Excelsior Inc. is celebrating 100 years of making custom synthetic parts such as gaskets, washers, seals, insulators, shims, spacers and shipping covers in Rockford IL.
Did you know that federal regulations dictate any business that uses, stores or transports flammable liquids is required to use OSHA approved safety cans? These fluid containers are critical to safety for most industrial and transportation businesses across the globe.
Excelsior is responsible for making the gaskets on those cans so the flammable liquid and vapors are safely contained inside. That’s just one of the little-known innovations that has kept us in business and growing over the last 100 years.
Excelsior, Inc., fabricates custom precision parts from synthetic materials for many industries including aerospace, automotive, construction and hardware. Excelsior operates out of a 30,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility and produces custom precision parts such as gaskets, washers, seals, insulators, shims, spacers and shipping covers.
“Forty-percent of our business supports the aerospace industry including making gaskets that prevent electromagnetic interference on airplanes that can cause control and equipment failure,” said Excelsior President Mike Abrahams.
“Our products are also incorporated into many products used in everyday life,” Abrahams continued. “These include faucets, door handles, thermostats, electric motors, hand tools, pumps and paint sprayers. We even make products that go on automotive crash dummies.”
Throughout its history, the company has done well to keep pace with product innovation and technological change. As old products are phased out, Excelsior is chosen by repeat customers to create custom synthetic components for new products.
J. Al Johnson founded the Excelsior Leather Washer Manufacturing Company in 1916 on Green Street in Rockford. The company specialized in the production of leather washers and gaskets. Johnson quickly expanded the business after purchasing the competing Rockford Leather Washer Company on Chestnut Street and moving Excelsior’s facility there.
Johnson retired in 1935 and sold the company to one of his employees, Cecil Dulcon. Dulcon led Excelsior for more than thirty years before he passed away in 1966, leaving the business to his son, Warren, who also worked for the company. Warren saw his father’s company progress tremendously during his tenure, particularly in the 60’s and 70’s when synthetic materials such as rubber, plastic, foam and felt began to gain favor over leather with manufacturing companies.
As a result, the Excelsior Leather Washer Manufacturing Company changed its name in 1976 to its current name of Excelsior, Inc. The company no longer uses leather in any manufacturing process, instead fabricating gaskets from hundreds of synthetic, non-metallic materials.
Dulcon retired from the company in 1994 and served as Chariman of the Board until his passing in 1997. Kurt D. Johnson, an Excelsior employee since 1970, took over as President after purchasing the business from Dulcon in 1995, just after his retirement. Johnson eventually sold the company in 2012 to Mike Abrahams, who currently oversees all operations at Excelsior.
Abrahams has worked to instill a culture of continuous and steady improvement within the company. The company moved to its current home on 27th Avenue in 2014 which allowed Excelsior to further develop and increase its capabilities. The new, modern facility features a streamlined layout of its production equipment to improve production flow, manufacturing efficiency and overall performance.
With its advanced facility and a team of skilled, dedicated employees, Excelsior has the capacity to grow in customer size and volume requirements while continuing to improve on time delivery service levels to the best in its class. Excelsior has been able to combine the sophistication required to serve large, multinational corporations while providing a level of personal service to meet the demands of companies of all sizes.
Backed by a history rooted in the local community, Excelsior looks forward to working with businesses in Rockford and beyond for years to come.
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Excelsior Inc. is a manufacturer of custom gaskets, washers, seals, insulators, packings, shims, protective covers and other precision parts from both synthetic materials and thin gauge metals. Excelsior is AS9100C; ISO9001:2008 registered and provides materials for domestic and international markets in Aerospace, Electronics, Food Processing, Medical Devises, Compressors, Fluid Handling, Filtration, Plumbing, Hardware and more. For more information, visit www.excelsiorinc.com.