Quality and ISO 9001:2015

The quality of our products and the services we provide have always been of the highest priority at Alaris antennas.

Alaris has been certified to the ISO 9001 standard for more than 6 years now. During this period the system has matured and ISO 9001 principals have become an inseparable part not only of all our processes and operations but also the ethos of the company as a whole.

Currently we are undergoing a Quality management system transition to the latest edition of the ISO 9001 standard.

The upgraded ISO 9001-2015 standard is constructed around seven quality management principles:

  1. Customer focus
  2. Leadership
  3. Engagement of people
  4. Process approach
  5. Improvement
  6. Evidence-based decision making
  7. Relationship management

This fits in well not only with the day to day operations of the company, but also within top management’s strategic planning and approach to all the business processes.

The new standard also emphasises the importance of risk management. Risk analysis and risk management techniques are part of each new project and product development.

Under the guidance of the new ISO 9001-2015, all the processes have undergone detailed risk analysis and the results form part of each department’s KPIs.

Individual consultations with the Heads of Department will be held in order to update the SOPs and work instructions.

A great deal of attention is dedicated to the cooperation and partnership with our suppliers. Streamlined specs were implemented in order to unify the requirements for our machined parts, electrical, electronic and finishing providers.

Our dedicated IQC department was created in order to insure all the purchased components, products and raw materials are of the highest desirable standard and in accordance with the specs.

The benefits of the new QM system are best observed in our assembly departments. Detailed Assembly Instructions combined with regular training sessions are at the core of the process.

Meticulous testing and final inspections end off the assembly process to assure only 100% conforming and perfectly appearing products are released for distribution.

The distribution department assures the best options are identified in order to deliver our products to our customers in the fastest and safest way possible.

Of course, as a customer-centric company, our policy and main activities are always customer oriented. The sales and technical teams are in constant contact with our customers. Regular visits and meetings are arranged in order to better understand and effectively meet our customer’s requirements and to assure fast and comprehensive service is provided together with our products.

All the above assures that the updated ISO 9001-2015 clauses are met and the standard is well understood and integrated on all levels within the business processes of the company.

The transition to the new ISO 9001-2015 is planned to be completed in May 2018. The results and conformance to the new requirements will be audited by third party auditors from DEKRA Certification GmbH in July 2018.

The re-certification is expected to be fully completed in September 2018 when the updated ISO 9001-2015 certificate is expected to be issued.

DSA 2018 Exhibition & Conference

This year, the DSA exhibition celebrates three decades in the defence show business, marking an impressive milestone in the industry. The 16th Edition of the Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference will take place on 16 – 19 April 2018 at the newly built Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

This impressive event will showcase some of the world’s most sophisticated technologies, hardware and electronic warfare in Land, Air and Sea Defence, Combat Medicine, Homeland Security, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), UAVs and Combat Robotics.

The upcoming DSA 2018 will be hosted, supported and co-organised by the Ministry of Defence, the Malaysian Armed Forces and the Royal Malaysia Police.

As one of the Top Five Defence Shows in the world, continually growing and evolving, DSA caters to the needs of tens of thousands of visitors from around the globe providing them with a spectacular experience and unique networking opportunities with industry leaders.

To celebrate 30 years in the defence show business, DSA are introducing a new segment on national security for Asia, branded as – National Security Asia 2018 (NATSEC Asia 2018). The debut will take place alongside DSA at the new venue in MITEC, Kuala Lumpur. NATSEC Asia is set to become a truly dedicated national security show which will ride on the well-established DSA platform.

Alaris Antennas will be exhibiting at the event as part of the South African National Pavilion, and will be represented by Chicot van Niekerk, Head of Business Development for Europe and Asia.

For more information on the exhibition, please visit www.dsaexhibition.com

COJOT Switched Beam Antennas

COJOT, sister company to Alaris Antennas, has developed a range of antennas based on Switched Beam technology.

Switched Beam Antennas provide superior gain performance with very low side lobe levels. Their ability for extremely fast beam switching make the antennas suitable for complex node networks in tactical communications.

