Raychem

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Raychem Corporation
Industry Aerospace, Automotive, Telecommunications
Successor(s) Tyco Electronics
Founded 1957
Founder(s) Paul Cook, James B. Meikle, and Richard W. Muchmore
Defunct 1999
Headquarters Menlo Park, California, United States
Area served Worldwide
Products Radiation chemistry, Heat-shrink tubing, Touchscreens

Raychem Corporation was founded in Menlo Park/Redwood City, California in 1957 by Paul Cook, James B. Meikle, and Richard W. Muchmore.[1]

History[edit]

The original name of the company was RayTherm Wire and Cable and later formed a subsidiary named RayClad Tubes. The company changed names to avoid confusion with Raytheon. The company was a spin-off from SRI International, and their founding technology was radiation cross-linked wire and cable targeted at military and aerospace applications.[2] This was the first known use of radiation chemistry for commercial products. The company soon invented heat-shrinkable tubing also targeted at electronic applications.

By 1980 the company had expanded to over 30 countries and made the FORTUNE 500 list from rank 547 in 1980 to rank 490 in 1981, 461 in 1982, 435 in 1983, 413 in 1984, 405 in 1985, 394 in 1986, 359 in 1987, 341 in 1988, 315 in 1989, 326 in 1990, 317 in 1991, 290 in 1992, 295 in 1993, and 293 in 1994.[3] It was recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States at that time. The company had only four CEOs until the company was acquired by Tyco International in 1999. Those CEOs were Paul Cook (Founder), Bob Halperin, (Cook's second-in-command almost from the beginning), Bob Saldich (a long-time Raychem executive, who also ran a Raychem subsidiary, RayNet) and Dick Kashnow, who was responsible for the sale of Raychem to Tyco International.

At the time of the sale the company had reached sales exceeding US$2 billion and was operating in over 60 countries globally. The company invented many breakthrough technologies, including PolySwitch PPTC circuit protection devices, and the touchscreen, so popular today and branded under the name Elo TouchSystems. The company's alumni now populate many CEO and president positions in a variety of industries. The major market segments where Raychem operated were aerospace and defense, automotive, telecommunications, energy networks, consumer electronics and transportation.

Legacy[edit]

Many products today still carry the Raychem brand; however, confusingly, two different companies sell them: Tyco International split into three companies in 2007: Tyco International, TE Connectivity (Formerly Tyco Electronics) and Covidien. Tyco International uses the Raychem brand name for Industrial Trace Heating Technology, while TE Connectivity sells the other original Raychem products (shrink tubing, wire and cable PolySwitch Devices, Elo TouchSystems, SolderSleeve Devices, etc.) under the Raychem brand name. TE Connectivity has multiple R&D Sites which include China & India. It operates in India through Raychem RPG, a 50:50 JV with 18000Cr + RPG Group. This Joint Venture specialises in Connection technologies up to 1200kV & has also introduced Speciality Low loss Transformers.[4]

UK Arm[edit]

In the UK Raychem had a major branch at Swindon in Wiltshire. Peter McMahon was UK Sales Manager at Raychem in the UK until he retired in 1987 and was instrumental in ensuring a successful base in the country.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "American Chemical Society". 
  2. ^ Nielson, Donald (2006). A Heritage of Innovation: SRI's First Half Century. Menlo Park, California: SRI International. pp. 11–6 – 11–7. ISBN 978-0974520810. 
  3. ^ "CNN Money FORTUNE 500". 
  4. ^ RPG Group