Councilman-At-Large Joseph DeIorio along with the governing body recognized Hexacon Electric Company as the Business Of The Month for August 2018.
During the presentation, Councilman DeIorio read some highlights of the company’s history written by Roselle Park resident – who is a former employee of the company – David Robertson.
Hexacon Electric is a manufacturer of heavy-duty soldering and branding irons and was founded 86 years ago in 1932 by Arther L. Johnson. In 1951, he was succeeded by his son, Richard Johnson, who was the president of the company for more than 45 years. In 1997, Richard’s daughter, Kathryn Lynn Johnson Schwaiger, took over and is currently Hexacon’s president. In 2014, Kathy and her husband, Art, welcomed their son Alex as a materials manager. The four-generation business is located at 161 West Clay Avenue.
Hexacon is only one out of two industrial soldering iron manufacturers that is family-owned and operated. Soldering irons range from the units designed for the most exacting electronics to heavy weights that are used in the assembly of diesel locomotives. Hexacon irons are a preferred iron amongst stained glass artisans. Hexacon can claim its product is “Manufactured and Assembled in the USA”.
Hexacon manufactures hundreds of thousands of soldering tips – from milling to plating – during a year as well as corresponding numbers of heating elements, handles, and control units. Electrical devices are an all-inclusive part of today’s society. The Department of Defense (DoD) early on has set standards to be observed in the manufacture of electronics which, in turn, finds its ways into the devices we use every day.
Kathy Johnson was an award-winning material scientist early in her career and much of her work has been incorporated into the DoD standards as well as other industry standards such as the Industry IPC (Institute of Printed Circuits) and what would become the very first ANSI J-STD-001. ANSI stands for the American National Standards Institute and J-STD-001, the Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies, has emerged as the preeminent authority for electronics assembly manufacturing worldwide. The standard describes materials, methods, and verification criteria for producing high-quality soldered leaded and lead-free interconnections.
When Councilman DeIorio remarked that the company just celebrated its 86th year, Kathy Schwaiger added, “We’re not going anywhere. [We’re] 86 and we’re going strong.”
The councilman ended his presentation by relaying his personal experience with the company. Having lived across the street from the manufacturer when he was a child, Councilman DeIorio recalled that there never was any problems with the business, saying,”As a matter of fact, they were one of the most town-employed companies. You’ve employed a lot of people, several [who] are here today and still are. It was a family and it continues to be [a] family. So with that all said, I’d like to present Hexacon Electric Company . . . as Business Of the Month for the Borough of Roselle Park. Congratulations.”
Mayor Carl Hokanson added another bit of the company’s history with the borough, citing that Hexacon Electric owns P.O. Box 1 at the Roselle Park Post Office.
Receiving the certification, President Kathy Schwaiger remarked, “All I want to say that it wasn’t just our family, it was the entire Hexacon family and it isn’t a small family. Only a few are represented here today but I must tell you we’ve had such a loyal workforce and that’s why we’re still here after all these years. Not just us, [it’s] all of us.”