Switched beam antenna systems form multiple fixed beams with heightened sensitivity in particular directions. These antenna systems detect signal strength, choose from one of several predetermined, fixed beams and switch from one beam to another as the mobile moves throughout the sector.

Instead of shaping the directional antenna pattern with the metallic properties and physical design of a single element, switched beam systems combine the outputs of multiple antennas in such a way as to form finely directional beams with more spatial selectivity than can be achieved with conventional, single-element approaches.

The features of this system are:

  • It uses multiple fixed directional beams with narrow beam widths.
  • They do not require complex algorithms; simple algorithms are used for beam selection.
  • It requires only moderate interaction between mobile unit and base station as compared to adaptive array system.
  • Since low technology is used, it has lesser cost and complexity.
  • It provides significant increase in coverage and capacity compared to conventional antenna based systems.

The switched beam antennas are designed so that they have several fixed beam patterns. The control elements within the antenna can then select the most appropriate one for the conditions that have been detected.

The antenna consists of either a number of fixed beams with one beam turned on towards the desired signal or a single beam that is steered towards the desired signal.

With many applications including MIMO, Software Defined Radio – SDR, and Cognitive Radio – CR requiring antenna systems to be more adaptive and provide greater levels of adaptivity, Switched Beam antenna technology is becoming much more widely used.

For additional information please contact us.

Alaris Holdings releases stable interim financial results​

Local JSE AltX listed technology holding company, Alaris Holdings (Alaris), released their interim financial results on the 26th of February. The continuing operations performed satisfactorily during the first 6 months of the financial year.

Highlights:

  • Revenue from continuing operations increased by 21% from R84.7 million to R102.6 million.
  • Headline earnings per share from continuing operations increased by 125% from 8.26 cents to 18.62 cents
  • Normalised earnings from continuing operations increased by 67% from R13.0 million to R21.7 million.
  • Net cash from operating activities increased by R33.3 million from an outflow of R14.9 million to an inflow of R18.4 million for the half year.

“Revenue from continuing operations increased by 21% to R103million.  COJOT, our Finland-based operation, had a strong first half year, whilst Alaris Antennas experienced a slower first 6 months.  The lower revenue is a function of the product mix with a higher proportion of precision engineering projects. These take more time, requiring development of new products and customization of existing products”, says group CEO, Juergen Dresel.

Segmental Overview

Alaris Antennas, with its head office in Centurion, designs, manufactures and sells specialised broadband antennas as well as other related radio frequency products. Its products are used in the communication, frequency spectrum monitoring, test and measurement, electronic warfare and other specialised markets.  For Alaris Antennas, 70% of revenue is generated from direction finding, monitoring and other related RF electronics and products.

Dresel further added that, “the competitive advantage for Alaris Antennas is its ability to develop and hold its own IP as a result of its client centric model. The products are designed locally by a highly skilled team of engineers and approximately 90% of the company’s revenue is derived from exports, which provides a strong justification to increase the Group’s footprint globally.”

COJOT had a pleasing result for the first half year, as revenue increased by 128% from R17.5 million to R39.9 million and profit after tax (“PAT”) increased by 383% from R2.4 million to R11.8 million.

“COJOT’s revenue was assisted by several larger European orders including a portion of a €1 million order received in June 2017. The healthy revenue contributed towards the higher profit margins”, Dresel explained.

COJOT Oy, is a Finnish based company which develops innovative broadband antennas to improve connectivity, coverage and competitiveness of radio equipment deployed to save lives and protect property.  During this period, almost 70% of COJOT’s revenue was generated from counter-RCIED products.

Prospects

Alaris Antennas is expanding its geographies by entering into new market segments where core competencies can be leveraged. Management believes the business has significant potential for organic and acquisitive growth where there is a complementary opportunity in markets and products.

Organic growth is stimulated and achieved through understanding customers’ needs and by adding new innovative products to the portfolio. Further opportunities for growth are achieved by adding distributors, agents and new system houses as clients.

