RhinoKore is a leading manufacturer of lightweight honeycomb core building materials with customers across USA and Canada. While manufacturing companies are known for their products, it’s the people behind the products that make all the difference. We sat down with Robin Arnold, President of RhinoKore Composite Solutions, to get some insight on their passion for innovation.
Robin: My family purchased RhinoKore in 2011. The previous owner had a prototype for manufacturing large water containment tanks for the fracking industry. We spent three years redesigning these tanks. Using synthetic foam-filled honeycomb core cladded with fiberglass and framed in steel, we made an insulated structure with a high strength-to-weight ratio. Our redesigned water tanks, when constructed, took up less space on the lease compared to our competition. The foam filled honeycomb core also insulated the tank walls, saving the oil companies water heating costs.
Robin: After the slowdown in the oil industry, I was given the opportunity to turn RhinoKore in a new direction. I realized the potential for growth in the composites industry. We stripped down our tank design and focused on the foam-filled honeycomb cores, patenting machines for manufacturing them. Through expanding on our cores, we can help customers in many different industries find solutions.
Robin: RhinoKore’s mission is to provide quality core solutions to numerous industries while contributing to the advancement of composite technology. To ensure our success, we encourage innovation, participate in the industries we serve, and actively give back to our community. We nurture an environment for our employees that allows them to maximize their potential.
My personal mission at the helm of RhinoKore is to see us become experts in core technology while providing exceptional service to our customers. I want to take on projects that contribute not only to the betterment of society but also the world.
Robin: Between 2011 and 2015, RhinoKore’s primary focus was producing finished products for the oil industry. Our products included large water containment tanks, rig mats, and crane pads. Since then, our shift has been on making and selling our composite honeycomb cores, which made up those finished products.
Our longest standing honeycomb core customer is a Canadian transit bus manufacturer. They have developed a patented transit bus floor using sheets of our foam-filled honeycomb core. Traditional bus flooring is made with marine-grade plywood. The plywood is heavier, resulting in more fuel consumption. Wood also rots over time which causes many hours of maintenance over the life of the bus. Our core has proven to be the smart solution in this application.
Robin: Yes, our customer’s projects have been very diverse in recent years, from pickleball paddles to large structural towers. Customers from many industries are discovering the benefits of using RhinoKore’s structural cores, so we see this pattern continuing for years as we grow our offerings. We have inquiries from RV/Transportation, Residential/Commercial Construction, Marine, and Sports Equipment industries.
Robin: This year was full of success stories, but if I were to name one thing I’m excited about, it would be how our facility is well positioned to make strong advancements into the composite markets utilizing our core solutions.
Robin: We are delving into new ways to manufacture our cores, using different materials. Each material meets a different set of requirements that product engineers are looking for. R&D has always been a strength, and we’re one of the few companies offering foam-filled honeycomb core. When foam injection is used, the sheet has a much larger surface area to attach a facing material like fiberglass, or metal. We’re constantly innovating.
Robin: I consider our shift to focus on composite core technologies as a new business venture, compared to where my family started it from. I am motivated to take this company to places it has never been before, in an industry that is going nowhere but up. This journey can seem painstaking and slow-moving at times, but it is worth it in the long run.
Similar to other business owners, I have the challenge of finding new ways to grow and innovate. My father was a successful entrepreneur, focused on manufacturing and exceptional service. This is the legacy I want to carry forward in my life and for my children to learn from.