RSL is dedicated to the goals of operating with integrity, safety & continuous improvement, manufacturing quality by design energy efficient products for residential entryways, and maintaining teamwork among our employees, suppliers & customers.
In 1963 Bernd Lewkowitz founded RSL Woodworking Products Company as a family manufacturing business of windows for residential doorways. As a recent immigrant from Europe, he worked as a foreman in a southern New Jersey lumberyard and learned about the millwork business in America. Seeking to achieve “the American dream” he worked nights and weekends manufacturing windows for doors (called doorlights, doorlites or doorglass) until he was able to expand this into a full-time business. Bernd and his wife Hilde, named the business “RSL” after the initials of their children Ron & Sharon Lewkowitz.
In the early stages of the company’s history, American homes predominantly used wood doors, so his products were made of basswood, poplar or oak frames and were glazed with single strength non-tempered glass. Common doorglass sizes in the 1960s and early 1970s were 5”x10”, 10”x10” and 20”x24” and decorative doorglass was considered textured fluted, reeded or silk screened patterns.
Eventually, homebuilders started to use steel exterior doors and building codes required safety tempered glass and then insulated glass for greater thermal performance and energy efficiency. RSL products evolved with these building changes and the company became a leader in the use of extruded vinyl and injection molded plastic frames.
In 1988, Bernd Lewkowitz founded a separate injection molding company in northeast Ohio, Carrie Plastics (which eventually was renamed Champion Injection Molding). This location was chosen because it was the geographic hub of the injection molding industry, with tool/die makers, machine manufacturers and resin suppliers all located within hours. Champion continues to thrive as a highly skilled injection molding facility, operating 24 hours a day with large tonnage presses that have produced frames for RSL, Masonite, Jeldwen, Thermatru, Taylor, Pease, Trinity, Trimlite and TruTech. In addition, Champion has produced plastic bumper parts for Ford, server boxes for IBM, seats for Deere tractors, hose reels for Ace TruTemper and large panels for Kodak copiers.
In 1989, RSL’s founder also established Signature Door in Altoona, PA. This company began as a manufacturer of unique decorative glass and custom wood exterior doors. The company has evolved into an extraordinary manufacturer of custom high-end wood doors, preferred by architects and custom homebuilders. Signature Door entryways are especially popular in coastal areas where stringent code compliance is required for High Velocity Hurricane Zones (HVHZ).
Today, RSL continues to grow as a significant supplier of doorglass to OEM wood, steel and fiberglass door manufacturers and building supply distributors.
RSL places significant value on maintaining a reputation of integrity, honor and honesty in all of its business relationships.
- Ensuring stability for nearly five decades with responsible and conservative fiscal policies.
- Developing personal and lasting relationships with our employees, vendors and customers.
- Fulfilling all of our written and verbal commitments promptly and fully.
- Maintaining safety and efficiency with full time attention to proactive lean, green and safety standards.
- Continuing to be a proud and successful family owned manufacturer with all operations in the U.S.
RSL controls the quality of its products by owning its own frame manufacturing at Champion Injection Molding and maintaining exceptional standards on the production of glass.
RSL ensures that its products bring savings of time and money to its customers by utilizing a unique strategy of lean manufacturing & energy efficiency.
99.97% of the time, RSL products are shipped, received and used in doors without field failures and callbacks, bringing significant savings to our customers.
Strategy for Success
From its earliest days to the present, RSL has had two primary strategies for success. The first is a focus on quality by design. RSL developed a manufacturing process that makes our doorglass, sidelights and transoms the best in our industry. All of our products have a lifetime warranty on both frames and glass. We ensure that our frames are maintenance free and do not require painting or staining; our insulated blinds, decorative doorglass, and energy efficient commodity doorglass are also guaranteed for exceptional reliability and are thermally sealed for a lifetime of use. Our production team takes enormous pride in maintaining this unrivaled quality by design and treat each product as if it was being made for use in their own home.
Our second success strategy is the importance that RSL places on relationships. In order to truly excel, we believe that our company must place equal value on our employees, suppliers and customers. Treating only one group well is an insufficient management strategy. Our customers, suppliers and employees play a critical role in our success and have our commitment for honesty, integrity and clear communication.
Injection Molding Experience
RSL is proud of the superior quality of its injection molded frames. In Warren, Ohio our sister company Champion Injection Molding has tremendous capacity to meet the needs of the industry’s largest companies. Our facility there is 200,000 square feet with 65 foot high ceilings, overhead cranes, and tremendous capacity. Injection molding presses that range from a “tiny” 28 tons to 2000 tons operate around the clock, often with robotics, to produce quality by design frame sets. Our maintenance free frames use an excellent weatherable resin that will not yellow if unfinished and does not require priming before painting or staining. It has good heat resistance and impact strength, making it an ideal material for doorlight frames.
When Champion Injection Molding is not molding RSL frames in its 12 presses, it uses its considerable plastic processing experience to manufacture other products for industry leaders such as Kodak, Deere Tractors, Ford, Ames Tru-Temper, and IBM. This custom molding expertise, large tonnage presses, and huge capacity potential have been the reasons for our reliable production for nearly twenty years.
RSL is determined to offer unique and compelling reasons for customers to choose RSL as a doorlight supplier. Our decorative catalog, customized literature, and posters are the source of great pride among our sales and customer service team. All of our photography depicts our products with real life settings so that end-users can clearly distinguish the patterns of our glass and the amount of privacy afforded by each. Our doorlights are shown in larger images than any of our competitors because we are convinced that in this context, size really matters! We also arrange our decorative selection by size and caming options because market research indicates that end users make their selection with predetermined ideas of the size of the doorlight that they want in their entry doors. We welcome customers to put our decorative catalog next to any of our competitors’ and compare clarity, size, and presentation on the page. These marketing advantages make a significant difference.
RSL is dedicated to the goals of operating with integrity, safety & continuous improvement; manufacturing quality by design for residential entryways; providing friendly and reliable customer service; and building trust & teamwork among our employees, vendors & customers.
Decorative Doorglass Selector
Blinds Between Glass
Grills Between Glass
Sliding Patio Doors
Design Center for Mobile
Showroom Sales Aids
Superior Energy Efficiency
Painting & Staining Instructions