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Hughes Network Systems, LLC
11717 Exploration Lane
Germantown, MD 20876 USA
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John McEwan, Senior Vice President of Operations, North America Division
In this issue, we speak with John McEwan about the latest developments in the company’s manufacturing operations.
Can you talk about the importance of the manufacturing operations within the overall Hughes business strategy?
The manufacturing operations group is an integral part of the Hughes family and is vitally important because it gives us a strategic advantage over our competition. We work closely with Engineering to develop new products, new technologies, new sources of supply and new processes. This close relationship and close proximity helps to reduce time to market for new products. In-house manufacturing also allows us more flexibility in terms of scheduling, as we can react quickly to changes in product demands—which is especially important for consumer products. Companies with long supply chains from Asia do not have the ability to reduce or increase demand without incurring higher logistics costs or higher inventory levels. Having manufacturing operations also allows us to competitively build our low volume, high mix products which many outsource suppliers would not consider building.
What are the latest manufacturing technology trends at Hughes now or in the near future, such as 3D printing and robotics?
We continue to improve our processes and introduce new manufacturing technologies where it provides benefit to the business, such as employing robotic assembly to lower product cost. But the benefits have to outweigh the investment. For example, 3D printing is not cost-effective for high volume manufacturing, but is ideal for small batch or prototype runs. In future, as technology evolves and equipment becomes cheaper, prints faster and justifies the investment, then we would consider deploying 3D for more than prototype work.
The guts of all electronics is the printed circuit board assembly, or PCBA, which is done by a high-speed Surface Mount Technology (SMT) machine. As our product designs demand more densely populated circuits in a much smaller area, SMT equipment must keep pace. Our current equipment can place passive and discrete type components as small as 1mm X 0.5mm and semiconductor Ball Grid Array components with a pitch of .035mm. As design demands dictate smaller and denser, we evaluate available equipment and make the appropriate decisions.
Does Hughes have any “green initiatives” in place within its manufacturing operations?
A lot is made of the words “green initiatives.” In manufacturing operations, it means conserving energy, reducing waste and recycling. All of our equipment is energy efficient and the factory utility usage is very well managed by Jim Muir’s facilities team. We have zero fossil fuel consumption within Shady Grove other than our delivery truck and our backup generator. As far as reducing waste, packaging materials for inbound supplies is probably the biggest contributor. We manage all packaging to minimize the volume and, wherever possible, utilize reusable packaging. Non-reusable packaging, called dunnage, is still recycled and we receive payment for all of our recycled packaging materials.
We also have a very active recycling program. We recycle all ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics, cables, power supplies, and packaging from product returned from the field that is unrepairable or scrap. Even the printed circuit boards are recycled to ensure environmentally safe disposal.
What does the future hold for Hughes Manufacturing?
From green initiatives, to continually improving production processes and advancing ISO certification, our team of skilled pros is always focused on ways to improve quality, while meeting evolving customer demands and running the most efficient and cost-effective operation possible. It’s what we do to help keep the company the industry leader that it is.
Awards recognize leaders in workplace health and wellness, diversity, environmental consciousness, and overall excellence
In June, Hughes was recognized by the Alliance for Workplace Excellence (AWE) as one of the best workplaces in the Greater Washington, D.C. area for the 18th consecutive year. Hughes received the 2017 AWE Workplace Excellence and Health & Wellness Seals of Approval as well as the AWE EcoLeadership and Diversity Champion Awards at the AWE Annual Awards luncheon. The AWE awards honor organizations that promote professional fulfillment and personal wellness at work, at home, and in the community, as well as their commitment to sustainability and workplace diversity.
“Hughes is committed to providing a healthy, encouraging, and inclusive workplace where our employees can thrive both professionally and personally,” said Pradman Kaul, president of Hughes. “We are honored to be recognized once again by the AWE as one of the region’s best places to work. Our employees are our most important asset, and their success drives our success as a company.” Candidates for AWE awards undergo a rigorous assessment process led by a panel of independent reviewers from the fields of business, industrial and organizational psychology, human resources, environmental science, public health, and diversity and inclusion.
