Rapid Air

For over half a century, the stamping industry has chosen Rapid-Air feeding and coil handling equipment to deliver the highest production levels with accuracy and dependability. We offer a vast selection of superior air feeds, servo feeds, straighteners, stock reels, pallet reels, cutters, loop controls, transporters and accessories, available in a broad range of models and sizes to solve your production needs.


The year was 1959 when Dick Nordlof, an enterprising partner of Mechanical Tool and Engineering Company, located in Rockford, Illinois, pioneered and innovated the first self-contained air feed designed to drastically improve the metal stamping process. It was a device destined to forever change press room operations.

Mechanical Tool and Engineering was in the business of making tools and dies and producing precision stampings from some of the first, very complex and progressive dies in the country. It soon became evident to Nordlof, an MIT graduate engineer, that the dies couldn’t be used to their fullest capability, because there were no precision feeding devices on the market. And thus, with the introduction of a new air feed device, and Dick’s brother Ron Nordlof in charge of manufacturing, Rapid-Air was born.


Rapid-Air has a long history of product development in the Press Room Equipment field. Since they are so involved in day to day operations, it is sometimes helpful to reflect on some of their firsts. Listed below are just some of their significant innovations, many of which are patented.

1. Self-contained air feed. (Rapid-Air Feed – Patent)
2. Regenerative Air Feed Circuit to reduce air consumption. (Patent)
3. Multi-stroke feeds.
4. Self-contained air operated cut-to-length machine.
5. Self-contained air-operated cutter assembly.
6. Self-contained hydraulic reel. (Patent)
7. Loop-arm modulated speed control for hydraulic and electric reels. (Patent)
8. Loop-arm modulated speed control for straighteners. (Patent)
9. Ultrasonic loop control.
10. Touch system loop control.
11. Self-contained, fully adjustable oscillating rewind reel.
12. Modular reel assemblies.
13. Flip-open counter-balanced safety top straightener.
14. Adjustable platen type straightener. (Patent)
15. Self-regulating, single signal servo feed. (Patent)
16. Air-operated mini-press integrated with either an air feed or servo feed and controls.
17. Self-contained servo plus straightener combination.
18. Hydraulic expansion of reel centering arms.
19. Independent dual strip servo feed. (Patent)
20. Infrared light loop control. (Patent)
21. Control arm damping mechanism.
22. 4-gear cluster for driving upper pinch rollers.
23. Hydraulic coil lift.
24. Low Loop space saver. (Patent)
25. KBX straightener with pilot release. (Patent)

Today, Rapid-Air products are sold the world over, enabling stamping operations everywhere to produce more, higher quality goods.