Rakar Inc. – Since 1951!
When he moved to Los Angeles 65 years ago, Ray LaPorte had no intention of becoming one of the leading molders of electrical connector insulators for the military. All La Porte really had in mind when he moved his family west from Rhode Island back in 1951 was to be his own boss. Thus, with a $22,000 machinery investment, he set up shop with partner Karl Bischoff, whom he had met while working as a machinist at a jewelry manufacturer in Providence. From this partnership, RAKAR was born.
The fledging company’s first job was to produce a potentiometer transfer mold for the electronics industry for Gaylord Plastics, Inc. a local firm located next door to the 400 sq. ft. Rakar Office. “We didn’t have any jobs, so they didn’t have to wait for us.”
Back in the early days Rakar would take on just about any assignment & there were some bizarre ones including a molding machine for a cup & vacuum pump device to enlarge women’s breast tissue. Eventually, however, word of Rakar’s reputation spread and partners Ray & Karl were able to be more selective over the clients and molding projects they took on.
According to LaPorte, the electronics companies were up & coming and they were the ones paying their bills so that is where Rakar maintained their focus. Their work paid off in the early 1950’s when a steady customer introduced Rakar to Reynolds Industries Inc., of Santa Monica, molder of electrical connector insulators. Reynolds in turn, was working for Sandia Corp of New Mexico, the firm who designed the Atomic Bomb.
In 1954, Rakar began making molding machines for Reynolds & soon after were approached by Sandia to make transfer molds directly as well as products with the newly developed resin, diallyl phthalate. Soon, Rakar found itself in the middle of the atomic age, making custom molds for such firms as Bendix Corp, Amphenol Aerospace (formerly Matrix Science Corp), Cooper Interconnect (formerly G&H Technology), General Dynamics Corp, and Lockheed Martin. Rakar become intimately involved in the space program, making connector insulators for the early capsules.
By 1985, Ray LaPorte had decided to retire and sell the business to his son-in-law, Walter Pittman who had been working with the company for over 20 years. Walter started as the production manager & moved his was up the company ladder till he was elected President in 1983. Ray’s other two son-in-laws also worked at Rakar as the company’s Vice President & Operation Manager. In 1986 Walter & the new Rakar management team decided to move the company & it’s over 100 employees to a new 30,000 sq. ft. facility in Oxnard, California, where they still remain housed today!
Rakar continues as a family owned & operated business with Walter’s son Daniel Pittman, functioning as the companies Vice President & Operation Manager. Daniel has been at Rakar since 1994. In the past 22 years, Daniel has worked in every department of the company. While working full-time, Daniel completed his MBA in 2006.
In March 2016, Rakar, Inc. achieved ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System certification. This certification is an important milestone for Rakar, Inc., as it demonstrates our continued commitment to quality and process improvement. As part of the certification process, Rakar, Inc. was audited by IAPMO R&T and awarded their certificate.
ISO 9001:2008 is focused on meeting customer expectations and delivering customer satisfaction. ISO 9001:2008 outlines the requirements an organization must maintain in their Quality Management System for certification. “ISO 9001 Certified” means an organization has met the requirements in ISO 9001.