Selected quotes from our recent earnings call. Read the corporate financials news release: Rogers Corporation Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Results.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, Rogers achieved net sales of $193。8 million and gross margin of 33。1%。

Bruce Hoechner, CEO, on Growth Drivers

Advanced Connectivity

Beginning with Advanced Connectivity, the expectations for 5G deployment over the next several years continues to be very strong。 Recent estimates from third party experts project that nearly 4 million 5G base stations will be installed globally by 2023 with around 880,000 deployed in 2020。 However, there are some challenges and uncertainties that we face in the wireless infrastructure market, which we reviewed with our investors during our recent earnings call。 In summary with forecasts for strong multi-year 5G deployments, we see the wireless market as a promising growth opportunity for Rogers。

The Advanced Connectivity sector also includes portable electronics and we saw a strong growth in this market in 2019。 Despite the decline in the global smartphone market last year, Rogers expanded our market share based on our broad portfolio of sealing and protection technologies, which continues to be a leading choice in this market for major smartphone manufacturers。

Advanced Mobility

Turning to Advanced Mobility. The growth outlook for sales of EVs and HEVs continues to be robust. Industry experts project that through 2024 sales of EVs and HEVs will continue at a compounded annual growth rate of approximately 30%. In response to this trend, automakers worldwide continue to make multi-billion dollar commitments to electrify their fleets and invest in electric vehicle battery technologies. For a number of years, Rogers has targeted investments towards innovative technologies that have put us in a strong position to take advantage of these significant opportunities. For example, our PES business has a leading market position based on the strength of our new generation wide band gap semiconductor silicon nitride substrates for the EV/HEV market.  And in our EMSEMS business, we saw solid demand growth in 2019 for battery pads and battery pack sealing solutions for electric vehicles. The superior performance of our products developed for this market has firmly established Rogers as a leading provider to a large number of EV battery manufacturers and automakers.

Additionally, the outlook for ADAS continues to be very positive based on trends and adoption of automotive safety systems and the push by automakers to higher levels of autonomy. Our leadership position has been reinforced by positive customer responses to our new products for the next generation auto radar and we continue to maintain high share with leading global auto suppliers for existing and new designs.

Bruce Hoechner on Rogers’ Business Units

In 2019, ACS net sales were $317 million, an increase of 8% compared to 2018, or 10% on a constant currency basis。 The higher sales were driven by demand in Wireless Infrastructure, Aerospace and Defense and ADAS。 Wireless Infrastructure accounted for about 14% of total Rogers revenue in 2019。 The multi-year growth outlook for 5G deployments remain very strong, with projections of four million base station being deployed over the next four years at three times the content of 4G。 Aerospace and Defense grew at double digit rates in 2019 and has delivered consistent growth over the past three years, with a compounded annual growth rate of about 10%。 ADAS grew at a solid rate in 2019 and has also demonstrated a strong multi-year growth profile over the past three years with a compounded annual growth rate of more than 15%。

EMS net sales were $362 million, an increase of 6% versus 2018 or 8% on a constant currency basis。 The higher EMS sales resulted from strong growth in applications for portable electronics, mass transit and EV/HEV as well as contributions from our recent acquisitions。 This growth was partially offset by weakness in general industrial and traditional automotive markets。 As mentioned, we believe there is a substantial growth opportunity for the company in battery pads and battery pack sealing solutions for the EV/HEV market。 The application of our innovative technologies add value by enhancing the life of lithium-ion batteries。 We are encouraged by our growing sales in this market and a significant design progress in a number of battery suppliers。

2019 PES net sales were $199 million, a decrease of 11% as compared to 2018 or 7% on a constant currency basis, double-digit growth in mass transit, power interconnects and power semiconductor substrates for EV/HEV were areas of strength. However weakness in the industrial power and traditional automotive markets in the second half of 2019 more than offset these increases. We made significant improvements in PES operations in the fourth quarter. As we indicated in the middle of last year, PES operational improvements were a top priority for company and we established a detailed recovery plan.

Q4 2019 Financial Press Release

Q4 2019 Earnings Call Slides

 

Engineers Week is an annual celebration of the innovations made possible by the world’s engineers. It also introduces students to this exciting field.

四季彩票登陆Rogers Corporation President and CEO, Bruce Hoechner, began his career as an engineer, so we interviewed him to get his perspective on the field。

INTERVIEWER: We hear you’re an engineer. What interested you in the field?

Bruce Hoechner:四季彩票登陆 I was originally a biology major, but a couple years into it, I decided it wasn’t for me. I wanted to use my science background, so I switched into Chemical Engineering. My dad was an engineer, so I knew engineering was a great curriculum for pursuing anything you wanted. My view of any engineering is that it teaches you how to think, how to solve problems and how to analyze. So no matter what I did, I figured this was a great basis.

