The year 1989 was a memorable one for Ron and Christine Bender. That's when they began their family and also gave birth to RJB Machining. Family support was vital as they opened for business in a 1,000 square foot space on Colby Drive. Ron's brother Ray was right there with them, bringing his 16 years experience as a creative machinist, ready for their first important design and production project; a specially designed frozen yogurt dispenser. From there the company quickly expanded as the demand for other unique components with strict requirements grew out of our local high tech cluster.
As the company grew, Ron and Christine committed to hiring hard working staff with positive attitudes and to creating a working environment that reflected their family values. That resulted in healthy teams who aligned with them and shared their passion for machining and their excitement for the future; a loyal, longstanding staff of 65 dedicated to perfection and to exploring opportunities for growth.
"There have been lots of challenges along the way", Ron smiles, "and that's what makes it interesting for all of us. Many clients have come to us with just an idea and most of their projects have been created here for the first time. We service several business sectors with a wide variety of products; from large machined and fabricated stainless steel parts for the water purification industry to small aluminum camera components. With our high quality finishing processes and our ability to machine to tight tolerances we continue to attract new business."
Just as it seemed that many companies were shifting to offshore manufacturing in order to remain competitive, RJB Machining actually grew as they committed to staying right here in Waterloo. A careful analysis of their strengths bolstered their determination to stay the course and build on their good reputation. Their hands-on approach, the ability to work with clients to design just about anything, their dedication to precision, and the ability to deliver on time, placed RJB in a unique position to attract clients who sought quality and dependability.
One significant shift for RJB was the addition of a complete new process. "With time we learned that our best chance of success was to ensure we controlled all stages of a client project, from initial design through fine tuning, manufacturing, anodizing, testing, quality control and shipping", Ron explains. "Anodizing in particular was a big step for us that rounded out our processes, ensuring we no longer depended on other manufacturers at the finishing stage. With total control we felt confident in our ability to provide the perfect product."
Creating KW Anodizing from the ground up was an exciting project for Ron as it provided the opportunity to build a modern, clean, leading-edge facility with air purification and full water purification systems; a new model for the industry.
As they built their companies, Christine and Ron were also conscious of community needs, committing support to a wide variety of causes such as Kidslink, Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank and the UW solar car, Midnight Sun.
The challenges continue at RJB. Ron has always been thrilled by the intrigue of unusual projects that stretch everyone in new directions. As you read this article, Ron is out there proudly telling the RJB Machining story; connecting on current projects and gathering new orders from future clients who heard the word about the excellence that happens here.