RCP, better known as Rubbermaid Commercial Products, has been designing and manufacturing the most effective and durable janitorial and sanitation products since 1968. From trash containers to a mop bucket that reduces splashing, durability and productivity have worked as key ingredients in the innovation behind the products designed. We're heading to Rubbermaid's headquarters in Huntersville North Carolina to meet the team behind the world's toughest cleaning products.
"When I think about quality I think about it from our consumer's perspective, and when you just see the name Rubbermaid, what initially pops in their mind is the word durability."
"We have a storied history of innovative product design. In 1974, our CP came up with the first resin mop bucket. At that time, the advantages of that over the traditional metal bucket were that it's a lot lighter, and it's a lot more maneuverable when you push it across the floor. So we put a lot of time up front in simulating how we're going to ensure the product quality before the design is even finished, so we do it in our computer-aided design simulation tools. We're also taking our product, go evaluate it in the test lab, make sure it meets all the standards, and then we get approval by quality to go into production."
So what is it about this innovative designs that keeps RCP at the top of the industry?
"We're always trying to find ways to test our extreme durability. So recently my team came up with this crazy idea to drop a 4000 pound car on top of a Brute container, just to see how indestructible it actually is. And of course there was some crushing, but no denting, and literally just popped it back into its original shape."
Now that we've had a taste of the imagination behind these superhero products, it's time to see what they're made of. Welcome to Winchester Virginia, the original birthplace of Rubbermaid Commercial Products, home to RCP's manufacturing and distribution, along with several other locations spread all over the US, totaling a whopping 3.9 million square feet of manufacturing space.
"So in this facility we've broken it down into several different product families. Two product families that I'm really excited about are the Brute and the WaveBrake. The Brute, we make several different sized containers; these are cans that you probably have at your house or your neighbor has at their house that they put their garbage in, so let's go have some fun and let's go take a look at the process in person. Right now we're going to meet Bill Cherrier. Bill is my engineering manager for this facility. He's going to take you through the rest of the process on how the Brute is manufactured here at the facility. Bill, she's all yours."
"Alright, thank you very much. Welcome to the Brute cell. Let's go take a look at the injection process and see how the Brutes are made. So each year we go through about a 130 million pounds of resin. It's delivered here by rail car, pumped into outside silos, and a pumping system conveys it to the machines, like the ones behind me. So an injection machine has two halves: an injection half that has the screw and barrel; resin comes in in a pelletized form, it goes in, it gets pushed forward through the screw that's inside the barrel, it melts, and on this machine, there's a mold in the clamp half that has two halves. It fills that void between the two - that's the shape of a 44 gallon Brute - it cools, and when it's ready and solid, it opens up here; one comes out every 49 seconds or so."
"For our 50th anniversary we actually held a contest to find the oldest Brute that's still out there in the field in use. Within two weeks we had hundreds of entries and we actually found the winner, and it was somebody that had had the Brute container that's still in use from 1968, so 49 years and still going strong."
"It is amazing that we sell 2.8 million of these a year because they are virtually indestructible. They go through a variety of testing, taken to the extremes of environment. And we test it literally by freezing these things at -20 degrees Fahrenheit and dropping them from a height of 6 feet one hundred times. We also lift them 5000 times by the handles with a weight full of water, and we put weight inside of them and we drag them on a piece of sandpaper for 10 miles or so just to show that they don't wear out as you drag it to the end of your driveway each morning. So here we are at our distribution facility in Winchester and behind me you see bustling activity, shipping millions of dollars of products each day to customers around the world. You name it, you can find our products in airports, hotels, and your kitchen as well."
"I was in a hotel recently, and saw a 95 pound housekeeper, and she had a Rubbermaid Commercial Products hospitality cart, and it really hit me that what we're doing can make a difference. On a daily basis she's pushing over 350 pounds of supplies, 7-8 hours a day, and I think about the improvements that we've made to that cart, you know, even in the last two years, and to us, if we've done that right, we've done our job."
"We really want to make the users of our products lives easier and safer, from mop buckets that you'll see in a school cafeteria to cleaning carts that you'll see in a hotel, to Brute trash cans that you'll see on a construction site, and so when we build products, and we innovate, and we think about those products and how they're going to be used, we design that into our products."
"We're also very proud of the fact that we're making so much of this product here in the United States which provides to the local economy and also to the economy throughout the United States."
Looking to keep your commercial space clean with a variety of innovative, durable products? Head over to rubbermaidcommercial.com.
Check out the video for an in-depth overview of the manufacturing of Rubbermaid Commercial Products. Meet team members, see how Brute cans are built, tested, and distributed, and discover the motivation and mission behind RCP's innovative designs.