Tell us about your career background.

BH: I was educated as a chemical engineer at Penn State. I originally thought I wanted to be a design or process engineer, where I would design processes and translate those processes into manufacturing capabilities. I ended up doing that for six months before getting sent to Texas with a group of 30 young engineers to start up a brand new chemical plant.

Start up a new plant? That sounds interesting!

BH: 四季彩票登陆Yes. We basically built it, tested everything out, then started it up and ran it for two years. During this time the operators were the engineers. We had to troubleshoot problems, because it was a new plant and there were many issues and malfunctions that we had to deal with.

Every day we had to critically think about, “how can we improve, how can we do things better and differently, and most importantly, safely?”

Did you enjoy it?

BH: I found that what I enjoyed most was working with people and working with teams to figure out how to evaluate issues and solve problems. Overall, I knew that I really wanted to get involved with both manufacturing and people and that led me down my future career path.

It is often said that Rogers Corporation is a company of engineers. What does that mean to you?

BH: It means that at Rogers we recognize that data matters, facts matter and there is usually an answer that we can arrive at in a logical way. To serve customers, engineering overall is a great discipline that is made more powerful by being flexible, making adjustments and evaluating what makes sense beyond what data delivers.  

How do engineers influence technology and society today?

BH: Today, more than ever, data and engineering drives future technologies. Engineering transforms data into information that can solve problems. The future of today’s society will be driven by the ability to utilize information in a way that can be made practical and useful. That’s what engineers do. 

Is there an element of creativity to engineering?

BH: Absolutely. Engineering will lead you towards solutions, but there can be multiple solutions. That’s where the creativity comes in – different ways of solving the same problem. Our engineering skills are tested every day in the marketplace by seeing if we can come up with solutions that are better performing, better quality and lower cost.

What is the most exciting engineering feat that you have seen during your career?

BH: In my lifetime, the whole space program. If you look what is accomplished in space, a lot of what got us there was engineering. The space program embodies what engineering is – solving problems in a practical way to advance society forward. There are different derivatives of that. Engineering can make life better in many ways, in terms of the types of buildings or automobiles we create or even reducing pollution, and engineering enables all of these things. The ultimate objective of it is to make life better and make society better.

What do you think is a common misconception about engineering?

BH: That if you become an engineer you are forever an engineer. Engineering is a very honorable discipline that is very helpful to the world. But, if you go into it, that doesn’t mean you will stay there. It requires great critical thinking and problem solving. As a result, engineering is a strong basis to launch your life on because it is practical and applicable to many different fields.

What advice would you give to a student considering a career in engineering?

BH: 四季彩票登陆Engineering is an outstanding career choice, but an interest in science and a capability in mathematics and physics is extremely important. The curriculum is not easy so it helps to have a passion for it. That underlying passion for science and solving problems creatively will help drive your success.

My grandmother always said, education is something no one can take from you。 No one can take from you what you know and what you can do so if you have an interest, there are many career opportunities for the application of engineering skills to explore。

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四季彩票登陆At Rogers Corporation, engineering is the basis for the materials we develop and the relationships we have with our customers。 We provide advanced materials, global resources, co-engineering and design collaboration to enable technology for a cleaner, safer and more connected world。

For more information on careers in engineering at Rogers Corporation, visit our careers page.

四季彩票登陆For more information on Engineers Week,

We sat down with Rogers customer Geof Ochs of Sync to learn more about his company, its beginnings and how the partnership with Rogers has evolved. Geof grew up ski racing in Vermont at a small hill called Ascutney. After racing at Boston College, he moved to the mountains of Colorado to co-found SYNC in 2014. He now enjoys free skiing and mountain bike racing in the Colorado mountains.

Q:  Why did you start the company? 

A:  The concept for SYNC Performance originated in February 2014 due to a lack of brands focusing on the alpine ski racer。 The common sentiment at the time was that most soft goods brands had given up on the sport of ski racing。 The epiphany came one day at Copper Mountain, Colorado during a sub-zero windy day watching US Ski Team athletes at pre-season training, a dedicated prep period prior to the season ahead。 To keep warm they had on every jacket in their closet, along with their race suit and back protector。 After every run, one particular athlete would be leaning over to unbuckle her boots, completely constricted by all of the bulky clothing。 She used a few choice words I won’t mention here, looked over at us and exclaimed, “Can’t you fix this!?” Inspired and confident we could, we launched a Kickstarter campaign to create the first-ever knit stretch puffy jacket durable enough to be outerwear while also allowing for ultimate freedom of movement。 With input from numerous athletes along the way, our team has continued to push the boundaries of innovative materials and design coupled with an athlete’s insights in every product we make。

Q: How did the relationship with Rogers begin?

