With the demand for wireless broadband and the expansion of wireless internet services at an all-time high, manufacturers of frequency management products such as Raltron Electronics Corporation have been recognized for their experience and expertise.
Founded in 1983, Raltron offers a wide range of frequency management products including crystals, precision crystal oscillators, filters, microwave components and several board level products. The company’s commitment to research and development have kept Raltron on the leading edge of crystal and oscillator technologies.
Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Raltron Electronics also has several subsidiary offices located near its key customers and markets. With over 200 employees in the organization, Raltron is committed to pursuing quality and a strategy of innovation and research. This has made Raltron a leader in the frequency management product market for over 30 years.
The company’s manufacturing locations are all ISO: 9001 certified and are linked by state of the art data and telecommunications equipment. The Miami facility also has automatic calibration and testing stations and a prototype lab to serve the fast delivery requirements of customers’ R&D activities.
Initially working with 3rd party manufacturers during its first decade in operation, Raltron Electronics began the transition toward becoming a true manufacturer of its own products in the early 1990s. The company also began designing and manufacturing precision oscillators in Miami and toward the end of the 1990s, Raltron acquired a facility in China to manufacture low-end simple crystals and oscillators.
Today, Raltron Electronics is a global company structured to serve customers throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Its manufacturing base is in Asia, while its U.S. based team engages in R&D activities and provides technical support for its customers. Over the last few years, Raltron has opened a manufacturing facility in Chengdu, China that specializes in the development of low-end products and has expanded its reach in the Asian market.
In North America and Europe Raltron is using a network of Sales Representatives for reaching a maximum amount of customers who need to be supported for design in activities. The company also has a number of worldwide distributors including Future Electronics, Arrow- Richardson, Newark-Farnell, RS Components-Allied, Dragon Group, Phoenix Technologies, Dove Electronics and WDI. Raltron is staffed with design, process, test, manufacturing, and quality engineers who collaborate with customers to optimize the manufacturing and testing of the product offered.
Company President Sasha Wolloch discusses how Raltron’s approach of offering a complete package of frequency management products in both high and low end markets differentiates the company from its competitors.
“Our company is in the market with a comprehensive package of frequency components going from very simple to very complex items while many of our competitors are primarily involved only in low-end simple devices that are high quantity and low in cost while others are specializing only in high-end products,” Mr. Wolloch explains. “There are very few companies that play on the complete spectrum of products, so that gives us an advantage to work with a constantly changing business environment and gives us the ability to serve our OEM customers and their CEMs over longer periods of time as their needs evolve.”
Raltron Electronics’ products support a number of applications. The company’s Quartz Crystals product range, for instance, consists of standard microprocessors to custom made high stability specifications, available in through hole and SMD packaging for its customers. Clock Oscillators are offered in standard and tight stability specifications covering a wide frequency range from 1MHz to over 1GHz, with designs oriented toward jitter performance optimization.
Precision Oscillators including Voltage Controlled Crystal Oscillators (VCXO), Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillators (TCXO), and Oven Controlled Crystal Oscillators (OCXO) are designed to customer specifications to meet a wide spectrum of electrical and environmental requirements as well as satisfy the constant market push toward smaller mechanical dimensions for SMD packages.
Additional products include Synchronization Modules that provide complete timing solutions for wireless and fiber networks as well as digital video and precision instrumentation applications. SAW Filters and Resonators are addressing the alarms, security, GPS, keyless entry, etc. applications at the low end and telecommunications applications at the high end. Crystal Filters and Ceramic Resonators are designed and manufactured by the company for a wide range of consumer applications. Raltron has also developed a remarkable expertise in the area of microwave components such as VCOs and complete PLLs for wireless infrastructure.
For the last two years, Raltron Electronics has invested heavily into research and development, aiming at launching and improving its family of very small-size precise OCXOs. These 9×14 mm components have been a boon for the company and have brought good results and sales. “The introduction of small format SMD OCXOs has really helped us in the high-end market,” Mr. Wolloch shares.
Raltron has recently introduced RF ceramic products for the WiFi, Bluetooth and LTE markets, and the company is now working on the final stages of introducing automotive grade crystals and oscillators. Raltron has a variety of products available for clients to meet their communications needs. With the increasing number of connected devices in the office and home, Bluetooth, ZigBee, WiFi and other wireless standards have become prevalent and Raltron Electronics has introduced crystals, oscillators and ceramic filters to meet the requirements its customers demand for the technology.
Raltron has also introduced crystals, SAW filters and RF Ceramic filters for medical applications such as the modern blood glucose metering devices using the Blue Tooth Low Energy wireless standard.
Another market segment which is of high interest for Raltron is the smart grid and utility metering. The company has a wide range of products which are commonly used in such applications: tuning fork crystals, microprocessor crystals, SAW filters, VCOs for the residential and industrial meters and TCXOs, OCXOs and SAW filters for the infrastructure.
Components to support the heavy traffic and high speed of video and data transmission are an essential requirement in today’s telecom market. As network speeds and transmission frequencies increase, the requirement to maintain low transmission noise remains key. Raltron Electronics Corporation offers a number of time and frequency components that support modern network requirements. These products include High-Frequency Low Jitter Clocks and VCXOs as well as timing and synchronization modules with software and hardware solutions for wireless and wireline applications.
Frequency management component manufacturing is a $3.5 billion a year industry. Mr. Wolloch explains that some experts claim the market is slow-growing or even stagnant due to the price drops for simple components products. Raltron is looking to faster complement the slow growing low end products which make up 35 to 40 percent of the company’s total sales with higher growth customized precision products with a higher price and higher margin. Also, the advent of Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology is affecting the market – but Mr. Wolloch remains confident that Raltron will be able to meet these challenges.
“We can adapt to these changes by streamlining our manufacturing processes, buying better raw materials and better engineering our products,” he says. “We are also migrating more into the industrial and automotive market to generate additional sales with more margin to compensate for any loss or revenue we may have.”
Other strategies include engaging in additional R&D activities with higher-end products and reaching out to markets that use high end products which are not based on quartz.
“We are analyzing the market constantly, engaging with our customers and market segments that are poised for growth over five-year periods,” says Mr. Wolloch. “We are constantly bringing new products that are suitable for specific market segments and spending resources on product development and identifying potential targets.”
Raltron Electronics has also undergone a major expansion in the Asian market over the last two years. The company has enjoyed expansion in Southeast Asia and has made a major push into Mainland China by establishing a sales office in Shenzhen in Southern China from whence all Asian customers are served for both sales and technical support needs and by opening a logistics hub in Hong Kong.
Mr. Wolloch also believes that having good relationships with the company’s vendors has been a key driver of Raltron Electronics’ growth. “We have a select group of vendors for raw materials and we spend a lot of effort in cultivating relationships and increasing them,” he explains. “As we migrate to new products, we are also engaging with vendors in new directions. We have a facility group based in Shenzhen that consists of people with technology and business backgrounds who are engaged in the vendor selection and engagement process. We have our people who perform vendor surveys and once engaged, we make sure that their processes are compatible with our quality assurance requirements and system.”
For the past thirty years, Raltron Electronics has grown to become a leader in the frequency components market, and is one of the few that are American-based. Mr. Wolloch identifies dedication to marketing and research and forging through difficult times as elements that have helped make the company stronger than ever.
“We went through hard times, but we’re one of the survivors. While the European and American segments have shrunk for frequency component manufacturing, we have grown steadily at an accelerating pace, especially over the past six to seven years. We will continue to grow and assume an increasingly visible role in the frequency component market; we’re here to stay and grow and become more and more prominent in our field of expertise.”