History of the Rhinehart Companies
Since 1945, Rhinehart has been making top quality products for its customers all around the world. John R. Rhinehart started this company in Fort Wayne, Indiana by creating Calf-Teria Inc. to manufacture his patented calf-feeder pail for farmers all around the country. This pail became popular among farmers and its success led to an expanded line of products now included in the Rhinehart line. Some of these products include dehorners, pig and lamb nipples, cow magnets, pipettes, hog troughs, the California and Wisconsin Mastitis Test and many other small farm related items. The business was soon so successful that John had to move from Fort Wayne in order to expand. He needed land to implement his dreams for the company. In 1956, he bought land just north of Fort Wayne in Spencerville, Indiana. This location was just adjacent to the Norfolk Southern Railroad line and was a convenient location for both farmers and distributors in the surrounding areas.
John R. Rhinehart decided a name change was in order so that all his products could be encompassed under one entity. He chose Rhinehart Development Corporation. His son, Philip R. Rhinehart soon joined the company and they continued to expand their influence in the small farm and agricultural related market across the country. Philip brought a fresh set of eyes to the company and with John's help they developed new products and services for the growing company.
In 1980 there was a fire that destroyed much of the company's manufacturing facility in Spencerville. As it was a wooden building, there was nothing left salvageable. John and Philip struggled to maintain the influence and extent of the farm-related fabricating but it took months to rebuild. All their files and documents were lost in the ashes but the Rhinehart's decided to let this fire take Rhinehart Development into a different direction altogether.
In nine months Rhinehart Development Corporation had a new 30,000 square foot building and had expanded their offerings from farm related fabrication to include the commercial building industry. This move proved brilliant as sales steadily increased and their name became associated with high quality fabrication and metal stamping. In 1986, Rhinehart began making parts and components for many government prime contractors that further solidified their niche in the marketplace.
With the passing of the late John R. Rhinehart in 1999, Philip took the reins of the company in hand. Many items manufactured at Rhinehart Development required metal finishing to yield the final product. A majority of their products fabricated were being outsourced to other locations where powder and liquid coating operations could take place. The increasing costs of freight and labor proved to be an unreasonable expense to the business. In order to maintain a competitive company, Philip envisioned a sister company to Rhinehart Development that would specialize in metal finishing.
With the help of Don McDaniel, Philip took the leap into the metal finishing industry in 2000. This company was named Rhinehart Finishing, LLC and offered the coating services to customers that Development had previously outsourced. A 48,000 square foot building was built right next door to Rhinehart Development Corporation.
With 48,000 square feet of production space, Rhinehart Finishing, LLC was able to build a state-of-the-art facility that was designed to deliver customers the highest quality finish in the nation. They quickly became leaders at phosphating, powder coating, liquid spray paint operations and custom masking. This facility was unique to the industry because of its phosphating pretreatment that was immediately followed with powder or liquid coating on a computerized conveyor system. This technology opened up new markets for Rhinehart Finishing that included military, automotive, and commercial.
On August 12, 2002, less than a year after opening, they passed another milestone in the development of the company. Rhinehart Finishing management worked diligently with the U.S. Department of the Army to be awarded the Tank Automotive & Armaments Command (TACOM) certification and surpassed 120 cycles of the GM 9540 test-three times the requirements for the certificate. This signified that the companies zinc phosphate procedure met the TACOM "Performance Standard for Combat Grade Powder Coat Paint" and had already surpassed the required specifications for meeting the five-year, real-time performance requirement that is specified in scores of TACOM contracts (40 cycles of GM 9540P, Enhanced CARC). This enabled the newly formed company to prove that they had the best metal finishing business in the nation.
As their reputation grew and business became increasingly busy, Philip R. Rhinehart saw the need for an expansion of the Rhinehart Finishing facility. The current 48,000 square feet of production space was not enough to handle all the business from around the country. In the winter of 2005, Rhinehart Finishing began its expansion into a 20,000 square foot building that sat just behind the current building in Spencerville. This was equipped with a new advanced conveyorized paint system that utilizes four paint application booths and a large conventional oven to ensure the highest quality in the most efficient manner for customers.
Rhinehart Development Corporation and its sister company, Rhinehart Finishing, LLC are established companies and proud of their history together. Each facility is focused on the values John R. Rhinehart instilled: honesty, integrity and hard work. This legacy continues with his son, Philip R. Rhinehart. It is John and Philip's dedication to produce high quality parts that make Rhinehart a name synonymous with top quality products today. They are a competitive leader in both Metal Fabricating and Metal Finishing.
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