Our History of Innovation

On June 13, 2018, in Corporate, Rogers Corporation, by mdippel

Paper Beginnings

Rogers Corporation was founded as a paper mill in 1832 by Dutch immigrant, Peter Rogers. Named Rogers Paper Manufacturing Company, the business was based in an old two-story powder mill in Manchester, Connecticut. It started out producing paperboard to be used in the thriving textile industry of New England. Less than a decade later, Peter Rogers’ 19-year-old son Henry inherited the business and established something that remains with Rogers to this day: a culture of innovation. Being poised to grow and lead as technology evolves is at the forefront of this culture. In 1841, Henry Rogers did it by improving paper-making techniques and methods for recycling product waste. Today, innovation is a major element of Rogers’ growth strategy, as we explore new platforms and build upon our current capabilities.

Learning and Expanding

Now an advanced materials technology market leader, we have come a long way since our paper-making days. Throughout that journey, innovation has propelled us forward. In the 1890’s, Rogers expanded into the electrical power transformer industry with the new product line of transformer insulation paperboard. The 1920’s brought on MIT graduate and technical director Saul Silverstein who spearheaded great strides in research and development. Along with that was Rogers’ first diversification into non-paper products, FIBERLOY Plastics, the first commercially produced plastics. As the years went on, our innovations continued. In 1958 we introduced PORON® technology, changing and expanding Rogers’ position and trajectory within the polyurethane market. Other examples include our foray into advanced circuit laminate materials, electroluminescent backlighting system drivers, busbars and more.

Innovation as a Strategy

Today, “Market-Driven Innovation” is core to our strategy, and we highly focus on market needs and innovation opportunities. Historically, academia and industry experts have worked separately in developing leading-edge technologies. Our Innovation Centers guide new-to-the-world technologies into useful and feasibly commercialized platforms. To do this, they combine scientific knowledge, education partnerships and industry expertise.

Right On Cue: First Innovation Center Product Brought to Market

Since opening our first Innovation Center in 2014, Rogers Corporation has been collaborating with universities and other industry leaders in the development of new technology platforms. Typically, these are technologies that are three to five years out from being market ready. And the model is working. Only four years later, we are proud to bring to market the first product borne of our Innovation Center concept: MAGTREX™ 555 High Impedance Laminates. These high impedance laminates enable antenna designers to expand the trade-space of their antenna design enabling up to a factor of six reduction in size with minimal impact on bandwidth, up to a factor of six increase in bandwidth with similar size, or a design optimum in between. Learn more about the new MAGTREX™ High Impedance Laminates here and celebrate with us this exciting accomplishment and actualization of our vision. We are proud to continue to use innovation as our motivation for growth and change.

GolfTournamentRogers Corporation is built on the core belief that we have a responsibility to our coworkers, our community, and ourselves to make health, safety, and environmental issues the key considerations in everything we do. We uphold this belief by giving back to the communities around us.

On Sunday, July 13th, the Rogers Golf Classic supporting the Special Olympics of Quinebaug Valley Connecticut was held at the Connecticut National Golf Course in Putnam, Connecticut.

The shotgun start marked Rogers Corporation’s fifth golf classic in honor of the Special Olympics. Since the golf classic’s inception in 2010, we have continuously seen an increase in participation and funds raised.

For 45 years, the Special Olympics has been providing year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

To participate in the Rogers Golf Classic, each golfer donated $100 and received golf, cart rental, food throughout the day, and 2 drink tickets.

Are you interested in donating to the Special Olympics? Donations can be made here.

Ken Kozicki from BISCO® Silicones recently authored an article for Railway Technology International about the design considerations that go into creating comfortable railcar seat cushions.  How important are first impressions for seating when a passenger steps into the railcar? Obviously, if it’s the Orient Express or another high end rail system, the feeling of luxury must be present.  But even for standard commuter railcars, seat cushions do make an impression.  Ken notes:

“…the most prevalent and obvious fixture within any interior, rendering, brochure, or maze of booth exhibits is the seat or array of seats. The type of seat will vary from the most outrageously luxurious – slated for a VIP very high speed Oriental Express pod – to the simplest and ergonomic that allows for rows and rows of passengers in a configuration that would be suitable for the rush hour of London, Shanghai or San Paulo….What has taken teams of engineers and designers months, if not years, to conceptualise, design, prototype, test (and re-test), will be given a judgment in less than ten seconds. So from that, one could wonder just how important is the first impression of a railcar seat?”

In this article, Ken look at the design considerations that need to be factored in when choosing the right seat cushion for a railcar:  Ken highlights the following:

  • the number of seating positions per coach (as required by the transit authority)
  • materials’ standards for flame, smoke, and toxicity (FST)
  • type of train service (urban metro system versus suburban commuter), and
  • severity of usage.

Ken also discusses the new concerns of sustainability and end-of-life:

“This is being driven by questions related to the disposal of the seat: “What will become of a worn, damaged, or obsolete seat?” Will it be thrown into a land-fill? What are the decomposition ramifications of that seat in a land-fill?”

All good questions.  But what about the seat itself and the cushioning material? Are some better than others?  Ken suggests yes, there are differences between one cushioning material from another:

“…cushions have differences in profile, appearance and texture, it is not obvious that there are different types of materials used to fabricate the cushions. These materials are usually in the form of foam, such as a filled-polyurethane, silicone, and melamine. The foam which is specified for the fabrication of the cushion will have been tested to the various FST standards, ensuring the safety of the passengers. In addition, some of the foam materials may have been cycletested to simulate wear and usage, which brings us back to our earlier statement of first impressions. Often, seat cushion foam materials are tested and certified to a characteristic known as indention force deflection (IFD).”

2-D & 3-D view of thin profile seat with loaded urethane

“A typical IFD test method will be comprised of a disk of a determined diameter that compresses the foam material a certain percentage of its thickness, and then measures the amount of “pushback” force the foam has. This is its indention force deflection, and is directly related to the comfort of the seat. In production, the foam will be certified according to this test. If it is within the IFD tolerance range, the foam will be qualified for seat cushion fabrication.”

Of course, Ken highlights that the bigger test happens after many months of wear on the cushion, after the “pushback” force has been worn down.  Different materials, like silicone foam, do a better job over the life of a cushion than other materials.

To read Ken’s final recommendations, either view the article here (in a magazine viewer) or download a full PDF of the printed article.

Related Links

BISCO Material Selection Guide

Floating Floor Design Tool

Welcome to our blog!

On November 11, 2010, in Corporate, by juliann

We want to thank you for visiting our brand new corporate blog for Rogers Corporation.  This blog is for the design engineers across the world who are tasked with creating new, innovative products that will serve hundreds of thousands of people, every day.  We understand the challenges in keeping on top of new trends and technologies that are changing our world, even as we write this, and want to provide a central hub for bringing that information together for collaboration, discussion and exploration.  We have lots planned for the upcoming months, and will be highlighting our thought leaders from across Rogers including John Coonrad from our Advanced Circuits Materials business unit, Ken Kozicki from our BISCO® Silicone Foams business unit, and Fred Seidel from our PORON® Urethane Foams business unit.

We will be exploring the global trends we are seeing affect our key markets including portable communications, communications infrastructure, consumer electronics, mass transit, automotive, defense, and sustainable energy markets.  We’ll be highlighting the fantastic work that is happening within Rogers and the people behind:

We encourage you to let us know what’s on your mind by making a comment at any point.  We want to know what you want to hear or learn more about.  This blog is about helping engineers meet their design challenges and help drive innovation in their products across the globe!