Article covered in MoldMaking Technology Magazine-October, 2011 issue
Rodon takes a solid relationship with toy giant K’NEX and applies its business model to other manufacturers—taking domestic manufacturing to the next level.
The Rodon Group (Hatfield, PA)—a mold manufacturer/molder serving a diverse number of industries like consumer products, medical, construction, pharmaceutical and toys—also is the manufacturer of more than 30 billion parts for the K’NEX building toy system (and is a subsidiary of K’NEX Brands, L.P.). Since its inception, The Rodon Group has attributed its success to a niche of close-tolerance, high-volume parts; and consequently seeking out work from other OEMs that fit into this “model” that Rodon has built with K’NEX.
Building a Business Model
According to Lowell Allen, Rodon’s Senior VP of Manufacturing, Rodon’s beginnings were in the 1940s as ELGO Rubber. The owner of the company, Irv Glickman, realized making rubber was a laborious process so Glickman switched its specialty to thermoplastics as working with this material started gaining popularity in the U.S. In 1956, ELGO purchased a building in Southampton, PA and The Rodon Group was born with four injection molding machines. “Since then, Rodon has grown, to 106 molding machines with servo robots on more than a third of them,” Allen says.
In 1991, the idea for K’NEX came about when Irv’s son Joel had designed and built some toy parts. “Fortunately for Joel he had a nice injection molding company at his disposal,” Allen notes. “K’NEX has grown into a dynamic toy company— and the only toy company making toys on a mass scale in America. Rodon does all of the mold and part design in-house and runs the parts for them. They are a sister company. We are a custom molder/moldmaker first, but this is a perfect fit for us. High-volume, close-tolerance parts is our forte; and the K’NEX work was a nice addition to our standard business. We want to have as wide a base as we can to diversify and not have all of our eggs in one basket. We make over a billion parts a year for K’NEX and just as much for our other customers combined.”
Read the full article at http://www.moldmakingtechnology.com/articles/knexrodon-team-makes-strong-case-for-us-manufacturing