The Six Hour Part - “The Rockwell Razor Story”
When the savvy pair of 20-something-year-old engineering students behind Rockwell Razors start-up set out to launch a $12,000 kick-starter campaign for their signature Rockwell 6S safety razor, neither one expected to raise nearly $150,000. When these same co-founders partnered with Thuro Metal Products to design and manufacture the handle for this classic but innovative razor, neither one expected to receive a flawless prototype of the finished product within six hours . In both cases, that’s exactly what happened…and thus, the historic Rockwell Razor story was born.
“The Razor That Adjusts To Any and Every Man”
The Rockwell 6S is a re-engineered safety razor, aspiring to be the best razor in the world. Manufactured with stainless steel, it’s durable, hefty and far more precise than anything to be found on the shelf at CVS. Best of all, the Rockwell 6S was engineered to survive the wear and tear of everyday use, saving men more than $500 per year on replacement razor cartridges.
Innovation is at the heart of the Rockwell 6S, but in order to build something innovative, the co-founders needed an innovative manufacturing process. That’s when the dynamic duo discovered the expert engineers and World Class facilities of Thuro Metal Products.
Rockwell Razor partnered with Thuro to design and manufacture the handle for the Rockwell Razor 6s model.
The story – which began in late 2014 – unfolded just like any other business collaboration. Morgan Nordstrom, co-founder of Rockwell Razors, undertook the task of developing a U.S.-based supply chain and he needed a partner to produce the critical razor handle. After speaking with David Thuro, a plant visit was scheduled. The evening prior to Morgan’s visit, David visited a local shave store to gain a better understanding of the hardware presently available. David stated, “After speaking to Morgan and seeing the kick-starter campaign, I saw that Thuro had the opportunity to collaborate in the development and production of the world’s greatest shaving utensil.” On October 9th, 2014 Morgan visited Thuro’s State-of-the-art facilities for a plant tour and a sit down.
At the close of the design meeting at 11 A.M., with the goal in mind of launching the product by Christmas, the million-dollar-question was asked: “Can you produce the 1st prototype today?” To Rockwell’s surprise, the answer was, “Yes!” What unfolded next was a symphony of precision and collaboration.
Using AutoCAD software, the initial handle design was converted to a working blueprint with dimensions and tolerances. At this point, using MasterCam software which is a CAM package, the code for the Mazak multi-tasking CNC lathe was created. This software also allows for machine simulation which speeds the set up process by allowing the programmer to de-bug and optimize the program offline. While the design and programming was being finalized, a master tool maker was at work manufacturing a custom holder for the most critical area of the razor’s handle, the knurl, which needs to not only provide the right grip but is also the most aesthetically important part of the handle. Form and function must perfectly meld, and the right tool for the job is everything.
Testimonial email sent from Rockwell Razor Co-Founder, Morgan Nordstrom on working with Thuro.
At 2:00 P.M, Thuro’s team began cutting parts. Two hours later, they had the 1st part in hand!
The project had been launched at 11:30 A.M., and by 5 P.M. Morgan was holding the approved prototype. The part was manufactured complete in one operation, or “one and done” as we like to say.
Fast-forward 8 weeks, by which time, Thuro had completed the first 5,000 pieces.
As a result of Thuro’s extraordinary precision and machining technology, Rockwell Razors made its first shipment in early December – just in time for Christmas.
A Bright Future Together
The historic Rockwell Razor Story is only the beginning for Thuro and Rockwell. Today, the two are collaborating to launch an exciting new product, sure to gather a similar following in the crowd-funding community.
Want to check out the latest on the Thuro/Rockwell collaboration? Visit their YouTube page.