A Q&A on API Technologies’ New RF/Microwave Engineering Online Design Tool with Molly Weis, RF/Microwave & Microelectronics (RF2M) Marketing Manager

by Jaymie Murray 15. October 2014 16:19

With the launch of API’s brand new RF/Microwave product configuration tool, engineers can now modify API’s standard RF/Microwave products to fit their individual requirements. The interactive tool allows for changes to existing designs, such as noise figure, frequency range, and power supply voltage and provides package style options.

Molly Weis, API’s RF/Microwave & Microelectronics (RF2M) Marketing Manager, has managed this project from the start, and has some insight as to what makes this tool so special.

Q: What was the motivation behind creating this tool?

A: Recently, API has begun offering more standard configurable products, such our new line of affordable surface mount synthesizers and we wanted to offer users an interactive tool that would allow them to explore all of our product capabilities. This tool puts the engineer in the driver’s seat, providing a way to design a product that fits user specifications with minimal effort.

Q: What are some of the tool’s benefits?

A: After the parameters are entered into the tool, it creates a printable, custom design summary based on the user’s specifications. The system supplies a permalink to the configuration, allowing the user to return to their design and make modifications as necessary. This link can then be easily shared among team members via email or social media, facilitating collaboration. 

Also, by having the engineer customize the product to their unique specifications up-front, we are able to shorten lead times and reduce costs. 

Q: Do you have any plans to expand the tool’s capabilities in the future?  

 A: Absolutely. As we continue to grow our configurable product offerings, the tool’s capabilities will be upgraded to include ways to modify those products to suit customer requirements. The beauty of this tool is that is extremely flexible and can be programmed to configure a multitude of variables.

Start using API's new configuration tool now!

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RF/Microwave & Microelectronics

API's Most Exciting New Products of 2013: AESA Scaleable Active Antenna Array Solutions

by Andrew Blount 31. December 2013 11:43

With great excitement this year we introduced the Active Antenna Array Solution, comprising of QTRM (Quad Transmit & Receive module) which are common building blocks enabling the construction of a scaleable AAAU (Active Antenna Array Unit). The AAAU has field replaceable units, enabling minimal downtime plus lower servicing costs. The AAAU and its building support multiple applications Datalinks, Satcom & Radar.

Watch this short animated video to learn more about how the AESA Scaleable Solution supports first line repair for easy integration and lower cost of ownership:

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RF/Microwave & Microelectronics

API at AUSA 2013: What You Can See at Booth #7743!

by Jaymie Murray 15. October 2013 11:20

API will be exhibiting at the 2013 AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC October 21-23.  At the show, API will showcase a wide range of products, including the new Rugged and Mobile 75 Amp DC Power Rectifier from our Power and Systems Solutions product line, as well as many other new and innovative products for military applications.  Learn more by visiting the API team at booth #7743!  See you in DC!

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Infographics | Trade Shows

Meet the Team: Bill Zajac, Microwave Operations General Manager

by Jaymie Murray 23. July 2013 09:39

API Technologies is one of the largest non-Prime providers of RF & Microwave components and systems in the world.  With 11 locations in the US and UK designing, engineering, and manufacturing these products, API has become a market leader in the industry.  One of the largest RF/Microwave locations is in State College, PA, where we create innovative products for many of our 3,300 customers in a sprawling 240,000 square foot facility.  One of the people managing this vast undertaking is Bill Zajac, the State College Microwave Operations General Manager.  Bill recently spoke to Jaymie Murray, Marketing Communications Specialist, about his role and the products his location manufactures.

Jaymie Murray (JM): What is your role, how long have you worked at API, and what does your position entail?
Bill Zajac (BZ): I am the General Manager for the State College Microwave operations.  I began working at (acquired company) Spectrum Control in July 1992, and I was in several divisions before I moved to the State College, PA location in 2007. My current position entails managing the business functions which include manufacturing, sales and marketing, engineering, quality, purchasing, scheduling and facility maintenance.  I am also the Facility Security Officer (FSO) which has responsibility for government clearances and classified programs at this location.


JM: What products do you work with? 

BZ: At the State College location we work with many different RF and microwave products such as synthesizers, frequency sources, power amplifiers, mixers and antennas.


JM: Why are these products great? 

BZ: API's products are used in many different military and commercial applications.  We offer custom solutions that provide our customers with leading edge technology and keeps them coming back to API for next generation designs.


JM: Why should customers buy our RF & Microwave products?
 
BZ: Very simply, we offer custom solutions that outperform our competition.


