Dan Hatch, Dan Marafino each earn a patent

Dan Hatch, Dan Marafino proudly displaying their U.S. Patents

United Radio employees Dan Hatch and Dan Marafino were each awarded separate United States patents for work conducted within the Automotive Electronics division. Dan Hatch’s patent is entitled Radio Updating Method. Dan Marafino’s patent is called Video/Multimedia Interface Solution. Here is a look at each patent. Radio Updating Method Here is the abstract from his patent: A method and system for upgrading software stored on a hardware unit is provided. The method includes the steps of: (i) connecting a plurality of hardware units to a computer, the computer including an upgrade algorithm; (ii) scanning, by the upgrade algorithm, for the presence of the plurality of hardware units; (iii) querying, by the upgrade algorithm, each of the plurality of hardware units for information about the software stored on the respective hardware unit; (iv) determining, by the upgrade algorithm, that an upgrade is available for the software stored on at least one of the plurality of hardware units; (v) installing the available upgrade on the at least one of the plurality of hardware units; and (vi) receiving, from the upgrade algorithm, an indication that the installation was successful on at least one of the plurality of hardware units. The patent that I was recently awarded is based on a method I developed for Peachtree City to perform out-of-vehicle updates to multiple Panasonic radios simultaneously. This method involved both hardware and software to perform the intended task. On the hardware side, a rack was built that provided power to all radios, as well as interface devices that connected each radio to a single computer. Software on the computer would then run the algorithm that was responsible for managing the update process on each radio. Normally, the user would need to directly interface with each individual radio by waiting for prompts and pressing buttons in order to start and finish a software update. However, the algorithm I designed automated this process so that a technician could click just a couple buttons on the software interface to execute the entire update process.  Again, this would be performed on multiple radios simultaneously. In our case, the rack that was designed had capacity for 30 radios; thus, as many radios could be updated in the same time it would take to update just one. This was the first patent I have ever received or applied for. I believe we first filed for it in 2016, so it has taken roughly 4 years to see it through to approval. Since the program I developed has a potentially broad application to other projects, we felt it worthy of protection through use of a patent. Though I am unaware of any additional patents being sought at this time at United Radio, the Research Development and Innovation lab is always working on various new projects, and I am sure more patents will come from these efforts in the future. Lastly, I would like to thank Mike Fabery for identifying my work as being patent-worthy, as well as Illya Shoykhet and Dave Hitchcock for their contributions to the project during the development phase. Video/Multimedia Interface Solution Dan Marafino’s patent is for the vehicle interface solution developed in conjunction with Ron Bourdon for United Radio’s Radio Sales division. The interface was developed to allow installation of features such as backup camera, satellite radio, remote CD, and auxiliary cameras integrated with the factory infotainment system in late generation Ford and Chrysler vehicles. The interface was designed to work on multiple platforms with the same basic hardware, and to be updateable to newer platforms as they are released. The flexible hardware and updateable software allowed the product to be easily sold by distributors, and the product is currently being carried by many nationwide 12-volt electronics distributors as well as sold directly to United Radio’s large network of new/used car dealers and expeditors. “We decided to patent this product as we found it was one of the largest volume commercial products ever distributed by the sales department, and we quickly saw competitors begin to start using the processes and technology we developed to develop and sell their own similar products.” said Marafino. This is the first patent awarded to Dan Marafino and the sales department. The patent application was written by Marafino then adjusted for formatting and submitted by legal counsel in July of 2016. Due to the complexity of both the patent and the product, it was delayed for re-assignment, and ultimately required additional clarification and reviews before it was ultimately awarded in April of 2020. As the entire team in the Research Development and Innovation lab continues to produce new technology solutions for United Radio, they continue to evaluate which products merit application for patent in the future. The decision to patent is not an easy one, as there is a significant investment of both time and capital necessary, and as such not all products or solutions necessitate the process. Key criteria considered when applying for patents are return on invested capital, product life cycle, potential infringement, and market location. Who had the last UR patent from Automotive Electronics? Before the Dan’s, Operations Manager Mike Fabery had the last UR patent from the Automotive Electronics division. His patent, Satellite Radio Transfer Method is a method for adding a new radio receiver to a subscriber account. Congratulations to all!

Consumer division receives soldering grant

Employee performs soldering on consumer electronics

SYRACUSE, NY — United Radio has received a New York state grant from the Alliance for Economic Inclusion administered by New York State, the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council, and Onondaga County. The purpose is to provide a formal training and certification program that will teach and certify participants in three different Institute of Printed Circuit (IPC) solder certifications. “Our ability to successfully recruit technical employees in our area and within our targeted pay range will be reliant on our ability to create a successful pathway for growth,” said Jim Fitzgerald, Consumer Division General Manager. “Our vision is to create a process model that can support the technical needs of United Radio in the future by taking an unskilled, highly motivated individual and begin them in an entry level triage or a Quality Control position of learning how products interface and perform.” United Radio will use the three-year, $551,500 grant to establish a training program. This program will look to transform the economic landscape for the local unskilled workforce and break down the barriers to skills attainment and wage increases. As a community-minded project, United Radio looks to greatly enhance the local labor market and catalyze an, oftentimes, hard-to-reach population of workers. The training program will consist of conducting technical theory training and IPC solder training. These IPC solder certifications are, IPC A 610 certification (visual acceptance standard), J Std 001 (entry level techniques) and IPC 7711/7721 (repair of electronic assemblies/repair or modification of PCB). These solder certifications will qualify United Radio employees to a traceable international standard as well as improving consistency of standards. This will be a key point to allow United Radio to move into the next phase of it service operations vision.  “An IPC certified workforce is highly marketable and allows United Radio to grow our business and promotes component level repair, which reduces overall service costs to our customers,” said Phil Rubenstein, United Radio President. “We believe this truly encompasses the ‘hire attitude and teach skill’ belief that we encompass here at United Radio.” Rubenstein added, “Engagement and retention of employees go hand-in-hand. Our ability to continually engage our employees with growth and a feeling of belonging is critical to creating an optimum workforce. Helping employees understand how theyinfluence their own growth is also imperative to our growth.” By offering the opportunity for unskilled individuals to shape a gainful career, this on-the-job training certification requirements gives employees transferable skills which are in demand not only by United Radio, but many other large area employers. The result has been a  well-versed light manufacturing workforce in Central New York with upward mobility.

