What’s the recipe to growing a company from a startup to a global enterprise? Just ask entrepreneur Glenn Werlau. In 1965, he began Werlatone by designing and building high power passive components in his Brewster, N.Y. garage. After only a few years, Glenn out grew his small garage, and began renting space from a local lawn mower repair shop. With his first large order from ITT, Glenn again moved to a 4,000 square foot facility in Brewster, N.Y., expanding to 7,000 square feet. Now, celebrating 50 years in business, Werlatone recently added a 19,000 square foot facility in Patterson, N.Y. allowing for full production, test, and research capabilities.
Those are the signs of success, but Werlatone’s inventive designs are a key ingredient in its recipe. Werlatone builds high power passive products to include directional couplers, combiners / dividers, and absorptive filters. High Power translates to tens of kilowatts at several MHz, and lower power levels at several GHz. Werlatone’s products are found worldwide in both commercial and military systems to include land mobile radio, military radios and jammers, as well as, industrial/scientific/medical applications.
Werlatone conference room proudly displays various patents, awards, and achievements from the last 50 years. Most prominent are the 30 active patents with extensive foreign coverage and several additional patents are pending. US Patent 6750752 B2 is a key design technique that was granted for a balun that overcomes some of the traditional limitations in bandwidth due to parasitics. The balun comprises two or more impedance segments connected between the balanced and unbalanced terminals; each segment is formed by winding a coaxial transmission line about a magnetic core. This invention extends both the high and low frequency ends of the usable frequency band, resulting in an ultra-wideband, high power balun with low parasitics. Building on their patents, the company’s engineers develop new products using the latest 3D tools.
In addition to innovative designs, a dedicated manufacturing and engineering staff, combined with extensive in-house high power test capabilities, are also part of Werlatone’s recipe. Their high power test lab, assembled over many years, at considerable investment, allows Werlatone to evaluate prototypes and prove out new designs. The equipment in their test lab ranges from tube-based power to modern solid-state models. Testing capabilities include 10 kW CW at the HF band, 5 kW CW to 220 MHz bandwidth, and 1 kW CW to 1000 MHz. Additionally, 400 W CW is available to 4 GHz. On the production floor, skilled workers, at many stations, assemble components into finished products. Before delivery, full assemblies can be tested at temperatures ranging from -50°C to +85°C, using on-site environmental chambers.
Mindful of his company’s success, Glenn Werlau wants to give back to the school, profession and industry that contributed to his success. He recently organized, helped fund and hosted an educational seminar for students and faculty from the SUNY Canton School of Technology, his alma mater. During the visit, company employees shared “life in the real world” of high power RF components. The students and faculty toured the work areas where they learned how products are designed, assembled, tested and marketed. Glenn spoke to the students about business trends and the future of the RF industry. He told of the inspiration and dedication that fuels a successful entrepreneur and of the challenges and rewards when growing a company from a startup to a global enterprise. Genn’s hard work, drive and determination are a testament to what makes an entrepreneur in our industry so successful.