Rockwell International
Overview
 
Rockwell International was a major American manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

 conglomerate
Conglomerate (company)
A conglomerate is a combination of two or more corporations engaged in entirely different businesses that fall under one corporate structure , usually involving a parent company and several subsidiaries. Often, a conglomerate is a multi-industry company...

 in the latter half of the 20th century, involved in aircraft, the space industry, both defense-oriented and commercial electronics, automotive and truck components, printing presses, valves and meters, and industrial automation. It was the ultimate incarnation of a series of companies founded by Willard Rockwell
Willard Rockwell
Willard Frederick Rockwell, Sr. was a businessman who helped shape and name what eventually became the Rockwell International company....

. At its apex in the 1990s, Rockwell International was #27 on the Fortune 500
Fortune 500
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and...

 list, with assets of over $8 billion and sales of $27 billion.
Col.
Encyclopedia
Rockwell International was a major American manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

 conglomerate
Conglomerate (company)
A conglomerate is a combination of two or more corporations engaged in entirely different businesses that fall under one corporate structure , usually involving a parent company and several subsidiaries. Often, a conglomerate is a multi-industry company...

 in the latter half of the 20th century, involved in aircraft, the space industry, both defense-oriented and commercial electronics, automotive and truck components, printing presses, valves and meters, and industrial automation. It was the ultimate incarnation of a series of companies founded by Willard Rockwell
Willard Rockwell
Willard Frederick Rockwell, Sr. was a businessman who helped shape and name what eventually became the Rockwell International company....

. At its apex in the 1990s, Rockwell International was #27 on the Fortune 500
Fortune 500
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and...

 list, with assets of over $8 billion and sales of $27 billion.

Predecessor companies

Col. Willard F. Rockwell made his fortune with the invention and successful launch of a new bearing system for truck axle
Axle
An axle is a central shaft for a rotating wheel or gear. On wheeled vehicles, the axle may be fixed to the wheels, rotating with them, or fixed to its surroundings, with the wheels rotating around the axle. In the former case, bearings or bushings are provided at the mounting points where the axle...

s in 1919. He merged his Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
As of the census of 2000, there were 62,916 people, 24,082 households, and 13,654 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,662.2 people per square mile . There were 25,420 housing units at an average density of 1,075.6 per square mile...

-based operation with the Timken-Detroit Axle Company in 1928, rising to become chairman of its board in 1940.

Timken-Detroit merged in 1953 with the Standard Steel Spring Company, forming the Rockwell Spring and Axle Company. After various mergers with automotive suppliers, it comprised about 10-20 factories in the Upper Midwest
Upper Midwest
The Upper Midwest is a region in the northern portion of the U.S. Census Bureau's Midwestern United States. It is largely a sub-region of the midwest. Although there are no uniformly agreed-upon boundaries, the region is most commonly used to refer to the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and...

ern U.S. and southern Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, and in 1958 renamed itself Rockwell-Standard Corporation.

Pittsburgh-based Rockwell Standard then acquired and merged with Downey, California
Downey, California
Downey is a city located in southeast Los Angeles County, California, United States, southeast of downtown Los Angeles. The city is best known as the birthplace of the Apollo space program, and is the city where folk singer Karen Carpenter lived and died...

-based North American Aviation
North American Aviation
North American Aviation was a major US aerospace manufacturer, responsible for a number of historic aircraft, including the T-6 Texan trainer, the P-51 Mustang fighter, the B-25 Mitchell bomber, the F-86 Sabre jet fighter, the X-15 rocket plane, and the XB-70, as well as Apollo Command and Service...

 to form North American Rockwell in 1967. They then purchased or merged with Miehle-Goss-Dexter, the largest supplier of printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

es, and in 1973 acquired Collins Radio, a major avionics
Avionics
Avionics are electronic systems used on aircraft, artificial satellites and spacecraft.Avionic systems include communications, navigation, the display and management of multiple systems and the hundreds of systems that are fitted to aircraft to meet individual roles...

 supplier. Finally, in 1973 the company merged with Rockwell Manufacturing, run by Willard Rockwell Jr., to form Rockwell International. In the same year, the company acquired Admiral Radio and TV
Admiral (electrical appliances)
Admiral is an American appliance brand currently manufactured by Whirlpool Corporation. The brand is sold at The Home Depot.Ross Siragusa founded Continental Radio and Television Corp. as a maker of consumer electronics in Chicago during 1934. This later became Admiral Corp. Its annual sales were...

 for $500 million, selling the appliance division to Magic Chef
Magic Chef
Magic Chef, Inc. is an appliance brand owned by Whirlpool Corporation.In the 1850s, a immigrant to the United States John Ringen began a tinshop in St. Louis, Missouri. His business prospered and in 1870, he took in a partner, George August Kahle, who had immigrated to America in 1867...

.

