The genesis of RLR Industries, Inc. is an interesting one, and our product breadth and capabilities have evolved over the history of the company.
Our Founder, Daniel Lewis graduated in 1949 from the City College of New York with a B.S. in Chemistry, with Post Graduate work at New York University in Management and Polymer Chemistry at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. Afterwards, Daniel took several varied positions in the chemical industry and in space propulsion systems.
As a career change, Daniel got involved with plant management of several custom vacuum forming companies in the New York metropolitan area. At one point he was a Vice President of Tiger Plastics, a custom former, and at the same time he was a sales engineer with KSH plastics, working with lighting specifiers in New York, and later on in other cities on the east coast of the United States.
In 1956, Sol Robinson, Daniel Lewis and Irvin Rubin incorporated Robinson, Lewis and Rubin “RLR” in New York City. Our first plant consisted of two separate plants in lower Manhattan’s Chinatown district, and we would have to transport sheets back and forth on the sidewalk from our stock to our forming and fabrication areas.
Some of our original marketing material
As our business grew, the company moved to a location in Brooklyn, NY, in 1962 to an 18,000 square foot plant. RLR installed its first rotary thermoformer along with several single station machines and various fabrication equipment. Unfortunately, in 1975 a fire destroyed the whole building, and we had to rebuild the business from the ground up.
At this time, both Robinson and Rubin were bought out of the company, and the firm became wholly owned by Daniel Lewis and his Family.
In 1976, RLR moved to a 25,000 square foot facility in Farmingdale, NY. We acquired new equipment after our fire losses and regained our customer base. RLR also purchased its first 3 axis CNC plastic fabricating machine when we opened up in the Farmingdale facility. In 1983, we leased an adjacent building of 20,000 square feet and installed our first sheet extruder and two injection molding machines. Soon after we introduced our Molded Drum, Puff, Square Cloud and Classic Vandal line of injection molded products to the lighting OEM marketplace.
In the early 1990’s management decided to investigate construction of a larger facility where we could integrate all of our processes under one roof. At this time we also reviewed our general business costs and the Lewis family decided to move the business to Mableton, Georgia (metro Atlanta area). In 1996 our 100,000 square foot plant opened for business and we haven’t stopped since, thanks to you, our customers! The decade of the 1990’s saw the introduction of our Shallow Square and Shallow Saucer series of products, our End Cap Bath Bar product innovation, and many other product additions to the RLR line.
In 2003 we purchased our second sheet extruder and additional thermoforming and laser cutting equipment to support our customer’s requirements. RLR also introduced the Apex Architectural series of outdoor components at Lightfair in 2005, with more exciting product developments to come!
The Lewis Family thanks you for reading the RLR story, and always, thanks for the business and the opportunity to work with you!