Rogan Corp. recently opened a new 1,500-square-foot Class 7 clean room with Sodick presses as a key part of its plan to boost its liquid silicone rubber operations.
“We've had a full plant rearrangement,” Chief Operating Officer Jim Ritzema said in a telephone interview.
Rogan has invested about $1 million in the past year to address opportunities in the medical- and pharmaceutical-device markets, he said. The firm recently installed two Sodick presses at its Northbrook, Ill., plant, which now operates 40- and 50-ton horizontal presses, a 40-ton vertical with a rotary table and a 150-ton horizontal machine. All four machines are in the newly built clean room. Rogan formerly used temporary measures to provide clean room services.
Phase one of the project, a yearlong undertaking, was recently completed. Phase two includes a new 10-ton Sodick to handle components of 14 grams or less, as well as another 1,000 square feet of clean room space for assembly.
Overall, Rogan has 70 employees working in a 45,000-square-foot facility. The company has been in business for 75 years. With more than 1,000 active accounts, Rogan said no customer provides over 4 percent of its business, which covers medical, electronics, consumer goods and sound-enhancement markets.
“Right now our proprietary business is about 70 percent of sales and our custom part is 30 percent. Our plan is by 2013 to make it 50-50,” Ritzema said.
He said that the company makes a proprietary line of knobs, and has been doing two-shot molding for about 30 years.
Rogan has expanded its value-added services as well, providing assembly, pad printing, heat staking and services “that give the customer a turnkey product,” Ritzema said.
They company has seen work return from China and two of its projects are jobs that were done in China in the past two years, he noted.
Ritzema said Rogan evolved from doing calligraphy on leather and cloth in its early days to its proprietary knob lines. They sold to appliance makers in the 1950s and 1960s, and later rode the electronics boom in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, the firm developed clamping knobs.
“Our strategic plan was always how can we be on the cutting edge?” he said.
Ritzema added that Rogan saw advantages emerge in LSR about seven to eight years ago and now the process provides a growth area for the firm.