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!
Senior leaders at Rogers Corp. regularly blog for employees on topics like technology trends, safety, and leadership. This month we’d like to share our CTO’s trip to CES, the interesting technologies and trends that caught his eye, and how they relate to the value we deliver to our customers.
By Bob Daigle, Sr. VP and Chief Technology Officer, Rogers Corp.
I just attended the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). A record number of people (160,000) were in attendance. As you might imagine, it was very crowded! What I saw there makes me even more enthusiastic about Rogers’ future. The latest technologies that we enable are emerging at a faster pace than expected and we are well-positioned to capitalize on this growth.
It was apparent that the e-Mobility revolution is gaining momentum. Most major automotive producers had a significant presence at the show and were proudly displaying electric vehicles and self-driving car technology.
Several of the major automakers are now committing to introduce self-driving cars within 3-4 years. Audi announced plans to introduce their first self-driving vehicle in 2020. Ford is targeting 2021. Faraday Futures, an electric vehicle start-up, introduced their first production vehicle at the CES show and stated that it will have self-driving capabilities. Cars have become a high end “Consumer Electronic Device.”
Think about what self-driving cars could mean over the next 10 years. Will your car be able to drop the kids off at school and pick them up from soccer practice? Will you fly less because you can sleep in the car while it takes you to a distant city overnight? Will your young kids or grandchildren bother to learn to drive?
The potential benefits of self-driving cars go well beyond convenience. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, has stated that over 200 million miles have been driven in self-driving mode (as shown in this Tesla self-driving car video). The safety data suggests that self-driving cars are already twice as safe as human-driven cars. And, you’d expect the technology will get even better as factors causing the collisions that do occur are analyzed and addressed with engineering improvements.
I believe the day will come when the risk of collisions is low enough to allow safety systems like airbags and heavy structural supports designed to protect passengers in collisions to be eliminated. This means cars will be much lighter so electric vehicles will have much longer range and be even more environmentally friendly. It will also mean that the appearance of cars can be highly customized because there won’t be a need to do crash testing for every new design.
One company at CES had full-sized car bodies on display that were 3D printed. Someday, you’ll be able to change the look and feel of the car you’re ordering at a kiosk.
5G and IoT
Another theme from CES was that 5G and other technologies that will support the Internet of Things (IoT) are becoming a reality faster than people might have thought a few years back. Ericsson had a great 5G demonstration streaming live high definition video at the show. Integrated circuit makers like Qualcomm have already developed 5G chipsets, years sooner than expected.
It was also apparent that the industry is gearing up rapidly to provide higher speed solutions like WiGig for the home that will allow seamless streaming of ultrahigh definition video wirelessly between devices like your DVD player and your television.
Powering, Protecting, Connecting
What does this all mean for Rogers? Our focus on providing enabling Connectivity and eMobility solutions positions us very well to capitalize on these rapidly emerging opportunities. For eMobility applications like self-driving cars, our circuit materials are used in the vast majority of radar sensors. For eMobility applications like electric vehicles, our curamik® substrates are used in power modules, our ROLINX® busbars are used for battery and power invertor interconnects, and our PORON® urethanes and BISCO® silicone foams are used to seal and protect battery packs, and reduce noise and vibration. For 5G and WiGig systems critical to the Internet of Things (IoT), Rogers provides market leading circuit material solutions.
Technologies showcased at CES this year will revolutionize how we travel and communicate in ways we can only begin to imagine!
The renewable energy industry is growing thanks to technology developments and economies of scale. According to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the global renewables market expanded more than six times in the past decade. Global investment was $350 billion last year, more than was invested in new fossil fuel plants.
Such growth is supported by a wide range of initiatives, from the Paris Climate accords to local innovation events like the Boston Cleanweb Hackathon. The Hackathon brings together students, programmers, software developers, entrepreneurs, and energy experts to develop user-friendly, web-based applications to help consumers and businesses use energy and natural resources more efficiently. The cost for renewables to produce electricity is now at competitive levels with traditional fuel. A recent Forbes article discusses how far renewable energy has come. Long-term sales contracts between utilities and power producers (PPAs) are in the range of 3-4 cents per kilowatt hour for wind and solar energy; that compares favorably to 5.2 cents for natural gas and 6.5 cents for coal. The cost of LED lights has fallen from $35 four years ago to about 80 cents for a 9 watt LED.
Companies are increasingly committing to power their operations using renewable energy. Google, for instance, said that its global network of 13 large-scale data centers will be powered entirely by renewable energy by the end of 2017. Microsoft says it has been 100 percent carbon neutral since 2014; they hope to have half their electric power supplied from wind, solar, and hydroelectric sources by 2018.
Countries are stepping up their efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Costa Rica produced almost all of its electricity from renewable sources in 2015.
Clean Energy Technology Developments
Technology innovations are the surest way to continue to make progress on clean energy from high efficiency renewable energy sources to cheaper storage to smarter grids. Solar photovoltaics (PV) lead the rest of the renewable energy pack, with growth in global capacity averaging 42% annually over the past five years. Concentrated solar power (CSP) continues to show strong growth as well, with an average annual growth rate of 35% over the past five years.
MIT researchers have developed a solar thermophotovoltaic device that could push past the theoretical efficiency limits of conventional solar panel photovoltaics. The addition of carbon nanotubes and nanophotonics crystals collect energy from the sun and concentrate it into a narrow band of light. This approach could break the theoretical cap of about 30 percent efficiency on conventional solar cells.
Researchers at Stanford, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology are making progress on boosting the efficiency and improving the stability of perovskite solar cells. They are cheap, easy to produce, and efficient at absorbing light, but quickly degrade.
Capturing carbon emissions is also an important part of any clean energy program. Recent advances include carbonate fuel cells to capture carbon in power plants and a process for injecting carbon dioxide and water deep underground which mineralizes when it reacts with the volcanic basalt rocks. Another approach is to recycle captured carbon dioxide back into usable fuels. Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a catalyst that converts a solution of carbon dioxide into ethanol at a high level of efficiency.
Power Conversion Technology
The high power levels of clean energy technologies require semiconductor power electronics, such as insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs), to convert the power being generated — either as a variable frequency AC in windmills, or as DC in solar cells — to a well-regulated 50/60 Hz AC power than can delivered and distributed in the energy grid. This also allows devices to be smaller, faster, more reliable, and more efficient.
Switching losses that occur in inverters are an important issue to be considered to improve the efficiency of the inverter. Within the semiconductor devices, power substrates provide interconnections and cool the components. curamik® ceramic substrates are designed to carry higher currents, provide higher voltage isolation, and operate over a wide temperature range. Rogers’ ROLINX® busbars serve as power distribution “highways.” These laminated busbars provide a customized liaison between the power source and capacitors, resistors, integrated circuits (ICs), integrated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs), or complete modules.