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Innovators of High-Quality Knobs & Hand Hardware

10.31.2020 Posted in: Blog
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With over 85 years of business, Rogan Corporation has earned a reputation as a leader in the injection molding and the hand-hardware/fastener industries. This is a result of our continued commitment to investing in technology and high-quality standards while delivering exceptional customer service. Maintaining these core values has allowed us to adapt to any need; whether there is a standard or customized request, Rogan has a solution.

Rogan Corporation has always strived to be a forward-thinking company, driven by our mission to provide unparalleled service to meet the needs of our customers. We achieve this by listening closely to our customers to better understand their needs before working on creating a solution to fill their requirements.

A History of Innovation & Transformations

A common theme throughout our history (Click to view Rogan’s complete history) has been our ability to find ways to innovate. From recessions to World Wars, to moon landings, Rogan was there. Through it all, we have maintained ongoing product innovation, investment in technology and a commitment to grow our employees. The success and longevity of our company is directly related to our ability to adapt, transforming our brand to offer new, innovative solutions for our customers.

Rogan first opened its doors in 1934, offering a calligraphy service. It was not long after inception that the Rogan Brothers Company saw its first transformation. The initial transformation saw the Rogan Brothers expanding from being just a calligraphy company to being able to add decorating leather by hot stamping. Soon after that, another opportunity for the Rogan Corporation arose. This time a customer had asked the Rogan brothers if they could use their hot stamp technology to decorate an appliance knob. This marked the start of a natural progressive path of continuous growth that has led us to where we are today – molding plastic knobs and other hand hardware. The evolution process continued in 1946 when the Rogan Brothers purchased their first three compression molding machines. These machines were used to compression mold knobs using phenolic materials. The initial focus of these machines was to make appliance knobs for stoves and irons. As the company grew, it continued to introduce new knob designs to satisfy the marketplace.

In 1967, 21 years later, Rogan expanded into thermoplastic injection molding. Introducing injection molding to our capabilities provided an increase in capacity and efficiency while giving us the ability to make more complex knob designs, reduce waste and be more flexible with alternate materials for different applications. After investing in the equipment and tooling required for this processing, Rogan introduced the RB-67 series control knobs, designed to fulfill the needs of the growing electronics industry. The “67 Series” incorporated insert-injection molding using rotating mold base tables and interchangeable mold components. Having the ability to interchange mold components allowed us to be flexible in customizing our knobs to suit our customers. The ability to customize this knob series made the RB-67 line the most popular control knob ever.

During the next twenty years of Rogan’s history, there were even more changes within the company. From enduring recessions to moving into a new manufacturing location, Rogan was as active in growing and innovating as ever. During the late 1970s, Rogan continued to expand the product line by introducing a new line of proprietary threaded hand fasteners – the Delta Series. This fastener line received numerous design awards, and its success led to the continued development of more new products and product lines.

Moving through the 1980s, the company became a pioneer in automatic two-material molding, as Rogan Corporation was the first knob manufacturer to incorporate this process into making a knob. The addition of two-shot injection molding capabilities paved the way for the introduction of the Pure Touch Series of control knobs. These knobs featured a rubber thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) overmolded onto polypropylene. The addition of the TPE gave our control knobs and clamping knobs a superior feel and grip for use by the consumer.

Rogan took another innovative step in 1989 to generate quality standards. Rogan’s engineering team and quality groups created mechanical and material standards for all its plastic knob and fastener product lines. These specifications were then widely adopted by the fastener industry’s suppliers and customers, with many of these standards still in place today.

The 1990s were highlighted by a busy 1993 when Rogan embraced another new molding technology – gas-assist injection molding. This method of molding allows for thick-walled parts to be molded by injecting nitrogen gas into the center of the part. The addition of the nitrogen gas allows for better quality parts and faster molding times. Using this process, Rogan produced its first gas-assist product named “My Cubby”. This product was sold in several big-box retail department stores such as Walmart. The success of this product was highlighted in Inc. Magazine. The magazine recognized the Rogan Corporation for this program and acknowledged the product’s huge success.

In the early part of this century, Rogan saw another opportunity to be a trailblazer. This time it was injection molding with liquid silicone rubber (LSR). Having this technology allowed us to mold silicone rubber parts. Additionally, the technology could be used to overmold (bond) LSR to metal or plastic. LSR increased Rogan’s versatility and potential ability to supply parts for many different applications. We were able to enter new markets in industrial, medical and consumer product applications. To continue innovation in LSR, Rogan invested in several liquid silicone rubber injection molding machines, and at one point, Rogan’s facilities included a small class 10,000 clean room for molding medical applications. In November of 2018, after a change in the business landscape, Rogan decided to move on from offering this capability. Divesting allowed us to refocus on the services that our reputation was built on – delivering high-quality, custom knobs and hand hardware. 

Employee Adaptability – A Key Trait for Rogan Corporation

All our innovations would not be possible without the dedicated people that make up our business. Rogan employees are taught how to successfully provide adaptable customer service, which continues to be a key differentiator for our company. Each of our customers strives to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, and with Rogan’s experienced and talented staff, we are here to help our customers achieve those goals.

Beyond our long history of supplying the industry with innovative products, we are most proud of all of the employees that have made tremendous contributions throughout Rogan’s history. Without their dedication and eagerness to continuously learn and develop, Rogan would not be where we are today. From helping us to expand into new markets to having an eagerness to learn new capabilities, our employees are the driving force behind Rogan’s ability to be successful, helping to move America through the parts that we manufacture.

Important Transformations – The Defining Milestones of Rogan Corp. 

Similar to the growing nature of our employees, Rogan Corporation’s history is full of noteworthy transformations. These transformations highlight milestones, such as adding a new capability, that impacted the way we serve our customers. Some of these transformations came out of necessity due to the demand to adapt to the current climate of the industry, while others came about from the right opportunities presenting themselves.

Of all of our transformations and changes in the industry, one of the defining moments in our company’s history came in 1972, where we moved into our current 42,000 square foot facility in Northbrook, Ill. With the ability to tailor our new facility to specific needs, Rogan has been able to expand rapidly. This flexibility allows us to adjust the space and machinery as necessary, helping us produce our parts in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

Rogan Corporation Today

From our company’s start in a 200 square foot loft to our current state-of-the-art facility, we have seen many changes. Through the years, Rogan has seen its share of setbacks. From difficult times in 2000 and 2008, or the current challenges we all face now during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not a stranger to having to make difficult decisions to adapt to keep operations working.

The silver lining of setbacks is the opportunity to grow. We learned that we needed to be adaptable to the unique challenges of our customers. Sparing no expense for our products, Rogan has been able to provide knobs that are customizable to every customer’s requirement.

Similar to creating customized solutions, the current climate of the manufacturing industry will challenge us to find and create a new path. Thanks to our devoted staff, and loyal customers that continue to choose us to provide them with knobs for their finished products, Rogan continues to move America, maintaining our status as an industry leader.

As we continue to strive for success, there are a few things we know to be true. Rogan will continue to provide unrivaled manufacturing of build-to-order knobs and hand hardware; we will continue to provide sensational customer service, and we will always continue to innovate, evolving the company through another transformation.

In our many years in business, we have created hundreds of knob designs and have revolutionized the fastener and hand-hardware industry. Our knobs can be found on so many products in industries such as medical (ventilators/respirators and IV stands), electronics (synthesizers and keyboards), transportation (cars and buses) and recreational (camera tripods and outboard motors), just to name a few. Come see how Rogan can help transform your product by adding one of ours!

Ready to learn more about how Rogan Corporation Moves America? Contact us today!

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