Partnership to ignite youths’ passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math recognized in Education category
HughesNet®, America’s #1 choice for satellite Internet, and the National 4-H Council (4-H) announced that their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) partnership won a Silver Halo Award in the Education category of Engage for Good. The HughesNet/4-H partnership was also a Halo Award finalist in 2016. Engage for Good provides industry-leading resources for social good, cause marketing, and corporate social responsibility programs.
The HughesNet/4-H partnership began in 2014, introducing American youth to hands-on, community-based STEM learning. Since then, the partnership has provided hands-on STEM activities to more than 100,000 youth across the country each year.
“HughesNet’s continued support helps us deliver high-quality STEM programming that gets young people excited about STEM through topics like robotics, agricultural and environmental science, rocketry, computer science, and alternative energy. These programs give thousands of young people the opportunity to build skills, develop passions, and discover career paths they never imagined,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4-H Council. The Halo Awards are North America’s highest honor for corporate social initiatives and cause marketing.
Government Agencies Look to Hughes for More Cost-Effective Network Solutions
Potential budget cuts are an ongoing concern for a majority of government agencies – whether federal, state or local. And yet with the growing shift towards cloud-based applications, mobile platforms and video content, the drive to modernize government IT cannot slow down given the need for more advanced and efficient systems to help serve constituents better.
Some of the challenges facing agencies with legacy systems include:
For any agency to attempt to resolve all these issues itself in one fell swoop, under tight budget conditions, and while still delivering services to constituents is simply not realistic. But there is a way forward—namely, to engage with a trusted and experienced managed services partner, and together to establish a viable and cost-effective plan to leverage the latest and most appropriate network technology innovations.
More Bandwidth, Cloud Readiness at Lower Costs
A case in point is HughesON™ Managed Network Services, an end-to-end answer which leverages the best of wireline, wireless and satellite technologies to deliver highly secure, reliable broadband connectivity at all branch sites. For multi-location government agencies in particular, working with a single trusted provider ensures implementation of cost-effective and scalable solutions under uniform contract terms and service level agreements.
Within the HughesON portfolio is Hughes Managed SD-WAN, a solution that delivers significant benefits over dedicated legacy networks, including cloud readiness, high network and application availability, flexibility and cost savings. Delivered as an end-to-end turnkey solution, Hughes Managed SD-WAN enables an agency to maximize network bandwidth speed and performance without adding new lines, links or expenses. And it can be easily implemented on existing infrastructure across numerous sites.
“The SD-WAN solution further expands our proven portfolio of HughesON™ managed services, delivering multi-site organizations optimized network performance by resolving bandwidth, availability and cloud access challenges—keeping applications up even if the primary network path fails,” said Mike Cook, executive vice president at Hughes.
Ordinary Broadband Transformed
Hughes Managed SD-WAN leverages innovative Hughes ActiveTechnologies™ to transform ordinary broadband connections into enterprise-grade high performance WANs, including support for demanding applications such as VoIP and video.
Each tool in the suite optimizes performance:
Remote Connectivity and Fast Access
For park stations, schools, or branch offices that need connectivity or are limited by last mile DSL, Hughes offers Hughes HTS. As the nation’s leading satellite Internet service provider, Hughes offers the first service to deliver 25Mbps download speeds from coast-to-coast.
“Hughes HTS brings improved capabilities to the public sector by delivering not only high speed Internet access everywhere—such as for our rural schools and remote offices—but also as a satellite back-up to terrestrial networks for federal and state agencies,” said Tony Bardo, Hughes assistant vice president of government solutions. “This ensures greater network resiliency when disasters strike and more responsive emergency services.”
For agencies hampered by a legacy system or budget constraints–or both–engaging a trusted and experienced managed services provider like Hughes is a cost-effective and efficient way to expand IT capabilities in support of public service.
Enabling the fastest growing segment in the U.S. economy to connect and thrive.
