Rocklin Manufacturing Blog

Posted by Ross Rocklin in Rocklin Mfg on 8/3/2020

In 1990, our company’s founder, I.J. Rocklin, was featured in Nation’s Business Magazine in an article titled, “Persevere, But Be Flexible,” a message that is especially critical at this moment. In the article, he shared his experiences navigating the many challenges our young company overcame during The Great Depression, WWII, and the decades to follow.

I.J. discussed the origins of his signature invention, The Rocklinizer, where he said:

After the war, I kept my business moving ahead by designing my own parts and diversifying my market. With growth, however, a new problem developed, and my solution became the core of our family business today. I needed total output of all machines all the time, but I was running into much downtime because cutting tools often needed regrinding. I searched for a way to get more out of the tools before they had to undergo the time-consuming steps of regrinding, set-up, and inspection.

I designed a unit and a process to increase the productivity and reduce the costs of high-speed cutting tools, dies, drills, and other manufacturing machinery subject to wear. The unit melts infinitesimal particles of a tool’s metal surface and electronically infuses wear-resistant tungsten carbide into the surface to increase the tool’s useful life. I proudly put my name on the unit – the Rocklinizer – and the process, known as “Rocklinizing.”

In 1992, second-generation owner Jim Rocklin was interviewed by our local newspaper, The Sioux City Journal. Jim expanded on I.J.’s article two years prior where he said, “For far too long, we have had a throwaway mentality in this country, not only in our daily lives, but also in the manufacturing arena.” Jim said he was proud that the Rocklinizer extends use and reuse of perishable tools, dies, and metal-wear surfaces.

Our company continues to advance the words and mission of I.J. and Jim, including several subsequent evolutions of The Rocklinizer. We remain deeply focused on helping customers glean maximum productivity and life out of their existing resources, a goal that is perhaps more essential now than ever before. We are passionate about delivering cost savings our customers never thought possible in both good times and bad.

I.J. Rocklin closed his article with the following, which guides how we operate 30 years later and is displayed on a plaque outside our conference room:

In my business life, I’ve learned that flexibility and the willingness to stick to a task that you believe in are the most important characteristics of an entrepreneur. If you love what you do, believe in it, and strive for excellence, who can stand in your way?


Tags: i.j. rocklin , nation's business magazine , wwii , world war ii , the great depression , jim rocklin , productivity , product life , tool life , perishable tools

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