Products

The various Rockwell companies list a large number of firsts in their histories, including the World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 P-51 Mustang
P-51 Mustang
The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War and in several other conflicts...

 fighter and the B-25 Mitchell
B-25 Mitchell
The North American B-25 Mitchell was an American twin-engined medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation. It was used by many Allied air forces, in every theater of World War II, as well as many other air forces after the war ended, and saw service across four decades.The B-25 was named...

 bomber, and the Korean War-era F-86 Sabre
F-86 Sabre
The North American F-86 Sabre was a transonic jet fighter aircraft. Produced by North American Aviation, the Sabre is best known as America's first swept wing fighter which could counter the similarly-winged Soviet MiG-15 in high speed dogfights over the skies of the Korean War...

, as well as the Apollo spacecraft, the B-1 Lancer
B-1 Lancer
The Rockwell B-1 LancerThe name "Lancer" is only applied to the B-1B version, after the program was revived. is a four-engine variable-sweep wing strategic bomber used by the United States Air Force...

 bomber, the Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle
The Space Shuttle was a manned orbital rocket and spacecraft system operated by NASA on 135 missions from 1981 to 2011. The system combined rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons...

, and most of the Navstar Global Positioning System
Global Positioning System
The Global Positioning System is a space-based global navigation satellite system that provides location and time information in all weather, anywhere on or near the Earth, where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites...

 satellites.
Rocketdyne
Rocketdyne
Rocketdyne was a Rocket engine design and production company headquartered in Canoga Park, California, United States. The company was related to North American Aviation for most of its history. NAA merged with Rockwell International, which was then bought by Boeing in December, 1996...

, which had been spun off by North American in 1955, was re-merged into Rockwell in 1984, and by that time produced most of the rocket engines used in the United States. Rockwell also took over and manufactured the light business aircraft previously known as Aero Commander
Aero Commander (aircraft)
The Aero Commander 500 is the first in a series of light-twin piston-engined aircraft originally built by the Aero Design and Engineering Company in the late 1940s. In 1950 it became the Aero Commander company, and a division of Rockwell International from 1965. The initial production version was...

s, then introduced their own new design as the Rockwell Commander 112 and 114.

The company developed a desktop calculator based on a MOSFET
MOSFET
The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor is a transistor used for amplifying or switching electronic signals. The basic principle of this kind of transistor was first patented by Julius Edgar Lilienfeld in 1925...

 chip for use by its engineers. In 1967 Rockwell set up their own manufacturing plant to produce them, starting what would become Rockwell Semiconductor. One of their major successes came in the early 1990s when they introduced the first low-cost 14.4 kbit/s modem
Modem
A modem is a device that modulates an analog carrier signal to encode digital information, and also demodulates such a carrier signal to decode the transmitted information. The goal is to produce a signal that can be transmitted easily and decoded to reproduce the original digital data...

 chip set, which was used in a huge number of modems.

Collins Radios were fitted to 80% of the Free World's
Free World
The Free World is a Cold War-era term often used to describe states not under the rule of the Soviet Union, its Eastern European allies, China, Vietnam, Cuba, and other communist nations. The term often referred to states such as the United States, Canada, and Western European states such as the...

 airliner
Airliner
An airliner is a large fixed-wing aircraft for transporting passengers and cargo. Such aircraft are operated by airlines. Although the definition of an airliner can vary from country to country, an airliner is typically defined as an aircraft intended for carrying multiple passengers in commercial...

s. They designed and built the radios that communicated the Apollo moon landings and the high frequency radio network that allows worldwide communication with US military aircraft. Rockwell designed and built the third stage of the Minuteman
LGM-30 Minuteman
The LGM-30 Minuteman is a U.S. nuclear missile, a land-based intercontinental ballistic missile . As of 2010, the version LGM-30G Minuteman-III is the only land-based ICBM in service in the United States...

 Intercontinental ballistic missile
Intercontinental ballistic missile
An intercontinental ballistic missile is a ballistic missile with a long range typically designed for nuclear weapons delivery...

, (ICBM) and the AIRS
Advanced Inertial Reference Sphere
The Advanced Inertial Reference Sphere, or AIRS, is a highly accurate inertial guidance system designed for use in the LGM-118A Peacekeeper ICBM which was intended for precision nuclear strike against Soviet missile silos.-Details:...

 inertial guidance system (INS) that provided its navigation. They also built inertial navigation systems for the Fleet of Ballistic Missile submarines.

Rockwell built heavy-duty truck axles and drive-trains in the U.S. along with power windows, seats and locks. Rockwell also built yachts and business jets and owned large amounts of real estate.

They were also involved in providing custom ELINT equipment to the Imperial Iranian Air Force as part of Project Ibex
Project Dark Gene
Project Dark Gene was an active, aerial espionage program run by the CIA and Imperial Iranian Air Force from bases inside Iran against the Soviet Union. The program was run in conjunction with Project Ibex, which was a more traditional ELINT mission. The first operations were during the 1960s with...

 and paid bribes to the Shah of Iran in order to secure contracts there.

