolytic-capacitor-free, isolated LED streetlight driver…(OK there are ways of doing it more efficiently, but these are too expensive)

As such, my friend believes that this electrolytic-capacitor-free streetlight driver task that he has been tasked with is a "no-hoper"…as soon as the Business development fund money has run out….then so will the task just die off.

Compete with the major electronics corporations
The other alternative is to actually design an offline, isolated LED streetlight driver with electrolytic capacitors and try and compete with the major electronics corporations such as Philips, Tridonic, Osram, Samsung etc etc…………….
This is surely hopeless…..there’s no way a small company would be able to get the kind of component cost-downs that the big electronics corporations can. Not only that, but the mainland European electronics corporations, have benefit-clique style relations with the European semiconductor fabrication plants, so they can get components far cheaper than a UK company would be able to. (there are no major semiconductor fabrication plants in the UK, neither are there any significant UK owned electronics component makers).

So do you believe it is true?….can a small company never be able to design its own offline, isolated LED streetlight drivers as part of competing in the streetlight sales arena?
The company are deterring him from trying to leave by saying that he will be able to design offline streetlight drivers at the company. In truth, he believes that this is never going to be the case…the streetlight market is one of huge volumes, and the huge European electronics corporations have it totally wrapped up.

Chinese imports
My Friend believes that the real reason that they want him to stay…… is to do bits of general software and general analog interface circuitry…something that in truth, they would be better off getting a different engineer for. Also, the company buys in lots of Chinese made SMPS based lighting, and middle-mans it onward, and it is deemed that it kind of helps to support this business if you have an SMPS engineer in-house…(every now and then an imported Chinese SMPS may fail, and it is deemed to help if you have an engineer in house who can make out some kind of technical-sounding report on what may have caused the failure)…..in truth, this job hardly needs anyone with SMPS design skills…since the company don’t even have the schematics of the Chines import products.
Another point, is that when UK leaves the EU…the UK government are likely to impose high tariffs on these Chinese imports, and so this may well close down a lot of small UK owned lighting companys……..because the Chinese import business is said to be the major profit making activity of small UK owned lighting companies.

In the UK, there are actually a number of “electronics design” companys which are no more than “puppet companys”…pretending to be what they are, when in fact, the “real” company is in China…and the Chinese simply use the” UK company” as a vehicle through which they can import their Chinese products into the UK and the EU without paying the import tariff….the UK “puppet company” is usually a very convincing disguise…they are staffed with British “engineers” and sales staff etc etc…you would just think it was a totally British company….you would never realise that everything was being designed in China, and then transferred across to UK. The Chinese secretly direct all operations in the UK “puppet company”. I think the UK government will hunt down these puppets after Brexit, and impose huge tariffs on them…closing them down.


So do you believe it is true?….can a small company never be able to design its own offline, isolated LED streetlight drivers as part of competing in the streetlight sales arena?
 
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Nigel Goodwin

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and it is deemed to help if you have an engineer in house who can make out some kind of technical-sounding report on what may have caused the failure)…..in truth, this job hardly needs anyone with SMPS design skills…since the company don’t even have the schematics of the Chines import products.
I would disagree, the fact that circuits aren't available makes it MORE useful to have SMPS design skills, so as been better able to reverse engineer the product.

Another point, is that when UK leaves the EU…the UK government are likely to impose high tariffs on these Chinese imports
You're just making that up, as far as I'm aware there's never been any such suggestion - and while it's certainly 'possible' no way is it 'likely'.
 

Flyback

Well-Known Member
..thanks, well, post Brexit, UK certainly wont be paying the tariff to the EU any more...the tariff is currently 25%...so i reckon the uk government will get some of that....after all, uk is flat broke......2 trillion the national debt....
https://massey276.wixsite.com/ukdecline

the uk govenrment taxes/tariffs everything....and look how the uk motorist gets done with all the speed cams....theyre going to rip into the chinese imports....middle man mark-up wont be nearly so good.
 

Nigel Goodwin

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Most Helpful Member
..thanks, well, post Brexit, UK certainly wont be paying the tariff to the EU any more...the tariff is currently 25%...so i reckon the uk government will get some of that....after all, uk is flat broke......2 trillion the national debt....
https://massey276.wixsite.com/ukdecline

the uk govenrment taxes/tariffs everything....and look how the uk motorist gets done with all the speed cams....theyre going to rip into the chinese imports....middle man mark-up wont be nearly so good.
You're still just making it up - and assuming that a tariff currently paid to the EU is carried over to the UK, then the price shouldn't be any different - unless the rate is changed.
 

Flyback

Well-Known Member
80% of the tariff on chinese imports to uk is payed over to the European central bank.......and is thereby under the control of the EU....the UK never sees this money again...it goes towards paying off Greek debt etc etc....i am sure you have heard of "the bailouts".......a horrendous EU scandal.
Some say that many UK companies dont pay the tariff, because uk ports are not regulated by the EU...or rather , they are regulated by UK citizens who work for the EU, but turn a blind eye to tariff dodging because they dont see the point in seeing uk money go into the european central bank.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
80% of the tariff on chinese imports to uk is payed over to the European central bank.......and is thereby under the control of the EU....the UK never sees this money again...it goes towards paying off Greek debt etc etc....i am sure you have heard of "the bailouts".......a horrendous EU scandal.
Some say that many UK companies dont pay the tariff, because uk ports are not regulated by the EU...or rather , they are regulated by UK citizens who work for the EU, but turn a blind eye to tariff dodging because they dont see the point in seeing uk money go into the european central bank.
None of this is at all relevant to your assertion that it's likely that the UK will impose high tariffs on Chinese imports - as I've already said, you're just making it up, and it's nothing but your personal opinion, nothing else.
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
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It seems like Flyback has been flogging this story for a long time - a conspiracy against LED power supplies without electrolytic caps, a conspiracy that large companies has secret deals with manufactures, that everybody is against a small company succeeding, that testing labs are in a conspiracy against small companies, etc, etc, etc. Maybe the products are the problem???
 

Flyback

Well-Known Member
Thanks, but there are no products...that's the point of this thread...its not cost effective or viable for a small company to do the products as described in the top post....or...is it?
 

alec_t

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its not cost effective or viable for a small company to do the products as described in the top post....or...is it?
As the saying goes: "Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door".
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
As the saying goes: "Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door".
No, no it won't. The best idea turned into the best widget ever, is going to sit there gathering dust without a marketing plan to go with it. And a way to manufacture widgets in a timely way to meet demand if the marketing plan is effective.
 

ChrisP58

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
That's what inteligent market research is for.

You need to make sure that there are enough customers who will buy enough of your product, at a profitable price, before you invest a lot in designing and building it.
 
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