Part of being a conscious global citizen is realizing that it’s possible to make a difference. Rogers is well aware of the impact a company can have. Our goal is to encourage our employees to be socially conscious and strive to improve the lives of those they touch. We are immensely proud of the work they do on the job and in the local community. Here are a few recent stories about how our employees are making a difference.
Helping the Homeless
For over five years, Rogers’ Lettie Schultz has organized the company’s “Adopt a Family” donations program for the Killingly Family Resource Center in Connecticut. The center provides support for homeless families, families living in shelters, and local families in need.
This is a family affair for everyone involved. Each year, Lettie’s grandchildren help her shop, create tags, and distribute the gifts. Tags are also given to all our Connecticut facilities, including R&D and manufacturing. “We collect the gifts in one area,” Lettie explains, “and our helpful guys in IT take them to the Family Resource Center.”
The resource center has commented about Roger’s generosity. The gifts intended for one family are sometimes shared with other families. This allows more families to participate, spreading the holiday spirit throughout the region.
Redesigning Sports Grounds
The Rogers Germany team was victorious in a charity soccer game to support a redesign of the sports ground at HPZ Irchenrieth, a therapy-based day center primarily for people with mental health disabilities. The game provided exciting entertainment. In the end, Anette Enders (HR Manager) and Johannes Beierl (Industrial Training Manager) handed over a donation of 1.000 EUR for the redesign of the sports field. Daisy Brenner, Chairwoman of HPZ was very thankful and confirmed that the money would be in good hands.
A big thank you to our soccer team from Rogers Germany: Daniel Küfner, Benjamin Reiter, Andreas Farnbauer, Johannes Wiesend, Thomas Kohl, Andre Brunner, Michael Pfleger, Marco Wöhrl, Johannes Bauer, Tobias Weber, Michael Melchner, Fabian Gradl, Raphael Hösl, and Alexander Schäffler.
Top 10 Employee Caring Enterprise
Rogers Technologies (Suzhou) Co., Ltd was awarded “Top 10 Employee Caring Enterprise” by the General Labor Union of Suzhou Industrial Park. Suzhou delivers their corporate caring culture from a number of angles, including their “Journey Towards Care” program, which focuses on employees’ happiness, learning, and growth, as well as their efforts to spread care to the community.
Caring for our Teachers
Rogers’ Chandler, Arizona building is undergoing renovations. Employees have pitched in to clear out the building. Large recycle bins hauled away massive amounts of “stuff”—including outdated books and files with paperwork—some with notes for the inventions and processes that have led to our current success. It’s awe inspiring to know Rogers has been a part of so many game-changing innovations for over 180 years.
After an employee “rummage sale,” we had an opportunity to recycle unused office furniture and supplies. Habitat for Humanity took some items and suggested we donate the rest to Treasures 4 Teachers (T4T).
Barbara Blalock began T4T in 2004, collecting donations for a YMCA preschool and storing them in her garage. As more donations poured in from the community, her vision of supporting educators grew into a community resource warehouse.
Teachers join T4T for $35/year and are given unlimited access to shopping for low or no cost. Teachers might spend as much as $1,000 a year out of their own pocket for school supplies, so T4T offers these items at no cost or at a nominal fee to help sustain our educators.
The Fight Against Cancer
Former Rogers Belgium colleague, Arsène Demaret, and his team “De Gulden Sporen” (the Golden Spurs) from Brussels, took part in the Levensloop (Run for life), a unique concept in the fight against cancer.
The Levensloop brings together communities to watch the 24-hour relay and enjoy festive events for all ages. “Levensloop” is all about solidarity and fundraising for the fight against cancer. The event:
- Celebrates people who survived cancer or are still fighting the disease,
- Commemorate people who died from cancer, and
- Invites participants to stand up and fight as a community against cancer.
Recipes are often refined with time, in hopes of improving the results. Such is the case with RF/microwave circuit laminates, created from carefully blended mixtures of materials, with the goal of achieving the best possible results in electrical and mechanical performance. Over the years, many different formulations have been applied to create high-frequency circuit materials. The efforts have led to a variety of current circuit laminate choices for a wide range of high-frequency applications and performance requirements.