JM: How do our stellar products set us apart from our competitors?

BZ: The vertical integration corporate strategy gives us an edge over our competition because we can deliver prototypes and products quickly.  We can control key materials in the supply chain, and make material changes rapidly.  We often develop new products jointly with our customers and responsiveness is critical to being successful.


Learn more about API's RF & Microwave products

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Meet the Team | RF/Microwave & Microelectronics

Meet the Team: Mark Schreiner, Antenna Design Manager

by Jaymie Murray 27. June 2013 14:37

API's Antennas & Antenna Assemblies are used for everything from down-hole drilling to ocean buoys, from thoroughbred & sport dog racing monitoring to wearable antennas for secure military communications.  Jaymie Murray, Marketing Communications Specialist, recently spoke to API's Antenna Design Manager, Mark Schreiner, about his role at API and how companies and the military utilize our antennas.

Jaymie Murray (JM): What is your role here at API and what does that entail?

Mark Schreiner (MS): I am a Product Design Manager at our State College, PA facility, one of our RF Solutions Division locations.  My primary focus is on antenna design which involves creating new designs and working with customers to fulfill their needs for custom solutions, and then eventually transferring those new products into production.

I have also been involved in transferring the power amplifier products from the design center into our production facility as a New Product Introduction (NPI) engineer.  In that role I have trained some of our technicians and assemblers on the power amplifier products and worked as a liaison between the design center and the production facility.

JM:  What products do you work with?

MS: Antenna products are my primary focus.  Most of these are fairly small and would function in the UHF to lower microwave frequencies with a mix of military and commercial applications. Additionally, in the roll of an NPI engineer, the power amplifiers I have been working with generally operate in the 10 MHz - 6 GHz range and up to about 150 Watts of output power.  Many of these are used for military programs.

JM: Why are these products great?

MS: We do a lot of antennas for asset tracking via GPS position reporting and satellite short burst data uplink technologies.  In today's need to "know where everything is right now" culture our antenna products are helping with that.  Typical applications might be for tracking heavy equipment rentals to both know where the asset is located as well as being able to get a notice when scheduled maintenance may be required,  to locations of distribution trucks for nationwide merchandise stores.  Another interesting application for this would be a remote fuel tank that is getting low on fuel.  The customer knows where it is, but rather than sending somebody to check on the level of fuel, the transponder can send a short data burst through a satellite to let an office know that the fuel level is running low and to send somebody out to refill the tank.  That is just a smart way to do business! 

 We also have had some very challenging antenna designs where the challenge is more in surviving the environment that the antenna assembly is being used, such as oil well drilling.  In this example, where extreme heat, pressure, vibration, abrasion and chemical environments are present, the antenna assembly combined with an RFID tag simply has to survive the environments (from over 15,000 feet below the surface of the earth or ocean) so that when it comes back out of the ground (or water), sometimes after over a month of continuous duty, the RFID tag can still be read by the reader for tracking how long the equipment was in use, useful for billing of leased drill pipes, and knowing how close to the end of life the drill pipes and equipment are so they can be taken out of service before they fail (which could cause environmental issues, drilling downtime, etc.). 

The power amplifier products are often quite interesting as well.  From amplifiers that are placed on UAV's (drones) to extend their operational communications range to amplifiers that are used as in jamming systems as a protective umbrella with ground forces to jam signals that may be sent remotely to set off IEDs, there are lots of good uses for our amplifier products.  I really like the fact that the products we build and test are helping our armed forces and hopefully saving lives of the good guys who are fighting the war on terror!

JM:  Why should customers buy them?

MS: Many of the products we design and manufacture are most likely not typically available off the shelf from other sources.  Many of our products are custom designed to specific requirements.  Our engineering, marketing and production teams can work with our customers to define new products that meet or exceed our customer's expectations.  Our catalog products should be viewed as ideas of the type of things we can do, but we can do so much more!  Those standard products should be viewed as building blocks or a starting point of a custom design to solve the customer's goals.

 JM: How do our awesome products set us apart from our competitors?

MS: Since our products are custom designed for a customer, they should feel confident that the product is the exact jigsaw puzzle piece they were looking for to finish off their project rather than trying to use a generic piece to try to get their system working correctly.  While we have many standard products we can usually adjust the designs to meet specific needs.  Many companies that have the same products do not have the engineering resources to redesign a product if required or are able to provide technical resources to help the customer meet their design objectives. 

Learn more about API's Antennas & Antenna Assemblies.

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Meet the Team | RF/Microwave & Microelectronics

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