Established Sensor Brands Come Together as CST

MOORPARK, CA (from release) -- Some of the industry's most advanced custom sensor technology brands combined recently to form Custom Sensors & Technologies (CST), a new global enterprise hoping to set a standard in custom sensing. CST is a business unit of Schneider Electric and is made up of the brands Crouzet, Kavilco, Crydom, and former divisions of BEI Technologies, including Newall and Systron Donner.

"These brands have a track record of excellence in innovation and competitive advantage," says Charles L. Treadway, CST president and CEO. "Now joined together as CST, and with the backing of Schneider Electric, we have the experience, global capabilities, logistics, and manufacturing strategies to become the world leader in the global custom sensor technology market."

CST is organized into three divisions addressing the markets it serves: transportation, industrial, and aerospace & government/military. "By aligning our organization and the way we do business with the specific needs of our customers, our ability to drive growth through a consistent plan of action in each market is greatly enhanced." adds Treadway.

Transportation including Automotive
As the market demands better energy efficiency and regulations continue to mandate increased safety, CST says it is meeting those needs with pressure sensors, inertial sensors, and seat belt tension sensors. These sensors do everything from sense vapor pressure in a cylinder to reporting when a diesel particulate filter is clogged. CST inertial sensors are used widely in brake systems to provide stability control to keep vehicles safe on the road in icy or slippery conditions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just mandated this key safety system for all future autos in the USA.

CST, which also offers micro-switches, position sensors, steering sensors, and motors, has a history of innovation within this industry. For example, CST addressed an automotive customer's problem with electric window controls being susceptible to coffee spills by creating a completely sealed snap-action switch to eliminate the problem.

"Continuously improving quality, industry-proven performance, and experienced service are the hallmarks of our success," says Treadway. "We know what automakers and engine manufacturers need to be leaders in their industry."

CST's industrial products include position sensors, pressure sensors, microcontrols, inertial sensors, solid-state relays, and motors and actuators. CST position sensors are used in applications such as providing cutting head positioning measurements in machine tools, steering a forklift, or providing speed and position control in an industrial motor.

CST's control product offering includes microcontrollers, solid-state relays, and microswitches. Solid-state relays are used to turn on and off power to heating elements in an industrial range as one example. The microcontrols are used to control security features in automated parking lots. CST's microswitches are utilized in hand tools to control the on and off functions of the tool.

Motor and actuator products include a variety of motor technologies, as well as rotary and linear actuators. CST also supplies the motors for pumps in drink dispensers, the actuators in semiconductor die and wire bonding equipment, and the motors for copier machines.

CST says it can find the right solutions for a variety of industrial machinery applications—from elevators to semiconductor assembly machines to medical breathing apparatus. It also offers a range of standard products with selectable options to provide for application specific configurations. These products are offered with strong applications support and quick delivery. One example is the rotary optical encoder, which was invented under the CST brand BEI. This encoder can ensure that a piece of aluminum is cut to the right length on an industrial machine or that an elevator stops at the right floor.

Aerospace & Military
In the aerospace and government/military industries, high performance is not an option, but a necessity. For example, to keep the Hubble Telescope pointing at a distant star while spinning around the earth, NASA chose the CST UltraLoc servo system. This pointing system uses an extremely high-accuracy encoder that can position within one count in 2 billion steps, making it one of the highest accuracy pointing systems ever developed.

CST's inertial sensors, position sensors, and operator controls also help guide, stabilize, and control the guidance and navigation of planes, helicopters, missiles, and other aircraft.

"This is an industry with very individual challenges and complexities," says Treadway. "That is why we have built our CST sales and support teams around specific product lines in order to leverage our experience and understanding of these industries."

Experience & Service
With this new market alignment, an experienced sales force is devoted to a specific market, so customers deal with a knowledgeable sales team that can best solve their application needs. It also provides CST with better sales efficiency.

In addition to innovation and experience, Treadway says the new enterprise will achieve success through its quality culture and philosophy of continuous improvement.

"This commitment starts at the top with Schneider Electric and runs through all of CST," said Treadway. "We constantly measure important quality parameters, such as on-time delivery, first-time quality, and warranty return rates. We then analyze and make improvements regularly. Our goal goes beyond just zero defect rates—it is to truly control the processes in order to eliminate variance."

Positioned for Growth
CST, with approximately 5500 employees worldwide, had $710 million in sales during 2005 and is positioned strongly for growth, says Treadway.

"We are already a high performer in custom sensor technologies and are poised to expand along with this market, which is growing by 7 percent annually," said Treadway. "Our success will be built on our commitment to innovation, quality, and service. With the global support of Schneider Electric, we aim to help our customers be more competitive through superior research and development, market expertise, economies of scale, and logistics and manufacturing capabilities."

About Custom Sensors & Technologies
Headquartered in Moorpark, CA, Custom Sensors & Technologies (CST) is a business unit of Schneider Electric. CST was formed from the combination of BEI Technologies, including Systron Donner, Kavlico, Crouzet Crydom, and Newall. CST provides sensors, controls, and actuation products to the industrial, transportation, and aerospace & government/military markets.

About Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is the world's power and control specialist. Through its world-class brands, Merlin Gerin, Square D, and Telemecanique, Schneider Electric anticipates and satisfies its customers' requirements in the residential, building, industry and energy, and infrastructure markets. With 88,670 employees and operations in 130 countries, Schneider Electric generated sales of ?11.7 billion in 2005 through 13,000 distributor outlets.