Small to medium-sized businesses are critical to the growth of the U.S. economy. And while they may not have the same resources as big, well-established companies, they have the same challenges and needs: processing payroll, conducting point of sale transactions, using social media to market products, deploying online training, sending emails, sharing files, managing contacts, publishing content, and downloading Web pages. Yet many are located in outlying areas without access to terrestrial broadband, whether cable, fiber, or DSL service. In fact, there are over one million underserved small businesses in America—and many of them are not yet aware that there is high-speed satellite Internet available everywhere with HughesNet® for Business.
HughesNet for Business
For three decades, Hughes has been delivering managed network solutions to Fortune 500 companies. Using that experience, Hughes created HughesNet for Business—a robust suite of highspeed Internet plans specifically tailored for small-to-medium-sized businesses. In doing so, Hughes has fundamentally re-imagined what satellite Internet can do for businesses. Whether a single office or a distributed organization with multiple branches, HughesNet provides a reliable, secure, and always-on connection that gives users instant access to the critical information and applications they need.
An Alternative to Terrestrial Fixed or Wireless Broadband
Many businesses currently served by DSL are discovering that their copper infrastructure is maxing out in terms of speed, which is often less than 10 Mbps. That is because the major telecom providers are no longer maintaining their copper infrastructure and, as a result, businesses are often finding DSL too unreliable. The situation is made worse for businesses at the end of the communications loop where service can be very slow and variable. While some have been turning to digital cellular service as a solution, that can get expensive, especially when the business uses a lot of data.
Norm’s Farm, which is owned by Ann Lenhardt and her family, experienced this struggle firsthand. Norm’s Farm produces and markets elderberry products through a network of farms and production facilities throughout the US and from a warehouse in a converted garage.
“We use the Internet for everything—email, order fulfillment, marketing, negotiating with partners and investors. We sell directly to consumers through our website, and also through online markets like Amazon and eBay,” Lenhardt said. “Before HughesNet, we were using DSL, and we’d get kicked off as many as 16 times a day. HughesNet for Business keeps us connected reliably.”
HughesNet for Business offers a range of affordable and flexible service plans—with no hard data limits. Businesses can choose three different ways to get started: buy equipment upfront, lease equipment, or select the “no commitment” option. The no commitment, purchase upfront option is designed for businesses, such as construction companies and seasonal campgrounds who may want to turn their Internet service on and off at a location, such as at a model home or sales trailer. All HughesNet for Business Plans come with commercial-grade equipment and installation to ensure added reliability, and several different maintenance options are available.
Plans for Home-based Entrepreneurs
HughesNet for Business is also ideal for home-based business owners who run their businesses during the day and need Internet access for their families at night. Unlike residential plans, on which many homebased businesses rely, each HughesNet for Business service plan includes a generous amount of Daytime Data so businesses can get more done during standard business hours (8 a.m.-6 p.m.), plus Anytime Data that can be used 24/7.
With HughesNet for Business, entrepreneurs can seize new opportunities, reach new customers, grow, and thrive—putting the power of broadband to work.
Hughes recently announced that it hit a major milestone: two million JUPITER™ terminals manufactured and shipped from its Shady Grove, Maryland facility. The manufacturing team reached this record number earlier than planned by deploying new manufacturing equipment and improved processes.
“We initially planned to start robotic assembly on the latest version of JUPITER terminals, but were fortunate to be able to introduce it during the build of our first generation terminals,” explained John McEwan, senior vice president, Operations. “As a result, we gained early learning and cost efficiencies; robotic assembly was a significant process change during the second million units.”
In addition to robotics, there were other changes that contributed to improved efficiency and reduced cost, including the introduction of Form in Place, or FIP, gasketing. FIP is a process that involves applying liquid rubber to a mating surface; when cured, it forms a permanent leak-proof rubber gasket. The FIP process replaced the hand assembly of two monolithic gaskets―reducing costs by 400%. It also reduced a problem in the field that occurred when old monolithic gaskets came loose and had to be replaced during installation at customer sites. Another improvement introduced by the team is 2D Laser Marking for key components during all steps in the manufacturing process of semi-finished and finished assemblies. This allows for better component and product tracking and traceability.
