Oxnard, Calif. — The new owners at aerospace connector specialist Rakar Inc. of Oxnard are making plans to upgrade molding and machining equipment and enhance connectivity.
"We want to create Rakar into an intelligent company in which cyber-physical systems monitor the factory processes," said Theresa Padilla, CEO, president and owner since June 9, and a Rakar employee since 1980.
"The physical systems become the Internet of Things, communicating and cooperating both with each other and with our team and clients in real time," she said.
Her son, Diego Padilla, serves as Rakar executive vice president and chief communications and strategy officer.
"We focus on transfer and compression molding of thermoset plastics, and we are exploring more thermoplastics and more automation," he said.
Currently, about 65 percent of Rakar's volume involves thermoset resins with the remainder in thermoplastics.
Contingent on meeting sales targets and client feedback, "our intention is to evaluate, price and cost-out in 2018 for purchase and implementation in 2019," he said. "We will be buying a mix of new and refurbished equipment" including thermoplastic injection molding presses, electrical discharge machines and computer numerical control units.
The CEO said: "Our primary objectives are to be faster, more flexible and more efficient at producing higher-quality goods at reduced costs."
ISO registrar IAPMO Research and Testing of Ontario, Calif., is scheduled to audit Rakar in April for the ISO aerospace 9100D standard. ISO Ready of Concord, Calif., assisted Rakar in preparation for the audit.
Accreditation would position the company to become a Tier 1 supplier. Currently, Rakar operates as a Tier 2 subcontractor.
"Our hope is to be considered for contracts that would help bring the Rakar protocol, our proprietary processes for excellence, to a wider market," Theresa Padilla said.
Rakar was certified in March 2016 under ISO 9001:2008, is working toward qualifying under ISO 9001:2015 and is applying for certification as a minority- and woman-owned business.