The company has invested in onsite Environmental Stress Screening (“ESS”) equipment, which includes a humidity chamber and vibration equipment. This will allow the Group to further improve quality and customer service.

COJOT Oy maintains a client centric approach, similar to Alaris and it makes use of a direct sales team and select channel partners to build the order book.

The company has a team of highly skilled engineers with many years of experience in design and development that provides a competitive advantage and superior client service.

The company has established various partnerships with key contract manufacturers. These partnerships provide efficiency and scalability, as well as seamless quality to its client base.

Alaris and COJOT are strongly focused on research and development and hold exploitable patented technologies that can be monetized into the future. The Group remains positive about prospects for the period ahead and the focus is to ensure profitable organic growth.

“The combined operations allow existing customers to receive an improved service and an expanded product portfolio. As such, the design and development of new products from the combined skill sets of the two companies will provide more competitive features, enabling increased performance for end users”, says Dresel.

The Group objective of becoming the preferred supplier of innovative RF products both locally and internationally is gaining momentum with sustainable organic growth and an increased global footprint.

Alaris Holdings Limited Interim Financial Results for the six months ending December 2017

Highlights

  • Revenue from continuing operations increased by 21% from R84.7 million to R102.6 million.
  • Headline earnings per share from continuing operations increased by 125% from 8.26 cents to 18.62 cents
  • Normalised earnings from continuing operations increased by 67% from R13.0 million to R21.7 million.
  • Net cash from operating activities increased by R33.3 million from an outflow of R14.9 million to an inflow of R18.4 million for the half year.

Click here to view the PDF

COJOT Mission Adaptive Antenna Range

Alaris Antennas sister company, COJOT, has a range of antennas which provide superior performance for mission critical vehicles, manpacks and handheld radio communications.

The MIDAS (Mission Adaptive Antennas) range provides optimized performance over a wide frequency range resulting in better link budgets and radio coverage together with higher interference rejection.  As a result of their enhanced electrical performance, additional aspects like a reduction of the radio system’s power consumption, or using antennas of shorter height become possible to consider.

The antennas use active matching, which is based on controlled band switching, where the frequency band is split into smaller slots and each slot is matched separately. The RF signal is connected through the most optimal matching circuit using RF switches and fast control logic. This switching technology is compatible with frequency hopping.

The active matching switching technology is controlled by the radio or autonomously by the antenna. The control signal and supply voltage are fed to the antenna through the connector or through a separate data connector.

There are three types of antenna in this range:

Vehicle

These antennas, covering the 30 to 90 MHz and 30 to 520 MHz frequency ranges, offer superior gain performance with fast tuning abilities.

Manpack

These compact antennas provide up to 10 dB gain improvement over antennas with passive matching.

Handheld

These antennas are for handheld SDRs working in the 30 to 520 MHz frequency band.

The benefits of the COJOT Mission Adaptive Antenna Range are:

  • Better link budget
  • Extended communication range
  • Higher interference rejection
  • Lower power consumption
  • Smaller visual signature

For more information on these products click here.

If you would like to view the full COJOT range of products, visit www.cojot.com

Alaris Antennas Acquires New Machinery

Alaris Antennas recently acquired a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) milling machine in our toolroom, to improve speed of prototyping and production efficiency.

The CNC milling machine is a versatile piece of machinery that is used to machine complex 2D or 3D geometries. The machine is used to cut, drill and tap all in one operation.

This impressive machine enables our workshop to manufacture more complex parts than were previously possible. The parts manufactured are of a much better quality, with finer tolerances, at much greater speeds than ever before.

The machine can mill many different types of materials such as plastics, aluminium, stainless steel etc. At Alaris the machine will be used to manufacture new antenna parts, assist in making jigs as well as facilitate prototyping work done by our engineers.