The high-frequency material perhaps most familiar to users of circuit laminates is polytetrafluoroethylene, more commonly known as PTFE. It is a synthetic thermoplastic fluoropolymer formed of carbon and fluorine. It has a high molecular weight and low coefficient of friction, the main reason it is often used to create “non-stick” surfaces. With a dielectric constant (Dk) of 2.1, PTFE has excellent dielectric properties at microwave frequencies.
PTFE has been a “building-block” material for microwave circuit laminates for some time. It is combined with other materials to modify its electrical and mechanical properties to the requirements of high-frequency circuit designers. For example, PTFE-based circuit materials are typically reinforced with woven glass for improved mechanical stability. The woven-glass reinforcement will raise the material’s Dk value and also decrease material expansion as a function of temperature, better matching the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of the circuit material to that of its copper conductors. PTFE-based laminates also use ceramic fillers to achieve higher Dk values and to fine-tune other material properties, such as CTE.
At one time, the choice of circuit laminates for high-frequency, thin-film circuits came down to almost an “either/or” decision for circuit designers: fabricate it on lower-cost FR-4 circuit material or on higher-performance (and higher-cost) PTFE-based laminates (or alumina ceramic substrates, in the case of high-frequency thick-film circuits). FR-4 really refers to a family of circuit materials based on woven-glass-reinforced flame-retardant epoxy. The material is popular for its low cost and ease of circuit fabrication, but suffers degraded electrical performance at higher frequencies, typically above about 500 MHz, and many circuit designers had learned their own “cutoff frequency point” below which they could use FR-4 and above which required a PTFE-based circuit laminate.
While well-established and accepted for high-frequency circuits, PTFE is just one of a number of “ingredients” in currently available high-frequency circuit laminates, which also include thermoplastic materials such as polyphenyl ether (PPE), polyphenylene oxide (PPO) epoxy resin, and hydrocarbon-based materials with ceramic fillers. Some high-frequency and high-speed applications have encouraged the development of even more exotic circuit laminate formulations, such as liquid-crystalline-polymer (LCP) materials for flexible circuits and polyetheretherketone (PEEK) thermoplastic materials for extremely high operating temperatures (to about +200°C). In fact, for circuits at microwave frequencies, the number of circuit laminate options seems to grow with time, with newer material formulations promising improvements in the key characteristics that define circuit laminate performance for printed-circuit boards (PCBs), including Dk, dissipation factor (Df), coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), thermal coefficient of dielectric constant (TCDk), thermal conductivity, moisture absorption, and long-term aging.
How do these different high-frequency material compositions compare? First of all, it is important to note that not all PTFE-based circuit laminates are created equal. Early PTFE-based laminates were reinforced with woven glass to reduce the inherently high CTE of PTFE alone. Further improvements in performance were possible for PTFE-based circuit laminates by adding micro-fiber glass to the mixture in RT/duroid® 5880 circuit material from Rogers Corp. PTFE-based laminates were further improved by adding special ceramic materials as fillers, not only to modify the Dk but to alter certain properties of the material to make them easier to process when fabricating PCBs.
In the case of RT/duroid 6002 circuit board material from Rogers Corp., it is based on PTFE but without woven-glass reinforcement. By adding special ceramic filler, the Dk of the base PTFE material is raised to a value of 2.94 that is highly consistent (within ±0.04) through a sheet of RT/duroid 6002 and with low Df (0.0012) and CTE through the z-axis (thickness) closely matched to that of copper for reliable plated through holes. In fact, the process of adding ceramic filler to a base material such as PTFE allows “fine-tuning” of the material’s ultimate Dk value, so that PTFE-based circuit laminates can be formulated with many different Dk values.
Through experimentation, it was also found that ceramic filler could also be used to fine-tune the Dk values of circuit materials other than PTFE, such as the thermoset hydrocarbon resin materials that are the basis for the TMM® laminates from Rogers Corp. For example, through the addition of different amounts and types of ceramic filler, TMM laminates achieve Dk values ranging from 3 to 13. These resin-based materials are somewhat easier to process into PCBs than PTFE-based circuit laminates, although the absence of glass reinforcement does result in some other challenges for circuit fabrication. To overcome those challenges, a circuit laminate formulation based on ceramic-filled hydrocarbon resin, but with woven-glass reinforcement—RO4350B™ circuit material from Rogers Corp.—was created to provide improved CTE and temperature stability while also maintaining the ease of PCB processing associated with hydrocarbon (non-PTFE)-based circuit laminates.
