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 Business > Manufacturing

 
611 Beacon Street | Loves Park, IL 61111 | www.rockfordacromatic.com
 
   
 

The name Rockford Acromatic Products may not immediately ring a bell with most local residents. But to anyone with a recreational or front wheel drive vehicle, Rockford Acromatic’s various brands such as RCV Performance & Motor Master Powersports are well-known as the go-to suppliers for aftermarket axles and other various driveline components.

“Many of our customers are located in the West, the South, Canada, and Mexico,” says Jim Olson, President of Rockford Acromatic. “We had a visitor spontaneously stop in after he saw our logo on one of the trucks in the parking lot to tell us how excited he was to see us as our brand was famous down in Mexico where he was from. So although the local community may not be very familiar with us, the people who use our products certainly are.”

“Our Acromatic facility at our Beacon Street location does most of the manufacturing for our brand lines as well as contract manufacturing for other automotive companies,” explains Dean Olson, Operations Manager at Rockford Acromatic. “Our brands sell to a much wider audience, since they target the retail consumer market with customized high-performance driveline and universal joint components. We’ve created strong brand recognition from the quality of products we manufacture such as axles shafts, CV joints, and universal joints. All of our products are custom designed and manufactured here in the U. S., but are distributed world-wide. We often get orders from local residents who have no idea that our products are actually produced right here in the area.”

Rockford Acromatic was founded in 1948 by Rockford resident Dean A. Olson SR. After graduating from the University of Illinois and serving in the Pacific Theater during World War II, Olson came home and went to work for the Barber-Coleman Company until he saw an opportunity to acquire a small silver-plating company (which he named after a particular manufacturing process called acro-plating). He expanded the company into the automotive aftermarket business and achieved enough success to diversify into aviation power components with the acquisition of the Aircraft Gear Corporation in Chicago.

Today, Olson’s sons and grandsons continue to operate Rockford Acromatic out of two locations in Loves Park and Rockford. Its divisions include:

• Rockford Acromatic – Contract design and manufacturing of rear, front, and four wheel drive components such as axles, shafts, rebuild kits, and universal joints for the automotive, truck, and specialty vehicle markets.

• RCV Performance – Retail line of CV (constant velocity) axles and other high-performance driveline components for the automotive, truck, Powersports and bus industries. This division particularly specializes in patented CV axle conversions and replacement IFS (independent front suspension) axles for off-road vehicles.

• Motor Master Power Sports -- CV driveline components and universal joints for the ATV (all-terrain vehicle), UTV (utility task vehicle), work utility, and Japanese mini-truck markets.

• Rockford Drive Line – driveline components for OEM (original equipment manufacturer) suppliers, the automotive aftermarket, and Department of Defense agencies.

Although Rockford Acromatic’s primary niche is the automotive market, its products are also used in such varied industries as agriculture, mining, construction, and recreation.

Rockford Acromatic credits its success to its proprietary designs and production methods and can produce products to both its clients’ and its own specifications.

“Many times, consumers will have a fully modified vehicle that they need customized driveline solutions for,” says Jim Olson. “For example, if you have an off-road vehicle with the passenger area raised up a foot and a half, the axle shafts have to be stronger and need to accommodate that increased angle. We have a staff of in-house engineers who develop our proprietary products and our unique, patented designs to provide those solutions.”

“We also have superior service representatives who work closely with our customers to get their feedback,” adds Dean Olson. “We have the capability to design & manufacture one-off components or prototypes in just a few days. Our customers are willing to spend a little more for the kind of quality and turn-around that comes from having all of your manufacturing processes under one roof.”

Many of Rockford Acromatic’s employees are long-term veterans with 20 years or more of service.

“Our employee retention is another key to our success,” says Dean. “They’re really committed to the company and take a lot of pride in their craftsmanship. We wouldn’t have the success we do without them.”