Some parts that have been made so far include pieces for a large number of various antennas and a clamping jig for engraving. Below are some pictures of some of the items produced by this machine:

            

                 

There are many advantages to having an “in-house” CNC milling machine:

  1. Less parts have to be outsourced to external manufacturers, thus saving Alaris money and cutting costs.
  2. By making all the parts in house, it negates the need to reorder parts from manufacturers if they are faulty or the wrong size. This allows the workshop staff to work closely with the Production and Quality departments.
  3. If parts made by an external supplier do not fit the given raw material, booms, elements or fitting parts then the batch must be scrapped or sent to the toolroom for rework. This costs money and wastes time. When making the parts “in house” the first sample part can be easily checked with all the fitting parts.

This machine is a great boost to Alaris Antennas’ capabilities as a high class manufacturing entity.

Alaris Antennas to acquire on-site ESS Equipment

Alaris Antennas is excited to announce that we will be acquiring our own ESS equipment which we are expecting to be installed by the end of April 2018.


This equipment will consist of a 1.8 m x 2 m x 2 m walk-in climate chamber which has a temperature range of -40 to +80 degrees celsius, and a humidity range of 10% to 90%. The chamber will be equipped with Digital thermal and humidity set point control via TOHO 339 and TOHO 229 programmable digital controllers.

We will also be acquiring two vibration tables. The smaller table, with a max weight of 40 kg, will allow us to shake the equipment up to 2000Hz frequency (1.2 to 3 G). The larger table will accommodate more complex systems and complete antennas up to 100 + kg at 500Hz.

The floor of the chamber will be designed with a pocket section to facilitate the vibration systems i.e. we will be able to run the climate cycling together with vibration testing while running active antenna tests.

The decision to acquire our own test equipment is due to our focus on ensuring the quality of our products.

54th Annual AOC International Symposium and Convention

Juergen Dresel, Claire Nitch and David Moschella of Cyntony manned the stand at 54th Annual AOC International Symposium and Convention in Washington, USA from 28-30th November. The show was well attended with a 30% increase in delegate registration and 10% increase in exhibitors. Both current and new clients were met which opened up new potential opportunities.

At the show the DF-A0120, 20-3000MHz Adcock manpack antenna and LPDA-A0097, 30-500MHz tactical wire LPDA, were on display which attracted great interest.

Electronic Warfare South Africa 2017

Craig Watkins, Business Development Manager for the African Region, recently attended the EW South Africa Conference on behalf of Alaris. He had this to say about the event:

“The AOC Aardvark Roost recently hosted the Electronic Warfare South Africa conference and exhibition at the CSIR in Pretoria.”

“Alaris Antennas has, since inception been a proud contributor to the fields of electronic warfare and specialised communications in South Africa. As a proud partner of many of those at the event and others, Alaris also assisted in sponsoring the event and offering a presence and meaningful, personal interaction with all the stakeholders at the event.”

“EWSA 2017 sought to bring together representatives from throughout the world of electronic warfare and even beyond it. Delegates and presenters travelled from all over South Africa, as well as international visitors from further afield. The presentations given in the excellent conference facilities at the CSIR International Conference Centre included a look at future technological and socio-political developments and challenges for the EW community, as well as presentations from those involved in the current industry. Undeniably important in feeding this industry, academics and researchers offered some dynamic and thought-provoking ideas. Sometimes all too easy to gloss over, the relevance of EW in the real world was brought home by some frank presentations and discussions of the current and existing technologies, techniques and applications of electronic warfare. It was also encouraging to see the involvement of South African universities, who offered the support to send their young students to the event to both present their ideas and gain some exposure to the real and evolving world of electronic warfare.”

“That the attendance was so prolific and that the delegates remained in their droves for the entire duration speaks volumes for the successful execution by the Aardvark Roost. By all accounts, the event was well-received and a useful platform for those who operate in and supply into the EW sphere.”

“Alaris would like to extend our thanks to the Aardvark Roost and its president, Mr Ryno van Staden, for continuing to support the electronic warfare sector in South Africa and for successfully arranging such a fine event.”