A: Originally, the team was looking for an innovative solution for arm, back and leg padding in our race suits and Rogers XRD® Technology was on our radar from the beginning. Other companies were using basic EVA foam in their suits, but we wanted a better, more flexible option and Rogers offered these characteristics with XRD Technology. Our design philosophy is all about offering the highest quality products while maintaining a maniacal focus on the athlete and their insights. The best chefs go to farmer’s markets to find the highest quality ingredients, then decide what to cook. At SYNC, we share a similar philosophy with the materials we source coupled with the ski racing athletes’ expertise.  

Q: Why did you choose XRD Technology?

A: We wanted a solution that would protect skiers from getting hurt while allowing for freedom of movement. Mobility is one of, if not the most important, characteristics of gear in ski racing. Between the start and finish, athletes make an infinite number of dynamic movements. The goal was to provide protection unlike anything else on the market but ultimately maintain a feeling where the padding was unnoticeable. XRD Technology is ideal as it is a lightweight, low-profile, breathable material that’s engineered for both repeated impact and shock absorption. We use XRD Technology in the high impact zones of our World Cup level race suits – upper arm from shoulder to elbow as well as knee, thigh and hip.

Q: In one sentence, what do you want people to understand when thinking about Sync?

A: We are a purpose-built, performance first brand that relies on direct insight from athletes to support their efforts.

Q. Can you elaborate on the market limitations you found when sourcing a material to meet your stringent performance requirements?

When you are working with some of the best athletes in the world, even the most minute details make a difference. Balancing their unique demands with the materials at play can make a difference between winning and losing by one-hundredth of a second. It’s challenging to be a US brand working in a sport that’s not super widely-known in the United States. In contrast, ski racing is one of the most popular sports in some European countries. Many of the European manufacturers get access to materials specific to ski racing a lot quicker than the US. We’re trying to change that by being more proactive in the pursuit of performance and working with international brands like XRD/Rogers.

Q. What industry trends are you seeing drive the need for high-performance apparel like SYNC’s?

四季彩票登陆I think the largest trend I am seeing right now is a function-first mentality. Every product on the market is getting so specific to its use-case these days. Skiing is the perfect case study, you could head out to the hill at 8 am and be set up with the perfect kit in the morning, but be completely overdressed in the afternoon, which may ruin your day or prevent you from skiing all day. High-performance apparel should help you perform longer, faster and better. Consumers are starting to respect the pursuit of the perfect apparel system and value that more than the fashion aspect. Our goal is to create a timeless design that performs exactly how it should for that activity, so you focus on that performance instead of the gear.

Q: What’s next for the company? Where do you see yourselves in a year? In five years? What’s the next mountain for SYNC to conquer?

Loaded question! Just kidding. I feel we are still very much in our infant years as far as technical apparel brands go. We think that by staying true to our roots and focusing on that alpine ski racing athlete and mountain athlete will bring us to good places. Most people pursuing an active lifestyle in the mountains are experiencing the same sensations or pain points as those athletes, they just may not realize how gear can enhance their experience. Our job is to help guide them through that process.

Welcome 2020! Throughout the year, our local offices and manufacturing plants organize charitable giving activities for teams, in addition to individual employee contributions。 During the holidays, employees participate in annual end-of-the-year charitable activities benefiting their local communities。 Though the end of 2019 seemed to pass by quickly, global Rogers Corporation employees found time to maintain this tradition。

Arizona

Rogers’ Arizona locations happily participated in the fourteenth consecutive year of the “Be a Santa to a Senior” program. The program is coordinated through Home Instead in-home care, who partners with area agencies to reach out to local solitary elders during the holiday season and assemble gift wish lists. Arizona Rogers employees then “adopt” these seniors, purchase items and wrap their gifts for delivery.

Rogers colleagues adopted 50 senior citizens, donating to them gifts from their individual wish lists, small necessity items like socks, lotion and blankets, as well as cash. Then, two full vehicles were unloaded to the Home Instead offices, spreading Christmas cheer to the “adopted” seniors.

