SANTA ANA, Calif. — R&B Wire Products, a manufacturer of laundry carts, is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, the company reports.
The self-service laundry industry was in its infancy when R-B Company started in 1946. World War II had ended, and the ingenuity of product design and development shifted from the war effort to practical products that improve the lives of everyday Americans. R&B set about filling the need for a handy cart to transport laundry from washers to dryers.
By 1966, Rea Rawlins was at the helm of R&B, while son Rick, a high schooler, worked weekends and summers welding and assembling laundry carts. These wire carts became the foundation for the company. Rea Rawlins ultimately became chairman of the Coin Laundry Association board in 1983, helping create greater industry value.
As R&B matured and Rick Rawlins graduated from college, the father and son became a dynamic team, the company says. Rick became R&B’s president and CEO in the late 1980s when Rea decided to retire. Later, Rick followed in his father’s shoes yet again by becoming CLA board chairman in 2001.
Today, R&B Wire Products serves the coin laundry, commercial laundry, healthcare, hospitality, janitorial supply and material-handling market sectors with a global company presence, says Rick Rawlins.
“Celebrating 70 years of ‘Manufacturing Excellence’ is overwhelming and hard to conceive,” he shares, “but it certainly is something I am very proud of. I look back with a real sense of pride and thanks to our R&B distributors who have been instrumental in the development of R&B over this time.”
He further attributed R&B’s longevity to its commitment to a “Satisfaction Guaranteed” philosophy.