Meet Melwyn Fields. For 24 years, he’s been part of our Elastomeric Materials Solutions group.
“I make engineered silicones that protect high-speed train passengers from uncomfortable noise and vibration.”
This is the first in a series of Rogers Corp. employee profiles. Throughout our organization, our cultural behaviors describe how we work and are judged by our customers, business partners, investors, and each other.
- Live Safely: I actively prevent injuries for everyone, everywhere, every day.
- Trust: I respect people and trust them to do the right thing.
- Speak Openly: I courageously seek and speak the truth.
- Innovate: I create market-driven solutions that lead to customer success.
- Just Decide: I make informed decisions rapidly to drive progress.
- Simply Improve: I continuously simplify how I do things to achieve excellence.
- Deliver Results: I align and achieve my goals to deliver our “Must-Do” results.
Together, we are changing our culture as we help change the world around us. For over 180 years, the employees of Rogers Corporation have focused on our customers, delivering world-class solutions to meet their most demanding materials challenges.
Commuters in major metro areas choose trains as their mode of transportation because trains allow them to enjoy a safe, comfortable ride and avoid driving through rain or snow. When train cars lose power, though, it causes delays for the affected train and others caught behind it on the track. Even worse, trains without electrical power lose their ability to regulate the internal temperature of the cars. During the summer, temperatures inside the car can reach 38° C (100° F) if not cooled. In the winter, lost power can result in passengers facing below freezing temperatures inside the cars.
A commuter train operator was facing this challenge on a regular basis because their electrical panel, located on the external surface of the car, was failing. The extruded rubber gasket that filled the space between the electrical panel and the car was not holding up to the harsh weather conditions. It hardened over time, producing gaps where wind, rain, and sun damaged the electrical panel. The result was loss of power.
Rogers’ BISCO® BF-1005 extra soft silicone foam material provided the right solution.
The compression set resistance of the BF-1005 silicone material made it the right material to fill the spaces created by the inadequate seal of the extruded rubber gasket. In addition, the softness of BF-1005 silicone material allowed it to easily fill the difficult geometries needed to maintain a good seal and keep the elements from shorting out the electrical panel. What’s more, the commuter train operator did not need to waste man-hours removing the old, dried out rubber gasket before installing the BF-1005 silicone foam. A Rogers Preferred Converter provided a precut peel and stick ready-to-use solution, which saved the customer time and money on installation. BF-1005 silicone foam meets ASTM E162, ASTM E662 and SMP 800C standards for flame, smoke, and toxicity requirements on trains.
Rogers’ BISCO® product family offers a wide range of multi-functional silicone-based elastomeric foam and solid materials for use in rail interior applications such as seals, gaskets, floor isolation pads, thermal insulation, sound barriers and anti-squeak / rattle pads. These materials are offered in continuous sheet form, enabling ease of fabrication whether slitting, die-cutting, or laminating with adhesive. In addition, Rogers offers a highly durable silicone seat cushion foam, supplied in bun stock form or as a fabricated cushion shaped to the customer’s design requirements.
Our high temperature BISCO® silicone materials for rail will be on display at InnoTrans 2016, the place to be for anything and everything rail and public transportation: railway technology, infrastructure, public transport, interiors, and tunnel construction.
September 20-23, 2016
Hall 3.1 / 513
At the show, we’ll be featuring the BISCO MF1® 35 (35 IFD) and MF1® 55 (55 IFD), high quality silicone foam materials designed for seat cushion applications. They feature exceptional flame, smoke, toxicity (FST) characteristics, superior weather and UV-resistance, and low compression set to ensure safety, long-term comfort, and durability. They are available in slab form or may be fabricated to customer specifications.
Engineers and designers can quickly find the material that’s right for their application by downloading the BISCO Silicones Rail Interior Solutions Application and Material Guide.
