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A History of Innovation

The year was 1959 when Dick Nordlof, an enterprising partner of Mechanical Tool and Engineering Company, located in Rockford, Illinois, pioneered and innovated the first self-contained air feed designed to drastically improve the metal stamping process. It was a device destined to forever change press room operations.

Mechanical Tool and Engineering was in the business of making tools and dies and producing precision stampings from some of the first, very complex and progressive dies in the country. It soon became evident to Nordlof, an MIT graduate engineer, that the dies couldn’t be used to their fullest capability, because there were no precision feeding devices on the market. And thus, with the introduction of a new air feed device, and Dick’s brother Ron Nordlof in charge of manufacturing, Rapid-Air was born.

Success of Rapid-Air Feed Encourages Launch of Product Line

The Rapid-Air Feed, a timeless design as appropriate today as it was in 1959, solved the problem of feeding coil metal stock into the press so well, and increased production so substantially, that the engineers at Rapid-Air were encouraged to put their ingenuity and experience to work to develop an entire line of superior coil feeding and handling equipment. These innovations were all designed, battle tested and proven for Rapid-Air’s own stamping applications before they were allowed to be brought to market. Soon, Rapid-Air was regarded as the no-nonsense source of equipment designed by stamping professionals for stamping professionals.