Illinois

The employees at our Carol Stream facility contributed in a similar way。 Rogers employees partnered with Saint Mary of Gostyn Church and Saint Vincent DePaul to provide holiday happiness for two large families, fifteen people in total。 Employees could pick a star from the tree corresponding to an item needed or gift requested by the family。

Gifts collected under the tree

The gifts were organized around the tree at the Carol Stream holiday luncheon before being packed up and delivered to the church the following morning。 In addition to the generous showing of gifts, over $350 in grocery store gift cards were collected for the families。

Belgium

Examples of Christmas cards made

Rogers Belgium employees again participated in the “Music for Life” campaign, a nationwide charity that takes place during the week before Christmas, also known as The Warmest Week. Employees sold items, including cake, soup, hotdogs, flowers and Christmas cards, to garner a sizable donation which was then matched by Rogers. This contribution totaled over 2500€ and was donated to two local organizations that support our own employees:

  1. Tendries, a safe haven for children with motor skill restrictions
  2. Tanderius an organization supporting families with children with autistic spectrum disorder

Germany

As a fun way to collect money, manufacturing leaders in Rogers Germany have a cash box in which they chip in and save money for an annual donation. The leaders then collectively decide which good cause will receive the donation. To encourage additional funds for the box, and to improve punctuality of production meetings, these leaders introduced a new fun “rule.” This rule suggested that late participants must donate 1€ to the fund for each minute they were late meetings.

It is unclear whether punctuality for production meetings had actually improved or whether the participants were late on purpose to boost the donation, but either way this was a great cause for being late。 The 250€ raised was then donated to the Children’s Cancer Aid of Oberpfalz, a non-profit organization that supports the families of children suffering from cancer。

China

For the fifth consecutive year, Rogers employees in Suzhou, China proudly supported the Dongran Migrant School of students from rural areas. In conjunction with a consulting company, the Rogers team brought a helpful psychological workshop to the schoolteachers. The workshop focused on emotional management, teaching instructors why, what and how to make their life better through emotion. The teachers were also given gifts of winter, a meaningful offering demonstrates Rogers’ caring to the community.

Keep On Giving

It is wonderful to share these stories annually, but we also want to recognize the donations of money and time that Rogers employees participate in all year long。 We are proud to support the generous and goodhearted employees at Rogers and the causes to which they dedicate their caring and kindness。 As we welcome the new decade, we will continue to keep on giving to the communities we work in and the outstanding organizations that help us help others。 

Posted by Susan Reed on Thursday, December 19th, 2019 | SaveShare

Technology is moving at a rapid pace and consumers are constantly in search of the latest in innovation. This is true for the latest electronics and, yes, even shoes. When it comes to footwear, comfort, style, and functionality remain important, but people are also looking for the latest features that technology can offer. Consumers are looking for different and additional benefits from their shoes, from smart shoes that measure one’s activity, to materials that allow for elevated protection from electrical hazards, waterproofing, durability, support and rebound technology, slip resistance and more. Footwear manufacturers understand this and are looking to leverage the latest technologies to keep up with the ever-evolving needs of their customers.

Developing Products to Address Changing Material Requirements

Technology leads the way in footwear design.

At Rogers, we are listening to the market by providing a steady stream of new products designed to stay on top of constantly changing design needs. For example, materials that are optimal for trail running will not translate to the protection needed for work boots. Our long history of providing the innovative products necessary to support the evolving needs of the successful footwear manufacturer have helped us to bring to market lighter, more durable, and functionally flexible materials for multiple uses. 

Technology Leads the Way

Thin and lightweight options like PORON® and XRD® technologies are durable without adding unnecessary mass and yet provide years of comfort and protection that do not deteriorate over time. All PORON® Formulations maintain at least 90% (in most cases up to 98%) of their original thickness and shape to ensure a consistent fit over the footwear lifecycle.

For the workplace and the military, a boot that is heavier in the toe area causes larger muscles to compensate for the uneven weight distribution and could lead to symptoms including shin splints and soreness. Advances in protective technologies, like the composite alternatives to steel toe-caps and the XRD® M-Guard for metatarsal protection help evenly balance the design.

The athleisure trend has brought more athletic styling into designs of footwear across categories. Integral to a classic athletic shoe design is the midsole for improved cushioning and stability during sport activities. In work boots, the same benefits can be realized from incorporating midsoles into more traditional designs. Midsoles typically use commodity materials that are prone to deterioration after relatively short durations, if not properly protected. Adding a high performing cushioning layer between midsole and foot, such as PORON® Vive in the strobel layer, can extend the useful life of a midsole to keep it at top performance longer.

Trends are constantly evolving, usually in lock step with advances in technology. At Rogers, we are laser-focused on not only keeping up with the needs and wants of the consumer today but also anticipating their future requirements and adjusting our product line accordingly. For footwear, this means offering manufacturers the materials they need to produce the best in cutting-edge design. The customer demands it and at Rogers we are committed to delivering it.

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