High-frequency filters are increasingly essential components within wireless products, especially as those wireless products continue to compete for limited frequency spectrum. Various types of RF/microwave filters help wireless radio transmitters and receivers operate with their proper signals while shielding them interference caused by out-of-band signals. Printed-circuit filters can be designed with various responses, including bandpass, bandstop, lowpass, or highpass filters, and from a number of different transmission-line technologies, including microstrip, stripline, or coplanar-waveguide (CPW) transmission lines. For the best results, filter designers should start with a printed-circuit-board (PCB) material having optimum characteristics for RF/microwave filters. The choice of circuit material can not only impact a filter’s performance, but even the size of a printed circuit filter.
The job of a filter is to shape part of the frequency spectrum, ideally stopping unwanted signals while passing desired signals with minimal loss or attenuation. Each filter type performs these functions by means of different spectral regions: stopbands, passbands, and transitions between a stopband and a passband. For example, a lowpass filter has one passband in the lower-frequency portion of its frequency range and one stopband in the upper-frequency part of its frequency range, with one transition region between them. A highpass filter is the opposite, with one passband in the upper-frequency part of its range and one stopband in the lower-frequency part of its range, and one transition region between them. A bandpass filter has a passband, lower and upper stopbands, and two transition regions. A band-reject filter can be thought of as the opposite, with a stopband with transition regions linking upper and lower passbands.
Different transfer functions describe a filter’s transition regions. A Chebyshev filter, for example, is characterized as having an abrupt transition from the passband to the stopband; i.e., very little spectrum is required to make the change from the lowest signal loss to the highest signal attenuation. A filter with a Butterworth or binomial function, on the other hand, makes a more gradual transition from the passband to the stopband. It requires a greater amount of frequency spectrum to make the transition from filter regions, but it can also achieve a passband with low loss and very little ripple compared to a Chebyshev filter with its shorter transitions.
A filter’s frequency response is really a composite of the responses of its different spectral regions, with the transfer function having a major influence on the loss characteristics of the passband and stopband regions. A Chebyshev filter is capable of a quick, clean transition from a passband to a stopband, but at the cost of some amplitude variations or ripple in the passband insertion-loss response. A Butterworth filter can achieve a much flatter passband insertion-loss response, but less attenuation of signals at frequencies closer to the passband than a Chebyshev filter.
A printed circuit filter designer is faced with achieving a set of responses for a desired frequency range but also with trying to minimize transmission and reflection losses at the filter’s input and output ports by means of impedance matched junctions. The input and output ports are often coaxial connectors and most typically at a characteristic impedance of 50 Ω. What difference can the choice of circuit material have on a particular filter design and why use one type of circuit material rather than another?
When sorting through PCB material options prior to a design, a filter designer usually starts with dielectric constant (Dk) as a key parameter. PCB filters are typically formed of resonant circuit structures, such as the quarter-wave or half-wavelength resonators used in edge-coupled microstrip bandpass filters. The Dk of the dielectric material will determine the dimensions of the transmission lines required for specific resonator characteristics and frequencies. Circuit materials with higher Dk values will yield smaller filter resonator structures for a given wavelength and frequency, when miniaturization of a filter design is an important goal. In any case, for predictable, repeatable filter and resonator performance, the Dk of a circuit material choice should be as consistent as possible, held to the tightest tolerance possible.
What many filter designers may not realize when choosing a circuit material, however, is the anisotropy of the material—that is, the Dk value is different in the x-y plane of the material than in the z-axis (the thickness) which is the material Dk value often used as a starting point for filter computer simulations. Due to such anisotropic behavior, for proper modeling and design of a microstrip edge-coupled bandpass filter, the coupled fields in the x-y plane should be calculated as a function of the x-y Dk value. Alternatively, a filter designer may select a circuit material with more isotropic behavior to simplify the design process.
In general, circuit materials with lower Dk values are more isotropic than circuit materials with higher Dk values. To compare two commercial circuit materials, RO3003™and RO3010™circuit materials from Rogers Corp. exhibit low and high Dk values, respectively, with different degrees of isotropy. RO3003 laminate has a z-axis Dk value of 3.00 (with a tolerance of ±0.04 in the z-axis) and is nearly a true isotropic material, with similarly low Dk value in the x-y plane. Designing filters with coupled resonant structures, such as microstrip edge-coupled bandpass filters, is straightforward often with first-pass design success when using commercial computer-aided-engineering (CAE) circuit simulators.