“The Manufacturing Team has done an outstanding job supporting and moving from one million to two million terminals. We look forward to three million and beyond,” said McEwan.
Hughes was again confirmed as the leading global provider in both enterprise and consumer sectors of the Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) satellite communications industry by London-based COMSYS, one of the industry’s leading research organizations. This continues a legacy that dates back more than 30 years since Hughes invented and deployed the first commercial satellite network in the mid-1980s.
The 14th Edition of the COMSYS VSAT Report states that Hughes was the #1 VSAT vendor in 2016, in terms of units shipped (consumer and enterprise) and total revenue from hardware sales. Hughes combined enterprise and consumer VSAT market share stands at 50.2%, with more than 6 million units shipped to customers in over 100 countries. “Hughes’ presence casts a shadow over almost every player in the market,” according to the report.
The report cites several key drivers behind customers’ decisions to choose Hughes, including market leadership, competitive pricing, and cutting-edge products.
“Hughes is the only company that has been able to demonstrate sustained leadership in technology, market share, and financial results in the VSAT business. This undoubtedly gives its customers a confidence which cannot be matched by others,” said Susan Bull, senior analyst at COMSYS.
The recently launched HughesNet® Gen5 satellite Internet service reached a major milestone in just 2 months: serving more than 100,000 homes and small businesses, including both new subscribers and upgrades. Now, there are subscribers in every continental US state who are connected to the service and experiencing faster speeds, more data, built-in Wi-Fi, and an overall improved Internet experience.
Industry-leading platform will power service delivery over Global-IP’s GiSat-1 high-throughput satellite
The Hughes JUPITER™ System has been selected by Global-IP Cayman as its technology platform to power high-performance broadband connectivity throughout the Sub-Saharan Africa region, operating over 100 percent of the capacity on Global-IP’s GiSat-1 high-throughput satellite (HTS).
Hughes will supply 11 gateway stations in Europe using a centralized architecture for routing traffic in and out of the Internet, together with its advanced HT2500 and HT2600 satellite terminals, which include Wi-Fi access. The JUPITER System is the first Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) platform to support the DVB-S2X standard, widely recognized as the most bandwidth-efficient in the marketplace, yielding strong operating economics for Global-IP.
“The JUPITER System from Hughes provides us with a bandwidth-efficient, field-proven Ka-band technology that is adaptable to our unique architecture in supporting Global-IP’s mission of bringing connectivity to over 800 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Emil Youssefzadeh, founder and chief technology officer of Global-IP. “Our state-of-the-art GiSat-1 satellite designed with a digital payload uniquely matching our CloudCORE™ platform, coupled with the JUPITER System, will enable our customers to provide smart phone users with affordable services, from broadband Internet, to video, and more.”
Bringing high quality mobile service to these areas using terrestrial backhaul solutions that connect cell sites to the core telecom and Internet networks is prohibitively expensive—whether using fiber, cable or microwave. Global-IP and other mobile operators are discovering that JUPITER satellite backhaul offers an ideal, cost-effective solution that’s readily installed at virtually any cell site location, regardless of distance, infrastructure, or terrain. Additionally, it can be implemented as a backup to urban terrestrial links or to rural sites with multiple microwave hops. Such a combined terrestrial and satellite backhaul architecture yields the highest possible network availability.
Beyond supporting high-quality Internet access, the Hughes HT2500 and HT2600 next-generation satellite terminals are designed with LTE acceleration technology to meet the demanding requirements of such mobile networks. Capable of 7,500 simultaneous TCP sessions, the HT2500 supports accelerated performance for many devices connected simultaneously to the LTE eNodeB, making it economical for high-speed data services virtually anywhere.
“Hughes is proud to have been selected as Global-IP’s technology partner in its important mission of bringing broadband connectivity to Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Ramesh Ramaswamy, senior vice president and general manager of Hughes International Division. “The fact that our JUPITER System will provision 100 percent of GiSat-1’s satellite capacity from day one is a testament to their confidence in Hughes and further builds on our leadership in powering HTS deployments around the world.”
