Selected quotes from our recent earnings call. Read the corporate financials news release: Rogers Corporation Reports First Quarter 2018 Results

In Q1 2018, our net sales were $214.6 million, compared to 2017 first quarter net sales of $203.8 million.

Bruce Hoechner, CEO, on Growth Drivers

We have significant growth opportunities in our existing markets, particularly in advanced mobility and advanced connectivity, where the global outlook is strongly positive.

Strong growth in our Advanced Mobility markets, especially EV/HEV and ADAS, were highlights in the quarter. This strength was offset by lower demand in wireless infrastructure as the market transitions to 5G technology. As the 5G technology evolves, Rogers is seeing substantial design-ins and pilot installations around the world. We have significantly greater material content in these highly sophisticated systems. We are actively expanding capacity to support upcoming market demand.

Revenue mix and operational challenges largely in the Advanced Connectivity Solutions business were the primary factors contributing to our lower than anticipated margin performance during Q1. Our actions to resolve these operational issues, as well as the strong outlook in our key markets, give us confidence in our ability to achieve our 2020 objectives.

We remain focused on the four pillars of our proven growth strategy: market-driven, innovation leadership, synergistic M&A, and operational excellence.

Bruce Hoechner, CEO, on Rogers’ Business Units

Advanced Connectivity Solutions (ACS) reported 2018 first quarter net sales of $73.5 million, a 6.5% decrease compared to 2017 first quarter net sales of $78.5 million. The decrease in 2018 first quarter net sales was largely driven by lower demand in wireless 4G LTE, portable electronics and satellite TV applications, partially offset by continued strength in demand for automotive advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) revenues. Looking ahead, most experts are projecting that 5G deployments will accelerate in the first half of 2019, with a diverse portfolio of solutions that offer support for very high frequencies and solve thermal issues. ACS is well positioned to capitalize on this evolution to more complex systems.

Elastomeric Material Solutions (EMS) reported 2018 first quarter net sales of $78.1 million, a 1.6% increase compared to 2017 first quarter net sales of $76.9 million. EMS net sales increased on higher demand in portable electronics, general industrial and electric and hybrid electric vehicles, partially offset by lower demand in mass transit and other applications. We are pleased with the traction EMS is gaining in a number of next-generation materials. These include battery pressure pads that enable cooling of EV/HEV batteries as well as unique ceiling solutions that protect the batteries from water, dust and other extreme environmental conditions. We expect demand in this market to continue as more EV and HEV models are introduced.

Power Electronics Solutions (PES) reported 2018 first quarter net sales of $57.7 million, a 35.3% increase compared to 2017 first quarter net sales of $42.7 million. 2018 first quarter net sales increased due to broad based demand across markets, including particular strength in electric and hybrid electric vehicles, renewable energy and laser diode coolers. As these markets expand and the technology requirements become more challenging, the PES solutions portfolio is uniquely positioned to address this complexity.

 

Q1 2018 Earnings Call Full Transcript 

Q1 2018 Financial Press Release

Q1 2018 Earnings Call Slides

A global push to reduce CO2 emissions, as well as government incentives and consumer demand, is leading the world’s largest automotive manufacturers to accelerate plans to introduce all-electric and hybrid-electric (EV/HEV) models.

At the same time, advanced safety features that were once limited to luxury models – like forward collision warning and blind spot detection – are being introduced on more mass models.

Rogers delivers solutions for a host of Advanced Mobility solutions that address the toughest material challenges in these applications.

Many of the world’s best-selling EVs/HEVs include Rogers advanced materials.

  • Our curamik® Performance silicon nitride substrates for Wide Bandgap Semiconductors offer high thermal conductivity and reliability which are essential for EV/HEV applications.
  • PORON® and BISCO® elastomer materials provide unique sealing and vibration solutions, protecting HEV batteries from environmental elements while reducing noise.
  • Our compact and light-weight power distribution and thermal management solutions enable increased driving ranges for EV/HEV vehicles. ROLINX® CapEasy and ROLINX® CapPerformance capacitor-busbar assemblies can save size, weight, and energy while efficiently distributing energy in powertrains: www.rolinx.com

Maximizing Electric Power Efficiency with Vehicle Electrification

Automotive design engineers are looking for innovative solutions to maximize electric power efficiency of EVs/HEVs. As vehicle electrification continues, designers need to ensure sufficient and efficient power to all electrical components of the car, including electrical power steering, air conditioning, oil pumps.

Semiconductor-based power systems not only improve battery efficiency, but also optimize overall system cost, minimize power losses and more.

When creating these power systems, designers choose ROLINX® busbars and curamik® ceramic substrates. For example, our silicon nitride substrates for wide-band gap semiconductors offer high thermal conductivity and reliability.