However, for designing much smaller filter circuits for a given frequency, RO3010 circuit material has a much higher z-axis Dk value of 10.2 (with tolerance of ±0.30 in the z-axis). It is much more anisotropic than RO3003 material, with Dk value in the x-y plane that is much closer to the 3.0 range of the RO3003 material. This means that filter design strategies and computer simulations must account for the significant difference of Dk values in the x-y plane and the z-axis of RO3010 material. But the higher Dk value of this material significantly increases the coupling between resonant structures, which can help improve the overall performance of a filter design while miniaturizing its dimensions.
Note: Those interested in learning more about how circuit material anisotropy can impact filter design see the ROG Blog, “Substrate Anisotropy Affects Filter Designs,” which also examines the effects of moisture absorption on circuit material Dk.
ROG Mobile App
Download the ROG Mobile app to access Rogers’ calculators, including the popular Microwave Impedance simulation tool, literature, technical papers, and the ability to order samples of the company’s high performance printed circuit board materials.
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Selected quotes from our second quarter earnings call.
Read the corporate financials news release: Rogers Corporation Reports Second Quarter 2016 Results
In Q2 2016, Rogers achieved net sales of $157.5 million, in line with our stated guidance. Net sales declined 3.4% in comparison to Q2 2015. We experienced slower than expected growth in certain key markets, but we maintain confidence in the long-term growth prospects for our core markets and will continue to execute our growth strategy to capitalize on the opportunities ahead.
Bruce Hoechner, CEO, on Growth
Our roadmap has enabled us to deliver solid results and positions us for the projected growth in our megatrend markets. Rogers is a market-driven organization and we leverage our deep understanding of the link between our markets and technology to develop solutions that fill unmet needs in the marketplace. We recently hosted a day-long innovation event where we brought together Rogers engineers and a key customer’s top technologists. These events deepen our customer partnerships so together we can develop a roadmap to meet their future technology needs.
In the area of innovation leadership, we are very pleased with the advancements we are making in our innovation centers, as well as in the operating units where our R&D teams are focused on next-generation solutions. Our approach to partnering with local universities in the US and Asia is yielding results. We are filing for new patents in record numbers and we are evaluating a robust pipeline of groundbreaking new technology platforms at our innovation centers.
Bruce Hoechner, CEO, on Megatrends
The longer-term outlook and corresponding growth expectations for our key markets remains positive over the next two to three years. For example, consumer demand for mobile video content is expected to drive a 45% compounded annual growth rate in mobile data traffic over the next five years. To support that explosive growth, the FCC recently voted to open high-frequency spectrum for 5G networks in the US. Such actions bode well for Rogers since our core strengths in advanced antenna technology, power amps, and other wireless telecommunication components should enable us to capitalize on that growth.
Other areas of importance to Rogers are energy efficiency and safety, which continue to be at the forefront of technology advancements across many markets. In particular, we expect to see solid growth for EV/HEV and automotive safety system applications going forward.
We are confident that the strategic investments we are making will drive greater agility and flexibility in the face of market uncertainty.
Advanced Connectivity Solutions delivered net sales of $67.2 million during Q2 2016, which is an increase of 1.2% over Q2 2015. Results were driven by demand in applications for high-frequency circuit materials used in automotive safety and other high-reliability applications.
Demand for wireless telecom applications was up slightly, but lower than expected, due to delayed spending in both India and China, which we expect to occur now in 2017. This resulted in a gradual softening of demand as we moved through the quarter. Growth in ACS was partially offset by lower demand in satellite TV dish applications.
We are executing on our strategy to deliver growth in ACS. In the near term, we expect to maintain our leadership position in 4G LTE wireless infrastructure, as well as in automotive safety systems where manufacturers are offering more of these features across luxury and mass-market models. We are well positioned to capitalize on the growth we expect to see with the buildout of the 5G networks.
