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Mersen | Protecting the World’s Devices from Surges

Imagine that you are snuggled under blankets on your couch at home one rainy evening watching the season finale of your favorite TV show. Suddenly, with two minutes left in the show, the power flickers for just a brief moment. Then, your TV goes dark and won’t turn back on. You rush to your computer hoping to catch the last part of the show, but quickly discover that it too has stopped working. You realize that an electrical surge has hit your home, destroyed your devices, and caused you to miss the best part of your show. You fume at how something so brief can be so destructive.

Now, consider the havoc and expense an electrical surge can cause in a manufacturing plant, a data center, or a telecommunications hub. Millions of dollars in damage can occur in one thousandth of a second. Fortunately, businesses rely on surge protective devices, or SPDs, to protect their equipment. An SPD is a component of an electrical installation system designed to protect electrical devices from transient voltage spikes. It limits the voltage supplied to an electrical device by blocking or shorting to the ground unwanted voltages above a safe threshold.

Mersen is a global expert in electrical power and advanced materials. The company’s global headquarters are in France and they manufacture high-performance surge protection devices that deliver powerful protection for a small price. Their SPDs help protect industrial equipment from power spikes due to lightning strikes, motors turning on and off, electrical panels being switched on and off, and more. Mersen’s Surge-Trap® SPDs are designed to UL1449 4th Edition standards and feature Mersen’s industry-leading, patented TPMOV® technology inside.


A Single Invention Sparks an Industry

Mersen began in 1885 as Shawmut Fuse Wire Company in Boston, MA. The company was founded just five years after Thomas Edison received the patent for the first safety wire fuse. That invention sparked a revolution in the safe conduction of electricity, and research began on how to encase electrical wires safely. In 1893, Shawmut created a fuse division, furthering its journey into the electrical industry. For the next few decades, the company honed that expertise and introduced the first full line of current limiting fuses to the industry. During the same timeframe, Lucien Ferraz founded Ferraz Fuse in France. Both companies went through a series of acquisitions and eventually merged. The company is now known as Mersen and employs 6,110 customer-focused people in 35 countries who integrate its product expertise into customer applications to make them safe, reliable, and profitable.

Extensive Expertise Applied Uniquely

Mersen is proud of its history and expertise. Today, the company designs innovative solutions to enable customers to optimize their manufacturing process in five markets: energy, transportation, electronics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and process industries. For example, Mersen is helping the producers of conventional and renewable energies meet energy efficiency, reliability, and safety challenges. Its solutions cover the entire solar cell manufacturing process and the electrical protection of solar panels. The company’s work in this field has made Mersen a leading supplier to the wind power industry for power conversion and distribution equipment and wind farm safety and security solutions.

In addition, Mersen supplies the specialty chemicals industry with innovative solutions and systems capable of withstanding highly corrosive process environments and extreme temperatures. These include making tube heat exchangers for the production of phosphoric acid – a key ingredient in fertilizers, developing turnkey solutions for hydrochloric acid production, and manufacturing equipment for active pharmaceutical ingredient production processes.

Proud Global Leader

In each market it serves, Mersen’s expertise and products are highly sought after, making it the global leader or co-leader in its two business areas. In the electrical power segment, Mersen focuses on the safety and reliability of electrical power. It provides solutions for power management, electrical

protection, and control. It is the number-one supplier worldwide of passive power electronics components including its high quality, inexpensive SPDs that can be used in both indoor and outdoor systems, a real distinguishing factor. Also, building on its roots, the company is the number-two supplier worldwide of industrial fuses.

In the advanced materials segment, Mersen brings together three businesses related to carbon materials. It is the number-one supplier worldwide of graphite-based, anti-corrosion equipment as well as brushes and brush-holders for industrial electric motors. And, it is the number two-supplier worldwide of high temperature isostatic graphite applications.

“We are proud of our global reputation for our electrical power and advanced materials expertise and approach,” said Luc Themelin, Mersen Chief Executive Officer. “We help our customers hone their performance in an increasingly competitive marketplace. To do this, it is essential for us to be in a position to deliver the best possible solution or process by building on the products and services providing the best fit.”

An Emphasis on Serving Customers’ Specific Needs


Luc Themelin, Mersen CEO

Mersen employees place a particular emphasis on serving customers’ needs with purpose-designed solutions that deliver outstanding performance and reliability.

“We play a central role in customers’ technologies, and our employees constantly strive for excellence,” Themelin continued. “They put their technological expertise, constant innovation and close customer relationships to work on a daily basis. Being so international makes diversity a natural part of our company. We have diversity in people origins, in cultures, and ways of thinking among our employees. All of this stimulates creativity and helps us get a better grasp of what our customers want on a worldwide scale.”

Preparing for the Future

In addition to its operations on every continent, Mersen operates 15 research and development centers dedicated to differentiating it from competitors and proactively responding to the changing needs of its markets. Building on the foundation created by the company’s founders, Themelin said Mersen will continue investing in innovation and operational excellence.

“We are always searching for the next ‘light-bulb’ moment or technology that will help us provide products and solutions for customers. Right now, we are looking to technologies that are opening up new growth avenues in solar power, wind power, electronics, and electric vehicles,” said Themelin.

With its global reach, strong customer focus, and encompassing expertise, Mersen is well positioned to provide fresh approaches to needs ranging from power surge protection to renewable power supply to pharmaceutical advancements. The company’s innovations will no doubt make life better around the world and at home – ensuring we can watch TV shows without electrical interruption.

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