More recent circuit material formulations have included thermoset hydrocarbon-based PPE and PPO circuit laminates, typically reinforced with woven glass for improved mechanical stability. As noted earlier, such materials can offer unique benefits, such as ease of circuit fabrication and improved long-term aging characteristics. However, they are also limited to lower Dk values and tend to exhibit more rapidly increasing dielectric loss (Df) with frequency than PTFE-based materials and ceramic-filled, hydrocarbon-based circuit laminates.
This sampling of different circuit material compositions hints at some of the differences among the material choices. For example, whether they are glass reinforced or not, special ceramic fillers which are used in PTFE-based circuit materials contribute to good CTE and TCDk performance levels; they also make possible a wide range of Dk values for PTFE-based circuit laminates, from about 3 to 10. Without ceramic filler, PTFE-based circuit materials achieve better loss characteristics (low Df), but with degraded CTE and TCDk compared to ceramic-filled PTFE-based materials. As a general trend, PTFE-based circuit laminates with higher Dk values will exhibit higher Df values and are more anisotropic with increased Dk.
Ceramic-filled, hydrocarbon-based circuit laminates fortified with woven glass typically have higher Df (greater loss) than PTFE-based materials, although they also offer typically better CTE, TCDk, and thermal conductivity than PTFE-based circuit laminates. PPE and PPO-based circuit laminates also have higher Df values than PTFE-based circuit materials, or about the same values as hydrocarbon-based circuit laminates when tested at about 10 GHz or less. For the special features of those PPE and PPO-based circuit materials, including excellent long-term aging characteristics, they suffer higher moisture absorption than the other types of high-frequency circuit laminates.
For high-frequency circuit designers, more choices in circuit laminate compositions are available than ever before, each with its own benefits and tradeoffs. The requirements of a particular application can usually help to speed up and simplify the choice.
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.
Ask an Engineer
Do you have a design or fabrication question? Rogers Corporation’s experts are available to help. Log in to the Rogers Technology Support Hub and “Ask an Engineer” today.
By Jill Malczewski, Marketing Communications Supervisor
Imagine it’s your first day at a new job. You arrive at the company and no one is expecting you. After walking around in circles, you locate your desk where you can’t log into your computer nor use the phone. Your supervisor is nowhere to be found and you start thinking, “Hmmm, did I make the right decision?”
Well, no reason for fear here! Being a new employee at Rogers Corporation has been refreshingly accepting and enlightening. From the start I felt welcomed, comfortable, prepared, and supported. The onboarding process can vary across the organization as Rogers expands and relocates its headquarters to Chandler, Arizona, but one thing remains consistent – the culture. It is evident Rogers invests in its employees’ success, focusing on satisfaction and retention.
Almost immediately, the lines of communication were established between my direct supervisor and Human Resources, outlining first day expectations (parking, arrival time, paperwork, agenda, etc.). It began with a building tour along with face-to-face introductions, followed by an orientation meeting with HR and meeting my Sponsor. The next few weeks included colleague engagements within the divisional business units, building knowledge on the organization/recent acquisitions and specific projects. It was enlightening to learn about the company’s recent advancements and growth in high frequency circuit materials for automotive advanced driver assistance systems, aerospace/defense, and 5G applications within the Advanced Connectivity Solutions (ACS) group, as well as the strategic focus of the other divisions.
Often times the smallest experiences can provide validation and a feeling of importance. For me, it was when setting up my computer went seamlessly, a personalized welcome lunch was organized for me and I participated in a meet & greet with the CEO, who shared details about new, innovative endeavors on the horizon in advanced mobility and connectivity.
As I continue along this new journey, there is no doubt I made the best decision. Fear is not an obstacle when you have the tools to succeed, I am proud to work for a company that is doing it right!
Selected quotes from our recent earnings call. Read the corporate financials news release: Rogers Corporation Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2016 Results
In Q4 2016, Rogers delivered strong net sales and margin performance to close out a very good year. The company achieved net sales of $173 million, an increase of 13.1% over Q4 2015. For the year, Rogers achieved net sales of $656.3 million for an increase of 2.3% over 2015.
