Heard in the Channel: Sager Sponsors Local Robotics Team

May 22, 2013
Electronics industry continues its support of national math and science education program For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST)

Massachusetts-based Sager Electronics is one of the most recent electronics industry firms to throw its support behind the FIRST Robotics program, a nationwide education program aimed at developing young students’ interest in math, science, engineering and technology. Inspired by a talk from FIRST founder Dean Kamen at a distribution industry meeting last October, Sager executives decided to sponsor a local team in the 2013 FIRST competition.

Earlier this month, Sager invited members of the robotics team from Boy Scout Troup 333 of E. Freetown, Massachusetts, to its Middleborough, Mass., offices to kick off the 2013 sponsorship and celebrate the team’s achievement in the 2012 FIRST competition. Sager is providing funding for the team, which consists of 12 kids’ ages eight to 14. The team competes in the FIRST LEGO League program, in which teams build LEGO-based robots and develop research projects.

“During his address at the Electronic Components Industry Association’s (ECIA) annual executive conference held last fall, keynote speaker Dean Kamen impressed upon the audience the importance of inspiring—and  celebrating—today’s youth in the areas of science and technology,” said Faris Aruri, vice president of corporate marketing at Sager Electronics. “Mr. Kamen’s statements really hit home. We have a responsibility to encourage interest in the sciences.  To be able to contribute to and promote learning in a fun yet challenging environment with such a great group of kids is an honor.”

In January 2013, Troop 333 and members from two other area troops competed as two teams (The LEGO Avengers and The Knights of the Square Table) in the 2012 LEGO Robotics State Championship. Using a LEGO Mindstorms kit to build their robot, the teams performed well at the event, which was held on January 12 at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.  The LEGO Avengers placed first in the Robot Performance and Mechanical Design categories while the Knights won for best project presentation.

In other industry news:

  • Mouser Electronics’ president and CEO Glenn Smith marked his 40th anniversary with the company this week. Smith started working for the company part-time in the warehouse in 1973 while he was in college. One of just 12 employees, Smith worked his way up through the organization, which today has 1,200 employees, 400,000 customers, more than $600 million in revenue and 19 offices around the world.
  • Mouser also announced the expansion of its Lighting Applications website to include featured products, a new application feature, and several of the latest lighting industry articles: http://www.mouser.com/applications/lighting/
  • Avnet Electronics Marketing announced the launch of Power Solutions, an educational video series designed to help design engineers optimize power architectures for advanced electronics products. The first video is available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/avnetdesign. Avnet also released a new white paper on industrial touch solutions titled “Making Industrial Touch a Reality,” available at: http://www.youtube.com/avnetdesign
  • Independent distributor America II Electronics unveiled a new global website and accompanying web app for handheld Apple and Android devices. The website features a new design, enhanced navigation, improved part search, a bill of materials upload tool and localization capabilities.
  • Future Electronics signed a worldwide distribution agreement with GainSpan Corporation, which provides ultra-low power Wi-Fi connectivity for the Internet of Things.

Other distributors made headlines with new awards:

  • Honeywell recognized Allied Electronics for outstanding product promotion, naming the distributor a silver-level winner of its Innovative Marketing Communications Award.
  • Mouser Electronics was named Americas’ 2012 Catalog Distributor of the Year by Honeywell Sensing and Control and was recognized with the prestigious Amphenol Industrial Operations2012 Industrial Distributor of the Year Award by Amphenol Industrial.
  • TTI, Inc. announced a slate of new awards this month. The distributor received Distributor of the Year awards from the following companies: KEMET, Cooper Bussman, API Technologies and C&K. Vishay Intertechnology named TTI Full-Service Distributor of the Year as well as Passive Distributor of the Year. And finally, Amphenol bestowed three top awards on TTI: Global Excellence, Distributor of the Year in Europe, and Distributor of the Year for the Americas region.


ECIA Canada Chapter Meeting
June 6, 2013
Ottawa, Canada

Institute for Supply Management 2nd Annual Risk Management Conference
July 25-26, 2013

SMTA/CALCE Counterfeit Symposium
June 25-27, 2013
College Park, Maryland

ECIA Texas Chapter Meeting
July 10, 2013

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About the Author

Victoria Fraza Kickham | Distribution Editor

Victoria Kickham is the distribution editor for Electronic Design magazine, SourceESB and GlobalPurchasing.com, where she covers issues related to the electronics supply chain. Victoria started out as a general assignment reporter for several Boston-area newspapers before joining Industrial Distribution magazine, where she spent 14 years covering industrial markets. She served as ID’s managing editor from 2000 to 2010. Victoria has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in English from Northeastern University.