18. Beginnings and Horizons 2

GUIDE: Batteries in a portable world. 18. Beginnings and Horizons 2

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18.2 About Cadex

Cadex Electronics Inc. was established in 1980 in Vancouver, Canada. Isidor Buchmann, founder, president and CEO recognized that the full potential of nickel cadmium batteries was not being achieved and developed a battery analyzer to exercise and rejuvenate them.

In its early days, the company operated under the name Buchmann Enterprises Inc. Until 1983, all activities were conducted in a small room of the founder’s residence. In 1985, after the registered trademark for the name ‘Cadex’ was granted, the company changed the corporate name to Cadex Electronics Inc. Cadex is derived from ‘CADmium-EXerciser.’

The first product, the Cadex 450, entered the market in 1981. Only a few units sold. Mr. Buchmann then designed a modular battery analyzer that was able to service three batteries simultaneously, with expansion to ten. Called the Cadex 550, this unit sold reasonably well and became the workhorse for many two-way radio users, such as railways, public safety and oil companies.

The Government of Canada awarded Cadex funds to develop a new generation of battery analyzers and in 1988 the Cadex 6000 was launched. This new product was capable of servicing up to 64 batteries unattended. A private company then commissioned Cadex to develop and manufacture an intelligent fast-charger for the End-of-Train Unit, a device that replaced the caboose on a freight train. This charger was later expanded into a four-station battery analyzer called Cadex 2000. Packaged into a compact desktop housing, the Cadex 2000 provided a low cost alternative to the modular Cadex 6000 system.

Towards the end of the 1980s, batteries began to diversify and it became evident that a battery analyzer needed to adapt to a large pool of different battery models. With the help of the Science Council of British Columbia and the National Research Council of Canada, Cadex designed an open platform battery analyzer that was software driven similar to a PC. In 1991, the first user-programmable battery analyzer was introduced. Called the Cadex 4000 for its four independent stations, this instrument immediately gained the interest of many battery users, both in North America and overseas. Some of the main features were the interchangeable battery adapters that contained a memory chip holding the unique battery configuration code, ‘C-code’ in short. With a few key stokes, the user was able to program and reprogram the analyzer to fit virtually any battery type.

In 1992, as part of a five-year program for a US defense project, Racal Communications commissioned Cadex to build intelligent fast-chargers and battery reconditioners. During this partnership, Cadex was the recipient of several Racal awards. The Supplier Recognition Award for Outstanding Performance, which Cadex received on two separate occasions, was granted to only six of over one thousand suppliers.

In 1995, Cadex introduced the Cadex 7000 Series, an upgraded version of the Cadex 4000 battery analyzer. The Cadex SnapLock adapters allowed quick and convenient changes from one battery type to another. The Cadex 7000 Series analyzer became the company’s flagship and established a new global standard to which competitive products were compared.

In 1996, an agreement was reached with Medtronics, (then Physio Control Corporation) to design and supply intelligent battery chargers/ conditioners as part of a five-year contract. In the same year, Cadex received the British Columbia Export Award for outstanding achievements in export.

In 1997, Cadex published the book Batteries in a Portable World — A Handbook on Rechargeable Batteries for Non-Engineers. Many of Mr. Buchmann’s articles on battery technology also gained recognition by appearing in leading trade magazines. By then, Cadex had achieved international market recognition with a customer base of over 100 countries.

In 1998, Motorola and Cadex engaged in a partnership to manufacture battery analyzers for distribution through Motorola’s global network. In the same year, Mr. Buchmann was selected as a finalist in the Entrepreneur of the Year program.

In 1999, Cadex received ISO 9001 certification. The company moved to the custom built headquarters in Fraserwood Industrial Park, Richmond, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver. In the same year, Cadex Batteryshop™ was released. This high level software integrates the Cadex 7000 Series battery analyzers with a PC to bring battery testing and maintenance within the reach of the untrained user. The task of entering battery parameters was reduced to either scanning a bar code label or the ‘point and click’ of the mouse.

In the same year, Cadex released the SM1 and SM2+ intelligent battery chargers. The Cadex SM2+ charger features a target capacity selector that passes or fails a battery based on state-of-health (SoH). If low, the user is prompted to restore the battery by pressing the condition key. Today, these chargers service batteries for mobile computing, medical instrumentation and survey equipment.

In the year 2000, Cadex developed Quicktest™, a technique that checks the SoH of a battery in three minutes. The system works on a neuro-logic network based on fuzzy logic, is self-learning and adapts to new chemical combinations as introduced from time to time.

During the year 2001, Cadex will introduce a new generation of 7000 Series battery analyzers. A two-station Cadex 7200 has been added to serve smaller battery users. Retaining the powerful priming and reconditioning features of the previous models, the emphasis is moving towards quick testing, boosting and ultra-fast charging of batteries. These services take only minutes and can restore a battery on the run.

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