Dielectric Prepares for Busy Production Period

Over-the-air TV transmission antenna and RF hardware manufacturer Dielectric announces plans to implement facility-wide capacity, inventory and production strategies in advance of TV repack business.

Pioneer in purpose-engineered antennas and RF systems for TV and radio broadcasters, Dielectric has reorganized its production floor strategy in preparation for the impending US TV spectrum repack.

Mike Spugnardi was recently appointed as Manufacturing Engineer. He will lead the strategic initiatives around inventory control, production planning and maximizing capacity facility-wide. This includes revised floor plans to better accommodate specific operations across TV and radio projects and departments.

“A lot of our factory changes are around making our current processes more efficient, which is especially important as early repack orders continue to roll in,” said Keith Pelletier, Vice President and General Manager, Dielectric. “We continue to develop new broadband technologies across antennas, filters and transmission line that will help us respond quicker to customer orders, as well as new modeling software to minimize time and labor in the design phase. Mike’s depth of experience in implementing new strategies around operational efficiency, both inside and outside of Dielectric, makes him the ideal candidate for this important position.”

Mike’s appointment to this position also marks his return to Dielectric. Mike previously spent more than 15 years at Dielectric, and was heavily involved in production floor projects and processes for the initial US analog-to-digital transition, including electrical engineering, antenna tuning and product testing.

Mike returns to Dielectric after a five-year stint with Nestle Waters, where he was focused on Total Performance Management. There, he oversaw the operational aspect of a heavily automated, single-piece flow, 12-line bottling plant for Nestle Waters products.

“It’s still something of a single-piece flow here, as we design one piece at a time,” said Spugnardi. “However, Dielectric continues to move toward more software simulations for product and systems design that takes weeks out of the upfront design work, and reduces bottlenecks. This will complement my overarching initiatives as Manufacturing Engineer. By removing some of these manual design processes from the main production floor and into specialized labs, we will be well-equipped to maximize square footage for product inventory and assembly.”

Spugnardi notes that these changes will support a more intelligent inventory approach to service TV and radio customers quicker.

“We will now be able to very quickly pull stock products that we can tune for each channel, and accelerate overall production and deliver for TV broadcasters working under a very tight repack deadline,” he said. “Our radio customers seeking quick shipments of tunable filters and broadband antennas for FM and HD Radio systems also benefit from these changes.

“I consider myself very fortunate to return to Dielectric, and having experienced the DTV transition firsthand as a Dielectric employee I’m aware of the challenges our customers face,” he continued. “I started out here in high school grinding waveguide and building transmission line, and quickly worked my way up through and after college. The people here at Dielectric are what makes the business, and it’s why the company has been successful over 75 years. We’re doubling down now to make sure we continue to service our entire customer base with the same energy, dedication and quality as we enter perhaps the busiest period in the company’s history.”

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