Communications hosts 911 officials

United Radio meeting with 911 officials

United Radio hosted area 911 leaders in January. The meeting was led by United Radio President Phil Rubenstein, Vice President Mara Charlamb and members of the Communications division. After the meeting the 911 leaders took a tour of the UR campus. Pictured in the garage are (front to back): Paul Vandyke,  Operations Coordinator, Oswego County 911; William Dawes, Field Program Manager, United Radio; Julie Corn, Commissioner, Onondaga County Dept of Emergency  Communications; Kevin Pooley, Director, Oswego County 911;  Colleen Kires, Operations Manager, Contract Administrator United Radio; Fred Lampman, Deputy Director, Oneida    County Emergency Services; Phil Rubenstein, President United Radio; Brent Salmon, Garage Manager, United Radio; Mara Charlamb, Vice President, United Radio. Kneeling: Bill   Musengo, Account Representative, United Radio. Missing from photo: Scott Roman, Director, Cortland County Emergency Response & Communications.  Consumer Electronics General Manager Jim Fitzgerald and Automotive Electronics General Manager Keith Martin each gave a tour of their respective   division.

UR employees get new Ford program started

Ford papr air-purifying respirator

United Radio and Ford Motor Company have a model relationship when it comes to repairing and remanufacturing automotive electronics. But the relationship took off in a new direction when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. “We received a call from Ford Motor Company asking if we could help out with their PAPR program,” said Keith Martin, General Manager for the United Radio Automotive Electronics division. PARP is an acronym for Powered, Air-Purifying Respirators. The respirator is a lightweight unit which uses high efficiency filters for protection against hazardous particulates. Ford is working in conjunction with 3M, GE Healthcare and UAW to quickly expand production of urgently needed medical equipment and supplies.  “There are 10 specific parts of the respirator that need to be replaced on a daily basis,” explained Martin. “Ford is relying on us here at United Radio to fulfill those part orders from hospitals across the country.” Since United Radio has been providing logistics to automotive companies for nearly 100 years, by shipping and receiving products to over 140 countries, the company felt confident it could assist Ford with this new request. “However, we’ve never had to ship and receive medical products before this request,” said Martin. “But the system is basically the same. Hospitals will place their orders on United Radio Dealer Services (URDS) or by phone and we will fill and ship the orders.” Ordering, shipping work needed to be done. Implementing new automotive products into an ordering system is usually an easy process at United Radio, but when its medical products that were new to the system, there was much work to be done. The set-up work for hospital products included having a team of people, led by Denise Nettnin and Shannon Comins, working with the company’s IT team to get the website ready to handle these new product orders. “There were a lot of people that put in a extraordinary effort to get this project up and running,” said United Radio President Phil Rubenstein.” “It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication our employees put forth on a daily basis.” The handling of the new influx of products was under the direction of Vince Christian, who directs all the shipping and receiving efforts for United Radio. Orders are shipped from the United Radio warehouse, located on Ainsley Drive, in Syracuse, New York. “ We could not have gotten this program set up so quickly if not for the hard work our teams put in to getting the new PAPR program up and running,” said Martin.            A thank you from Ford headquarters! All the hard work put forth by United Radio has not gone unnoticed. Just recently, Brian Klippel, Senior Vice President of Operations at Ford, sent along this email of thanks to the entire UR team.

OUR LOCATIONS

Corporate Headquarters

5703 Enterprise Parkway,
East Syracuse, NY 13057

315.446.7181
Mon-Fri 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM 

 800.599.2101
Mon-Fri, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Communications Division

5703 Enterprise Parkway,
East Syracuse, NY 13057

315.446.7181
Mon-Fri 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

800.599.2101
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Automotive Electronics

5705 & 5717 Enterprise Parkway,
East Syracuse, NY 13057

315.446.5570
Mon-Fri 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

800.448.0944
8:00 AM – 5:30 PM

Consumer Electronics

5717 Enterprise Parkway,
East Syracuse, NY 13057

315.446.8700
Mon-Fri 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM

800.634.8606
8:00 AM – 5:30 PM

Consumer SLC


1635 South 5070 West, A1,
Salt Lake City, UT 84104

315.446.8700
Mon-Fri 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM

800.634.8606
8:00 AM – 5:30 PM

Automotive PTC

780 Highway 74 South,
Peachtree City Georgia 30269

315.446.5570
Mon-Fri 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

800.448.0944
8:00 AM – 5:30 PM

© 2024 United Radio, All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy