Executive Interview: Purna Subedi, Founder & CEO, and Mike Giarratano, President & CMO, 3H Communication Systems
1. Describe the product portfolio and market focus of 3H Communication Systems.
3H is a custom design and manufacture of microwave and RF filter products. 3H has or can rapidly custom design RF filters or RF front-end products spanning from DC to 60 GHz in accordance to our customer’s requirements. Some of our products include lowpass, highpass, bandpass and bandstop filters; duplexers, diplexers, quaduplexers, pentaplexers and multiplexers; switched filter banks; high power and low PIM; as well as multifunction assemblies. Our sales and engineering staff work closely with our customers prior to award for the best/optimal product results. Our products can be found on many military, commercial and space platforms.
2. When was 3H Communication Systems formed and what's the story behind the name?
3H was formed by Luis Wong, Purna Subedi and Mike Giarratano back in 2014. We all had past experience with filter design and manufacturing for multiple filter companies, and we joined together to combine our knowledge and technical experience and formed 3H Communication Systems. We wanted to develop a customer and employee friendly atmosphere and values, based on virtue. So we developed a business model around 3H principles: honesty, humility and harmony.
3. What technologies do you use for your filters?
3H utilizes the common building blocks such as LC, ceramic, cavity and printed technologies for our filter products. However, how they are designed, arranged and reduced mathematically, providing several disruptive solutions using hybrid approaches and resulting in helping to reduce size and cost.
4. Describe your capabilities and how these distinguish you from other filter manufacturers.
3H staff has decades of engineering experience in multiple engineering and manufacturing industries. It all starts with our in-house software and 3H’s high degree of engineering innovation, such as having filters with more zeros than poles. This allowed 3H to create some of the smallest filters on the market today—3H’s exclusive Micro, Nano and Pico filter series as an example—with very sharp roll offs resulting in small form factors. 3H has been successful bringing very innovative solutions for low PIM and high power handling. Our in-house laser cutting and reflow wave soldering capabilities allow 3H to precision fabricate many custom components in-house. This allows us the flexibility to rapidly provide high mix products to our customers.
5. What is your business model? Catalog products, custom designs, a mix?
Our product mix includes the LC, ceramic resonator, printed and cavity filter topologies. Most of our business is for the high mix, small SMT products. Our high power, low PIM products are low mix and support commercial applications.
When we started 3H, we knew there were many competitors out there. We had to offer something different, smaller, faster and at a fair price. Most of 3H products are custom designed and manufactured to our customer’s requirements. With today’s market conditions, delivery commitments must be met. Our customer score cards are very important to us and allow 3H to continue to grow with new business opportunities. To support today’s production demand, 3H offers multiple manufacturing locations in the U.S. and Mexico, and we continue to invest in our facilities and equipment.
6. Give us several examples of your most successful products.
3H’s low PIM and high power products, as well as our cavity combiners used for the DAS applications, are some of the high commercial production programs. Our SMT products are used mostly for military and space applications.
7. Which simulation tools do you use for filter design, and how mature is your design process?
3H uses numerous in-house worksheets and programs, including filter synthesis, allowing us to rapidly arrive at optimal solutions. In addition, 3H also utilizes commercially available software such as Keysight Genesys.
8. What customer and market trends are driving your business and product development?
Our defense customers continue to push the limit on reducing filter size without a reduction in electrical performance. This has been very beneficial for the development of new filter products for our defense customers. For commercial applications, we see a considerable amount of foreign competition, especially from Asia. However, despite this, 3H has won many commercial awards away from the competition due to our innovative solutions.
9. What are your goals for the business over the next few years, now that we seem to be emerging from the pandemic?
When 3H started with a handful people in a small facility, we set goals as our business grew for more space and equipment. We still set new goals as our business grows. One of our goals was to be AS9100 certified, and we achieved this back in the fall of 2021. We will continue every year to invest in new goals and grow our business into a market leader, while maintaining our basic principles of honesty, humility and harmony.
10. Tell us about your backgrounds and the paths that led you to 3H Communication Systems.
The three founders, Purna Subedie, Mike Giarratano and Luis Wong worked together for a competitor. Though each had a vastly different up-bringing, all three shared a common goal of starting an honest company that would make a difference to the electronic microwave and RF community.
Purna is from a small village from Nepal and grew up without electricity. He was introduced to radio waves as a small child through the amazement of a handheld radio. He never lost interest in the electrical science field and achieved his Ph.D. in electrical engineering.
Mike majored in electronics and aviation technology and is originally from New York, where he worked for prime electronics defense companies including AIL and Raytheon. He moved to Maryland in 1989 and worked in the filter industry for 25 years before 3H.
Luis’s expertise is in the design and manufacturing of microwave and RF filter products for both the commercial and military markets. He worked as the VP of engineering and the VP of manufacturing for a competitor. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. In addition, Luis is the inventor of the surface-mount technology for cavity filters. Luis has hands-on experience and a working knowledge of establishing a manufacturing center in Mexico, including obtaining the necessary legal permits to operate and import/export logistics.