Apex and break-up

With the death of company founder and first CEO Willard Rockwell
Willard Rockwell
Willard Frederick Rockwell, Sr. was a businessman who helped shape and name what eventually became the Rockwell International company....

 in 1978, and the stepping down of his son Willard Rockwell, Jr. in 1979 as the second CEO, Bob Anderson became CEO and led the company through the 1980s when it became the largest U.S. defense contractor and largest NASA contractor. Rockwell also acquired the privately held Allen-Bradley
Allen-Bradley
Allen-Bradley is the brand-name of a line of Factory Automation Equipment manufactured by Rockwell Automation . The company, with revenues of approximately US$4.5 billion in 2006, manufactures programmable automation controllers , human-machine interfaces, sensors, safety components and systems,...

 Company for $1.6 billion in February 1985 — $1 billion of which was cash to the owners of Allen Bradley — and became a producer of railroad electronics.

During the 1980s, Anderson, his CFO Bob dePalma and the Rockwell management team built the company to #27 on the Fortune 500
Fortune 500
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and...

 list. It boasted sales of $12 billion and assets of over $8 billion. Its workforce of over 100,000 was organized into nine major divisions — Space, Aircraft, Defense Electronics, Commercial Electronics, Light Duty Automotive Components, Heavy Duty Automotive Components, Printing Presses, Valves and Meters, and Industrial Automation. Rockwell International was a major employer in southern California, Ohio, Georgia, Oklahoma, Michigan, Texas, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and western Pennsylvania.

Anderson stepped down as CEO in February 1988, leaving the company to president Donald R. Beall. The completion of the Space Shuttle program and cancellation of the B-1 bomber had led to a decline in revenues, and Beall sought to diversify the company away from government contracts. The end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 and deteriorating economic conditions, however, prompted accelerated divestitures and sweeping management reforms. From 1988 to 2001 the company moved its headquarters four times: from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the US Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Allegheny County. Regionally, it anchors the largest urban area of Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley, and nationally, it is the 22nd-largest urban area in the United States...

 to El Segundo, California
El Segundo, California
El Segundo is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Located on the Santa Monica Bay, it was incorporated on January 18, 1917, and is one of the Beach Cities of Los Angeles County and part of the South Bay Cities Council of Governments...

 to Seal Beach, California
Seal Beach, California
-Neighborhoods:Seal Beach encompasses the Leisure World retirement gated community with roughly 9,000 residents. This was the first major planned retirement community of its type in the U.S...

 to Costa Mesa, California
Costa Mesa, California
Costa Mesa is a city in Orange County, California. The population was 109,960 at the 2010 census. Since its incorporation in 1953, the city has grown from a semi-rural farming community of 16,840 to a primarily suburban and "edge" city with an economy based on retail, commerce, and light...

 to Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee is the largest city in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, the 28th most populous city in the United States and 39th most populous region in the United States. It is the county seat of Milwaukee County and is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. According to 2010 census data, the...

.

At the end of the 1980s, the company sold its valve and meter division, formerly Rockwell Manufacturing, to British Tyre & Rubber. It also sold its printing press division to an internal management team. Following the "peace dividend
Peace dividend
The peace dividend is a political slogan popularized by US President George H.W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the early 1990s, purporting to describe the economic benefit of a decrease in defense spending. It is used primarily in discussions relating to the guns versus butter...

" after the fall of the Soviet bloc, the company sold its defense and aerospace business, including what was once North American Aviation and Rocketdyne, to Boeing Integrated Defense Systems
Boeing Integrated Defense Systems
Boeing Defense, Space & Security formerly known as Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a unit of The Boeing Company responsible for defense and aerospace products and services. Boeing Integrated Defense Systems was formed in 2002 by combining the former "Military Aircraft and Missile Systems"...

 in December 1996. In the 1990s, the company spun off its semiconductor products as Conexant
Conexant
Conexant Systems, Inc. is an American semiconductor company, formerly the semiconductor division of Rockwell International. Currently it's privately owned by Golden Gate Capital, an equity firm headquartered in San Francisco.-History:...

 Technologies (CNXT), which is publicly traded and based in Newport Beach, California
Newport Beach, California
Newport Beach, incorporated in 1906, is a city in Orange County, California, south of downtown Santa Ana. The population was 85,186 at the 2010 census.The city's median family income and property values consistently place high in national rankings...

. Rockwell International also spun off its automotive division as a publicly traded company, Meritor Automotive, based in Troy, Michigan
Troy, Michigan
Troy is a city in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan, and is a suburb of Detroit. The population was 80,980 at the 2010 census, making it the 11th-largest city in Michigan by population, and the largest city in Oakland County...

, which then merged with Arvin Industries to form Arvin Meritor. That company is now known as Meritor, Inc.

In 2001, what remained of Rockwell International was split into two companies, Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation is a global provider of industrial automation, power, control and information solutions. Brands in industrial automation include Allen-Bradley and Rockwell Software....

 and Rockwell Collins
Rockwell Collins
Rockwell Collins, Inc. is a large United States-based international company headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, primarily providing aviation and information technology systems and services to governmental agencies and aircraft manufacturers.- History :...

 — both publicly traded companies — ending the run of what had once been a massive and diverse conglomerate.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK