Roto Frank of America Wins 2005 Connecticut Quality Award for Innovation

Roto Frank of America Inc., a manufacturer of window and door hardware, headquartered in Chester, Conn., has won the gold 2005 Connecticut Quality Improvement Award (CQIA) Innovation Prize for its use of laser technology in cutting helical gears.

Roto received the award during the 18th Annual Conference on Quality and Innovation held last month at the Water's Edge Resort in Westbrook, Conn.

"To make helical gears, the mechanisms that open and close casement windows, hardware manufacturers have traditionally relied upon a four step process involving stamping, shaping, de-burring and heat treating," says Jeff Briggs, vice president of research and development at Roto Frank of America. This procedure requires costly tooling upkeep and doesn't allow for flexibility to accommodate the many varieties of gears desired by window manufacturers.


According to Briggs, "We worked closely with several laser companies to develop an entirely new and streamlined process that would take advantage of the latest laser technology to cut a three dimensional, high-quality, helicoid gear arm that would function effectively in a window operator. Ultimately this innovative process has enabled us to eliminate the stamping and shaping steps and efficiently produce a high volume of helical gears in many varieties. We currently make 22 different profiles and any new shape can simply be programmed into the system in a matter of hours."

Roto was among 104 applicants from 70 Connecticut organizations including manufacturers, service companies, universities, hospitals and not-for-profit organizations as well as state government. The entries were ranked in three areas--approach, deployment and results--which were then translated into CIP's criteria of opportunity, innovation and numerical results. Pfizer, Purdue Pharmaceuticals and GE Equipment were among the other award winners.


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