Elastomeric Material Solutions achieved second-quarter net sales of $45.8 million, a decrease of 2.6% from Q2 2015. During the quarter, EMS results were driven by an increase in demand for portable electronics and automotive applications. This demand was offset by lower demand for general industrial, mass transit, and consumer applications. Softness in the general industrial market was a result of reduced capital expenditures in North America, due in part to the decline in energy-related infrastructure investments. EMS’s consumer category was affected by lower demand for protective footwear, due to slowdowns in the mining and construction categories.
Our strategy to drive growth in EMS through geographic expansion was evident during the quarter, as the European region delivered another quarter of double-digit revenue growth. In addition, our R&D efforts are helping us to expand our portfolio of opportunities. For example, we are pleased with the traction we are gaining for our new back pad materials, which eliminate the ripple effect that can appear on the screens of certain portable electronic devices.
Power Electronics Solutions net sales were $38.4 million, essentially flat compared to Q2 2015. Overall, we saw increased demand for energy-efficient motor drives, due to strong results at one of our key customers. In addition, certain renewable energy and vehicle electrification applications also posted solid growth during the quarter. Demand for EV/HEV was essentially flat, due to a slower than expected ramp-up rate at a key customer in Q2, but we expect to see improvement in Q3. The positive results in these segments was more than offset by weaker demand in mass transit, where rail demand was much lower due to declines in energy and mining markets.
For the PES business, we maintain a positive outlook for the mid- to long term. We expect government mandates and climate change agreements to continue to drive demand for energy-efficient motor drives, renewable energy applications, and EV/HEV content.
Q2 2016 Earnings Call Full Transcript: http://rogerscorp.com/documents/8792/investor-relations/Rogers-Corporation-Second-Quarter-2016-Conference-Call.pdf
Q2 2016 Financials Press Release: http://rogerscorp.com/news/7466/Rogers-Corporation-Reports-Second-Quarter-2016-Results.aspx
Safety is an integral part of Rogers Cultural Behaviors:
- Life Safely
- Speak Openly
- Just Decide
- Simply Improve
- Deliver Results
A very successful Safety Day event, sponsored by Rogers’ R&D Safety Committee and Innovation Center team, was held at corporate headquarters in Rogers CT on May 25, 2016. Safety not only is taken seriously at our manufacturing sites, but also by our R&D and corporate office colleagues who believe a strong safety program requires all employees to be actively involved.
The event was attended by ~85 R&D and Innovation Center employees and 30 employees from the corporate office. The day was broken into one-hour courses so participants had a selection of topics to choose from. The topics included:
- First aid training by the American Red Cross
- Diet and Fitness by a local Certified Personal Trainer
- Home fire safety by the local Deputy Fire Chief
- Ergonomics by our WorkWell Certified Physical Therapist
- Home Safety by a Honeywell expert
- Ladder safety for home and work by KB Ladder
- Safety gloves and hand protection for home and work
There was also a scavenger hunt, which was the hit of the day. Many people had the opportunity to pair up with colleagues they do not normally work with and learn about safety items they were not familiar with in the R&D building. Random prize triggers throughout the day helped keep everyone interested and involved.
While Rogers holds a variety of safety activities, this was our first Safety Day event initiated, produced, and executed at corporate headquarters for lab and office employees. The R&D and Innovation Center team, lead by Shawn Williams and Loni Decelles did a spectacular job with this event.
A big thank you to the R&D and Innovation Center Safety Committee and R&D leadership for promoting and supporting safe workplace and home safety.
The Rogers Corp. Safety Committee Members are:
Kurt Frisch, Tom Kneeland, Mike Lunt, Bryan Tworzydlo, Loni Decelles, Lisa Langelier, Selina Han, Brian Litke, Chuck Weatherbee, John Kaczowski, Steve Chviek, Betti Sheldon, Craig Clark, and Mark St. Jean.