Rigid Industries is an aftermarket LED lighting company that has taken the automotive market by storm. Their advancements in optics and electronic efficiency have paved the way for many companies scrambling to play “Catch-up”. Like with all aftermarket products on the market, you get what you pay for, and the number one focus for Rigid Industries is Quality. Unlike most options you will find in this growing field of products, these products are all hand assembled right here in the good old US of A. Located in a massive building in Gilbert, Arizona, well over 100 employees work in harmony to offer you what is likely the most advanced auxiliary automotive, marine, and industrial lighting available today.
We at Axial have been fortunate to not only work with Rigid Industries on several of our R/C vehicle offerings, but to also get to know some of the talented people behind the brand. A recent trip to the Rigid Industries facility offered us a unique insight to just how these products are manufactured and tested before they hit the retail shelves. We managed to smuggle a camera into the operation so we could share with our readers, check it out!
First on the list was a must have meeting with the marketing mastermind himself, Taylor Anderson. Taylor is not one of those guys that sits around deciding where to put their marketing dollars, but instead is a very hands on individual. It is not uncommon to see him floating around the facility getting his hands dirty. On this particular day, we did catch him on the Tower Hobbies website ordering up some goodies for his SCX10….
It appears as though Taylor may have a bit of a habit…..
Enough of that for now, lets slip out of the office and into LED lighting heaven! We started the tour at the front of the manufacturing facility, in the lobby. When you first walk in you are hit with this awesome wall art (Which makes us feel as though we are in the right place for us). Check it out!
We cant help but take a few moments and check out some of the displays they have out front, imagining some of these gems bolted up to our full size rigs..
One of the displays had this crazy video playing of their products being torture tested, if you haven’t seen this yet, click play and prepare yourself. Never thought of shooting one of our products, nor dragging it behind a truck…
Ok, on with the tour. Once past security and into the offices, there are many workstations for all the differing departments
All of the raw materials arrive in a big fenced off warehouse. Most come in these huge Rigid Branded crates
Once the raw materials are ready to be used they are rolled in on huge carts to the proper work station. In this case we follow some E-Series, SR-Series lights and some of the wildly popular Dually lights. Here are some freshly anodized housings on the shelf getting ready for assembly
One of the first steps is to install the power wires, and seal them so they can be completely weather proof. This happens at a work station, then they are put on a rack to allow the sealant to dry (Taylor didn’t stick his finger in wet sealant while showing us this)
After the parts are dried, they head out to the floor to be mated with the rest of the part
The next operation involves the circuit boards. These come printed and ready to solder the goods!
Once the Dually housings are unwrapped, have the power wires installed and the circuit boards mounted, they are loaded into Jigs where they will stay until their completion.
We happened to catch the tail end of some soldering being done on their SR series run
The Optics are installed then the lenses and caps. Here is a freshly completed SR Bar ready for testing and packaging
This is the testing area. The lights on the shelves age going through a “pre-burn”. This is just to make sure there are no faults in the materials. The light will be brought up to full temperature several times to make sure the consumer gets exactly what he is expecting!
This piece of equipment is used to pressurize the lamp to make sure it is completely free of defects which would allow it to be water proof and all weatherproof for that matter.
This machine was really cool, it can take the temperatures from above ridiculously hot (more so than the ambient temperature in the greater Phoenix area), to well below zero in a very short period of time. Talk about some cool tech testing!
Speaking of controlling temperatures, almost all of the Rigid facility is cooled by huge coolers located throughout the workspace. If you had to work in Arizona, you would appreciate this very much, especially in the summer months!
Back to the tour, Once the parts have completed their testing phase, they are approved for shipping. The finished products are sent out to the packing and shipping area to be final packed for delivery. Each one of the lamps is grouped with the instructions, and necessary wiring just before entering its packaging
Once the materials are all ready, they hit this sation for packaging
Some of the products are shipping straight out to dealers and others are going into stock. They have a really cool system to let the label maker know whether or not a shipment is complete and ready to go. The simple green cap, means good to go, the red cap means waiting on more boxes to complete the order
It was very very difficult to not develop a very bad case of sticky fingers while touring the stock area. I am pretty sure Taylor was talking, but I was in my own world imagining where I could mount and use all of the different configurations of lighting I was seeing.
If you have a full size off-road rig, boat or work truck or anyhing that needs light, check out the Rigid Industries website. I am more than certain they have something that will do the job very well, today, and for years to come!
If you have an SCX10, Wraith or any other Axial vehicle, Rigid Industries also has you covered through a technical partnership with Vanquish products. They have all different size light bars for your Axial R/C, check them out here.