The JUPITER System is the world’s most widely deployed platform by HTS operators, featuring a flexible and robust gateway architecture with lights-out operation, enhanced IPoS air interface for bandwidth efficiency and performance, and high-throughput terminals. JUPITER enables operators to achieve the highest possible capacity and efficiency for any satellite broadband implementation. The foundational technology is the powerful JUPITER System-on-a-Chip processor which enables 200 Mbps of throughput on every terminal in the JUPITER family.
Nick Tusa relies on being connected to operate his business. He runs Tusa Consulting Services, a national public safety communications firm, from an office on his 10-acre property in Covington, LA. The office is the central hub of a network of consultants that stretches across the US designing radio communication systems for local and state fire and police departments.
Reliable Internet communication is essential for keeping Tusa in touch with clients and his consultants in Florida, Kansas City, Atlanta, Nashville, and Lancaster. He also needs it for access to the firm’s technology library and customer files, which are stored at two secure, remote locations.
Long Internet outages would be a serious handicap for Tusa Consulting, which must be able to quickly contact clients during natural disasters and other emergencies. His own location, however, can be a disadvantage. Covington is located 40 miles north of New Orleans, which puts Tusa in one of the world’s most active hurricane zones. When he was researching Internet services, durability and reliability weighed heavily in his consideration.
Tusa describes his area of Covington as “not well served by the local Internet or cable company.” When he learned HughesNet for Business service from Hughes was an option, he contacted people who had the service and liked it.
“When Hurricane Katrina hit, the flooding destroyed the underground cable and fiber equipment, and it took months to rebuild. The wired Internet services can be down for weeks. My business can’t tolerate that,” he said. “When there’s a problem in public safety, people expect a response immediately, 24/7, 365 days a year. A lot of our work is preplanned, but sometimes I have to push a vendor to correct a situation in the moment. I have customers up and down the Gulf Coast, from Western Louisiana into Florida. When a hurricane hits, our people have to be in the field to respond to issues. We need reliable Internet access.”
Though no communication system is completely disaster-resistant, living through Hurricane Katrina revealed to Tusa how vulnerable ground-based networks are to extended outages. Satellite Internet bypasses the groundbased infrastructure altogether. Turnaround time to restore service is usually much quicker compared to landline solutions.
“The upload and download speeds were significantly better than what I could get out here,” he said. “HughesNet also gives me an added measure of insurance. With HughesNet, most of the time I can be back in business in as little as a few hours after a storm. It’s been so reliable that sometimes I forget it’s there because I never have to do anything to it.”
Ruggedized and lightweight, Hughes HM500 enables rapid deployment by global users
Hughes recently announced its new HM500 transportable terminal that enables rapid deployment by individual users for secure, portable communications. At a transport weight of less than 31 pounds, it exemplifies the growing market trend for “manpack” terminals to meet reduced Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) requirements.
Designed with advanced commercial Satellite Communications (SATCOM) technology for defense and public safety missions, the HM500 transportable terminal offers a very lightweight yet ruggedized package using preconfigured settings over one of multiple frequencies, including Ku-, Ka-, Mil Ka-, and X-band. Its simplified setup, quick deployment, and high data rates bring international users an ideal portable communications solution for a wide range of applications, from disaster relief to military operations.
Hughes demonstrated the HM500’s single-person, tool-free assembly and interoperability with existing SATCOM infrastructure in New Delhi, India during the DEFCOM India 2017 Conference, an International Expo on Military Communications organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Indian Army, and the Corps of Signals.
“Our new HM500 leverages Hughes industry-leading SATCOM technology to support critical mobility requirements of government and enterprise users,” said Dr. Rajeev Gopal, senior technical director at Hughes. “It delivers military and national security planners a powerful and cost-effective manpack solution for their forward deployed teams to provide them with real-time, reliable information to help achieve mission success.”
The HM500 is readily adapted for operation on any Hughes SATCOM platform, including the HM System and the industry-leading JUPITER™ System, the next generation Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) platform from Hughes for broadband services over both high-throughput and conventional satellites.
