Roccor, short for Roll Out Composite Corp, is an aerospace company based out of Longmont, Colorado. Founded in 2012 as an employee-owned organization, Roccor serves the small satellite market and specializes in thermal products, deorbit devices, solar arrays, and antennas. As satellite-related production has increased, Roccor has scaled rapidly to meet demand. In the past three years alone, they have grown from a team of 38 to over 100 employees, implemented a new ERP system, obtained AS 9100 certification and expanded their facility multiple times. In late 2020 Roccor was acquired by Redwire LLC, a venture-funded aerospace portfolio company, and have since gone public.
Chris Pearson, CEO of Roccor, first became acquainted with Manufacturer’s Edge, part of the MEP National Network™, through the Longmont Economic Development Partnership. The leadership team utilized the Manufacturer’s Edge Business Health Assessment to identify and prioritize areas for improvement. With the team rapidly expanding and evolving, Pearson recognized the importance of creating a foundation of shared culture, practices, and procedures that can serve to quickly unite people with varied backgrounds and levels of experience.
The 5S trainings really helped us evolve our game. What I was looking for was standard practices with consistent training that we could incorporate into our DNA. Everybody comes to the organization with practices and paradigms from their previous experiences, so it provided us with an opportunity to say, 'This is how we do it here.'
To facilitate this, Roccor contracted with Manufacturer’s Edge, part of the MEP National Network™, to deliver multiple 5S trainings, two rounds of GD&T trainings, strategy to action, lean metrics and visual management systems. Speaking to COO Heather Kuhar, the principles and practices adopted during the trainings that Manufacturer’s Edge provided have been essential to Roccor’s ability to respond to ever-changing demands.
Kuhar also credited the huddle boards adopted during the visual management training earlier this year with allowing the team to move from “old space” to “new space” production practices. “Inside aerospace, especially old space, it’s very common for design and development to design a huge national asset that’s very complex to build one development unit. Where we are sitting right now and as the industry evolves, we’re starting to see repeat production in the space world and it’s an interesting marriage of two worlds. You have the historically extremely low-quantity, high-integrity builds now meeting this need for relative high-volume production. So, consistency, repeatability all of those great practices that are very familiar in other manufacturing arenas are kind of novel still in aerospace. Daily management systems and huddle boards have been an important component of us being able to really address repeat manufacturing in a productive, reliable, efficient way."