1.1 Presentation and market definition
A fuse (or fused circuit breaker) is, in electricity and electronics, a security tool which makes it possible to open an additional electrical circuit when the electrical current present in the fuse reaches a dangerous current value for a period of time, thereby reducing the intensity of this current to zero point . The function of a fuse is therefore to protect an electrical circuit of the short circuits and overcurrents generated by a failure of the powered load.
There are three main modes of use and operation of fuses (IEC 60269 standard):
- The general purpose fuse (gG) which is the most common on domestic installations to protect them from overloads and short circuits;
- The motor accompanying fuse (aM) used for short-circuit protection only, often in motors and transformers;
- The ultra-fast fuse used for semiconductor protection.
Global demand for fuses is expected to increase in the coming years, driven by the automotive industry and the increase in global construction. The world market was more than 13 billion dollars in 2016 and is expected to flourish due to the growing need to upgrade increasingly efficient networks and increasing concerns about renewable energy connectivity.
In 2016, the market for the distribution of electronic components grew by more than 3% in Europe and France to reach more than €1 billion. The fuse market is dominated by some well-established industrial groups such as ABB, BEL Fuse, Eaton or Fuji Electric, leaving little room for new entrants.
The many takeovers are symptomatic of a fuse sector in full concentration . The impact of international competition, particularly from Asia, suggests a new strategy for companies in the fuse sector, which is now focusing on new markets with higher added value than the traditional and historical old European markets.
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