Thousands of brand franchises need high-speed Internet connectivity and Guest Wi-Fi at all of their locations. For these highly distributed enterprise businesses ― including restaurants, financial institutions, and retail petroleum ― Hughes is delivering next generation connectivity and a host of products and services to best meet the unique business demands at every site.
Many franchise operators turn to Hughes because they need scalable solutions that offer the flexibility to support pop-up sites and expansions, increase network capabilities and applications, and accommodate the types of traffic surges associated with seasonal shopping trends. Customers also look to Hughes to secure their networks and safeguard customer transactions and data. And many rely on Hughes to be a trusted Managed Services provider, allowing them to focus on running their business and not their network.
Jack in the Box Selects Hughes for Nationwide NextGen Network
One prime example is the selection by Jack in the Box of a fully managed HughesON™ solution for its Next-Generation Network. Hughes will build, manage, and support high-speed primary and backup networks securely connecting approximately 3,000 restaurants across North America, as well as providing network support for guest and employee Wi-Fi.
“The HughesON solution gives us the throughput and security we need to support our customers’ growing digital demands,” said Drew Martin, CIO at Jack in the Box. “It also makes us better prepared for the future as we expand our applications to support our guests.”
Cloud-Friendly Managed Network Solutions
HughesON™ is a comprehensive and cost-effective suite of cloud-ready, managed network solutions designed to solve complex challenges and deliver big results for highly distributed franchise operations. Any franchise can easily upgrade with HughesON to enable new cloud-based applications and improve the customer experience.
“Our HughesON solutions offer great benefits to forward-thinking businesses,” said Mike Cook, executive vice president, North America at Hughes. ”Underpinned by our innovative ActiveTechnologies™ and service delivery capabilities, franchise customers can enjoy unmatched network performance across all of their locations.”
Key elements of HughesON solutions are Hughes ActiveTechnologies™, which transform ordinary broadband connections into enterprise-grade high performance wide area networks, supporting bandwidth intensive applications such as VoIP and video.
Plug & Play Security
Hughes recently added the Fortinet FortiGate 30E to its portfolio of managed network equipment, which is an easy to self-install option ideal for franchise operators. The FortiGate 30E is an all-in-one enterprise platform that is part of the Fortinet Security Fabric and which receives real-time threat intelligence updates to ensure continuous protection from cyber threats.
For merchants who prefer to implement and maintain their own equipment, the FortiGate 30E offers plug and play security, enabling customers to “bring-their-own-broadband” by acquiring Internet service from a local provider. Whether a customer chooses to self-install or adopt an end-to-end managed service, they receive the enterprise-grade performance, security, and support that Hughes provides to all of its customers.
“Retail locations have long needed affordable connectivity and security solutions they can easily deploy themselves using locally provided broadband,” said Sampath Ramaswami, senior director, Strategy and Marketing at Hughes. “Incorporating a low-cost, multi-transport secure network device into the Hughes portfolio is an exciting addition to our service offering. The 30E is the right solution for many of our customers, especially those with smaller footprint locations where a single, tightly integrated solution is desired.”
With the 30E, Hughes also offers a Payment Card Industry (PCI) support program to help franchisees complete the mandated annual PCI self-assessment questionnaire, using prepopulated data from Hughes about network performance and services.
From large big-box stores to small pop-up locations, franchisers and retailers of all sizes can depend on Hughes to deliver solutions, products, and services that are optimized to their unique environments and applications.
As an all-in-one enterprise platform, the FortiGate 30E not only delivers continuous protection from cyber threats, it integrates 4G/LTE modems for unified connectivity and wireless backup. This enables franchise operators to gain “always on” capabilities and greater network resilience.
“Maintaining network security and compliance standards can be a major challenge for highly distributed enterprises, who need both powerful security and flexible networking capabilities in an all-in-one device that is easy to deploy and manage,” said John Maddison, senior vice president of products and solutions at Fortinet. “Hughes technical expertise and top-notch service combined with Fortinet’s FortiGate 30E product ensures that our joint customers can easily implement high-performance, secure networking for every site across their entire organization.”
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