Connectivity and Safety

The growing adoption of safety features in mass market models has accelerated the demand for innovative Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) utilizing a variety of sensor technologies and safety systems.

New Car Assessment Programs (NCAP) worldwide are driving more robust crash avoidance technologies, requiring innovative ADAS. Automotive design engineers strive to meet high performance and reliable connectivity challenges.

Rogers’ high-frequency materials are the first choice for engineers when designing ADAS technologies such as adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, and more.

Today’s manufacturers of automotive fleets and mass transportation systems are motivated to meet fuel efficiency and emission requirements, as well as market demands for reduced costs. e-Mobility (electro mobility or advanced mobility) refers to clean and efficient electric and hybrid vehicles that use electric powertrain technologies, in-vehicle information, communication technologies, and connected infrastructures.

e-Mobility efforts are gaining traction around the world. According to EURACTIV, Europe is making major gains:

Metros and tramways are electric and provide high-capacity, zero-emission public transport systems in many European cities. Likewise, about 80% of Europe’s mainline rail traffic is powered by electricity. Several EU member states are now pushing towards a 100% electrified rail network, with the potential to reduce the CO2 emissions of rail to zero if they achieve it.

And road transport is catching up. Last year, the number of electric vehicles (EVs) purring up and down the world’s roads surpassed two million. This may not seem a lot when set against the total number of cars on the road (which is probably in excess of a billion) but it does represent remarkable and sustained growth. EV sales climbed by nearly 40% in the US last year, while China has become the largest single market in the world for EVs and plug-in hybrids, with sales only expected to grow as government-backed investment presses on.

You can find Rogers’ advanced materials in a wide variety of eMobility platforms: power electronics solutions for electrical oil pumps and battery packs, high-frequency PCB laminates for electrical power steering and antennas, and gaskets and vibration management foams for airbag sensors and sound systems. Let’s take a closer look at the electronics inside these vehicles.

 

High frequency PCB substrates are found in Adaptive Cruise Control, Antenna Boosters, Automated Tolling Tags, Blind Spot Detection, Collision Avoidance and Mitigation, GPS, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Telematics, and V2X Antennas.

Ceramic substrates are found in Air Conditioning Compressors, Battery (Fast) Chargers, Converters, Electrical Power Steering, Inverters, Liquid Heater PTC, Oil Pumps, Start-Stop Systems, and Vacuum Pumps.

Power distribution systems are found in AC-DC Converters/DC-DC Converters, Battery Modules, Motors, Power Steering, and Start-Stop Systems.

Active Safety Systems

New cars are increasingly equipped with robust crash avoidance technologies. These active safety technologies are enabled by innovative Advanced Driver Assistance Systems using sensor technologies, such as radar, to detect collisions.

Rogers’ Advanced Connectivity Solutions group provides high performance PCB laminates for 24 GHz and 77 GHz automotive radar sensor applications. The RO4000® and RO3000® series materials enable radar sensors to detect upcoming collisions to prevent road accidents. In addition, RO4000® high frequency circuit materials are successfully used in 24 GHz radar sensors for blind spot detection or rear cross traffic alert.

Forward collision warning, emergency brake assist, adaptive cruise control, and traffic jam pilots require radar sensors that operate in the 76-81 GHz range. RO3000® High Frequency Laminates have an excellent Dk tolerance of ± 0.04 and at this high frequency concerns with insertion loss are paramount. These laminates also offer an extremely low dissipation factor, ensuring the dielectric loss component of insertion loss will be very low.

Vehicle to vehicle (V2V) or vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communications systems send information via dedicated short range at 5.9GHz (DSRC) or intelligent transportation system G5 (ITS-G5) and 3G/4G cellular network. Rogers’ high frequency materials help antenna´s and modules to achieve high performance and reliable connections between cars and infrastructure even at high speed and under harsh vehicle environments.

Power Connectivity and Distribution

As power from a battery is expensive, the challenge is to use the electric power as efficiently as possible. The primary inverter needs to minimize switching losses and maximize thermal efficiency. Auxiliary inverters are used to power vehicle electrification solutions. The range of the vehicle is directly related to the efficiency of these inverters.

Semiconductor-based power systems are able to optimize overall system cost, minimize power losses, increase power density, maximize power savings, extend mileage, and improve battery efficiency.

RO-LINX® busbars from the Power Electronics Solutions group focus on efficient power distribution and lower energy losses, increasing the range of electric vehicles. 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. 

Within the circuit board, power substrates provide interconnections and cool components. curamik® ceramic substrates are designed to carry higher currents, provide higher voltage isolation, and operate over a wide temperature range.