Getting Ahead of the Repack

By: Mike Spugnardi, Manufacturing Engineer for Dielectric.

Upon receiving their new channel assignments from the FCC, broadcasters will only have 39 months in which to relocate and begin broadcasting on their new frequencies. For many stations impacted by the spectrum repack, this 39-month timeframe will be intense, as they plan, build and test their new TV transmission facilities.

At Dielectric, we’re improving the efficiency of our manufacturing plant in advance of the spectrum repack to ensure that we will be able to fill customer orders as quickly as possible. We know what to expect because we played a pivotal role—delivering new equipment to 1300 U.S. broadcasters—during the first DTV transition in the 1990s.

New equipment orders for the repack are already starting to roll in, and the pace will surely pick up very soon. To prepare for this deadline-intense timeframe, I’m overseeing the strategic changes here at our facility in Raymond, Maine. These improvements will result in a smarter use of space, a more organized inventory system, and easier access to the parts and components we need to keep production moving smoothly.

We’ve already reduced bottlenecks and delays by employing software simulations for our product and systems design. Now that the design process has moved into our specialized new R+D labs, we have freed up space on our main production floor for more efficient inventory storage and product assembly.

With our newly developed broadband technologies, including antennas, filters and

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