HATFIELD, PA. (April 26, 1 p.m. ET) — Irving Glickman, who founded injection company Rodon Group LLC in 1956, celebrated his 100th birthday April 24.
Rodon, a custom injection molder and maker of K'Nex construction toys, is still family owned. The company in Hatfield, a suburb of Philadelphia, is a leading advocate for U.S. manufacturing, with its motto of “We Beat China Pricing.”
Glickman was a pioneer of synthetic rubber who saw the potential of thermoplastics. He started Rodon with four Stokes injection molding machines in his garage. The company expanded into a small factory, then built its current factory in Hatfield in 1987.
Today Rodon has 105 injection presses and employs 88 people. The plant is highly automated, to the point where one operator runs 15 presses.
Glickman has witnessed a great deal during his life, including the Great Depression and several wars. Through it all, his commitment to plastics will leave his mark on the industry and American manufacturing, Rodon said in a news release.
“While the return of U.S. manufacturing is making the headlines these days, Mr. Glickman never wavered from his commitment to production quality Made-In-America products,” Rodon officials said.
In 1991, his son, Joel Glickman, developed the rods and connectors that became K'Nex toys. After major toy makers rejected the idea, Rodon began molding the parts and started K'Nex Brands LP as a sister company.
Joel's son-in-law, Michael Araten, is now president and CEO of Rodon and K'Nex.
Rodon and K'Nex were featured in the Modern Marvels show on the History Channel last year. In January, Rodon was named a finalist for Plastics News' Processor of the Year Award.
“We are thrilled to be able to celebrate the 100th birthday of our dad,” brothers Joel and Bob Glickman said in the company's press release. “It was his vision, business savvy and entrepreneurial spirit that laid the foundation for the global enterprise we are fortunate to be a part of today.”