- RADO is established by the Dornseif brothers in Radevormwald. Its aim is to produce small rubber rollers and to sell them to customers for fitting to roller skates. A ground-breaking idea, given that until now all roller skate wheels are made of steel.
- Production has now moved beyond rubber rollers. RADO has long been involved in other sectors too, including the aviation and automotive industries. By the early 1970s RADO is supplying the entire headlamp and lighting manufacturing market.
- During this period Dornseif sells RADO to an interest group in this sector. RADO's owner changes, and the new management restructures the company.
- RADO decides to stop buying in certain mixes in future and instead to manufacture them itself. In particular, it decides to start producing silicone rubber, a speciality product, in-house, both for its own requirements but also for other processors.
- So it opens a separate production building a few miles from its main site, dedicated exclusively to the production of these high-quality silicone (and fluorosilicone) mixes.
- A concept that has been hugely successful in the silicone sector can and should be extended to the other rubber types too (e.g. natural rubber, NBR rubber, chloroprene rubber, etc.). From now on, RADO as a general rule intends to stop buying in mixes and instead to manufacture them itself. A new mixing plant with state-of-the-art equipment is opened at the main site.
- RADO finalises its restructuring. The mouldings business (i.e. the vulcanising/production of finished rubber products), which until now operated in parallel to the long-established mixing business, is wound up completely. RADO is now exclusively a rubber compounder and is developing its new core skills in this area.
- A completely new kneading plant to produce another highly specialist type of mix is installed and brought into service. Fluorocarbon rubber compounds are added to RADO's portfolio, meaning that it now has three main divisions that will shape the company's future direction:
- One producing mixes based on fluorocarbon rubber
- One producing mixes based on silicone rubber
- One producing mixes based on all other types of rubber (around 20)
- The silicone factory relocates. From mid-1999 onwards it is located in close proximity to the main site – in brand-new premises.
- RADO establishes its subsidiary VRG in Viernheim. Viernheim Rubber GmbH provides additional capacity, either for general needs or – and sadly this possibility can never be ignored – as backup to avoid stoppages in the event of an emergency.
- Back to RADO itself: A dedicated Fluorine Competence Centre (FCC) is established – a separate production facility opened in 1999, just a few miles from the main site. Here RADO is able to develop its facilities for producing fluorocarbon rubber compounds. New equipment and the latest process controls ensure that performance is even better.
- The FCC is expanded and now offers even greater manufacturing capacity. All operations relating to the production of fluorocarbon mixes are now concentrated at this site. Thus – as with the silicone plant – a second specialist works has been established to produce a very specific type of mix.
- The ownership structure of RADO is consolidated. The former director, Mr Fred Ebers, becomes RADO's new principal owner. In keeping with the company policy that has developed over recent, successful years, he now takes full responsibility, in cooperation with an external financial partner, for the fate of RADO – in the interests of customers and employees.
- RADO celebrates its 50th anniversary and stays true to its motto: "Experience has a future".
A new, state-of-the-art process control system is installed at the FCC, controlling all production operations on a similar basis to the system in place at the main site.
Another IT milestone is achieved. The existing software is replaced by a completely new ERP system, providing even greater transparency and efficiency.
New test equipment is installed at the fluorocarbon plant. The existing rheometers and Mooney viscometers are replaced by new, high-tech instruments (rubber process analysers) for in-process testing of the rheological properties of the mixes produced at the FCC.
Our management system is enhanced by certification to ISO 50001.
Modernisation of the test equipment continues. The latest rubber process analysers are also installed in parts of the main site and R&D.