Bruce Hoechner, CEO, on Innovation Leadership
Our competencies are rooted in our DNA. One of our key differentiators is the way we work with our customers to identify and develop highly engineered solutions to help with their toughest material challenges. Our R&D teams are building on a long history of innovation leadership, developing a robust product pipeline of new and next-generation solutions. In addition, we completed the acquisition of DeWAL Industries in 2016 and, in early 2017, Diversified Silicone Products, augmenting the product portfolio and technology capabilities of our EMS business.
Bruce Hoechner, CEO, on Growth Drivers
We are a market-driven organization, focusing on growing global markets including wireless infrastructure, automotive safety, and e-mobility. We view two innovation growth drivers as our key priorities: advanced mobility and advanced connectivity.
Our solutions are at the forefront of advanced mobility technologies. Our ROLINX® products provide reliable interconnects for electric vehicle inverters and batteries. Our ceramic substrates enable efficient and reliable power conversion from the battery to the drive systems in electric and hybrid-electric vehicle applications. Our PORON® urethanes and BISCO® silicones seal and protect critical battery components. And in the area of automotive safety, Rogers is the leading provider of circuit materials used in advanced driver assistance systems.
Rogers has been a leader in advanced connectivity technology since the early days of 2G wireless networks and has adapted to evolving markets through innovation. Today, we are well on our way to replicating our success with 4G LTE systems into new 4.5 and 5G generations where developments are taking place faster than expected and we are delivering new material solutions for other critical connectivity components.
Bruce Hoechner, CEO, on Rogers’ Business Units
Advanced Connectivity Solutions (ACS) has been favorably impacted by growth in high-frequency circuit materials for automotive safety, aerospace, and defense, and 4G LTE applications. Two particular indicators of growth in these areas are mobile data traffic, with a projected 45% compounded annual growth rate through 2021, and automotive safety systems, with a 29% compounded annual growth rate through 2026. We believe we have the right technologies and are developing the right products to capitalize on these opportunities.
Elastomeric Material Solutions continued its return to organic growth as a result of higher demand for portable electronics. Automotive and general industrial applications sales were slightly offset by lower demand for mass transit and certain consumer applications.
In addition to geographic expansion and investments in new product development, EMS is acquiring top-of-the-pyramid companies. DeWAL is a leading manufacturer of advanced performance polymer films and pressure-sensitive tapes that are used in industrial, aerospace, automotive, and electronics markets. Diversified Silicone Products is an innovator in custom silicone product development and manufacturing, serving a wide range of high reliability applications.
Power Electronics Solutions results were favorably impacted by increased demand in EV/HEV, variable frequency drives, and certain renewable energy applications, partially offset by lower demand in mass transit. The PES business continues to build its capabilities to serve customers in the advanced mobility category and e-Mobility applications, in particular. Rogers has a solid foothold in these applications and we are poised to capitalize on the expected market growth, which is forecast at a 28% compounded annual growth rate through 2020.
While all of our businesses are committed to operational excellence, we see significant opportunities in PES where automation and footprint changes have already led to improved results. For example, in 2016, we opened the new ROLINX power distribution busbar line at our Rogers Hungary facility.
Rogers Corp. employs hundreds of engineers across the globe in such careers as New Product Development, Business Development, Chemical Engineering, Design & Manufacturing Engineering, and Market Development. Our senior management team also includes executives who started in engineering, such as our CEO, Bruce Hoechner.
This National Engineers Week, we celebrate the many contributions our engineers make to a cleaner, safer, more connected world. You can find their imprint on ceramic substrates in vehicle electrification systems, sealing for industrial enclosures and medical equipment, and high frequency laminates in antennas and satellites.
If you’re interested in joining the Rogers Corp. team, we have a number of engineering jobs open across the globe, including:
- Antenna Market Development Engineer
- Application Development Engineer
- Application Engineer
- Application Support Engineer
- Chemical Engineer/Innovator-Magnetic Materials
- Design & Manufacturing Engineer
- Electro Mechanical Engineer
- Lean Engineer
- Process Engineer
- Product Engineer
- Quality Engineer
- Quality Systems Implementation Engineer
- Sales Engineer
- EHS Engineer
- Process Engineer
- Quality Engineer
Search the listings and apply online at the Rogers Corp. Career Center.
Happy National Engineers Week!