About Flex-Line

Creating Custom Solutions for over 35 Years

One Big Happy Family

Our story begins like a lot of family-owned businesses: In a small location as one person’s dream, and our dream started in 1983. Do you remember 1983? You could pick up a new Dodge Ram 50 for $5700, Mario Bros. debuted as a video game and leg warmers were the pique of fashion.

After getting out of the US Army, our co-founder, Orville Rinne, went to work as a salesman for Henry Filters in Ohio. While working there he met a man who was an engineer for a company we all know – SKF Bearings. They had just come up with a conveyor system that was going to revolutionize the industry. Orville and his son, Rhett, thought it was a great opportunity, and with that and their Midwestern work ethic they went to work selling some of the United States’ first FlexLink conveyor systems.

Clockwise from left: Cathy, Rhett, Lauren and Orville Rinne, the Flex-Line Family.

When the original integrator decided to leave SKF, FlexLink needed another integrator, and Flex-Line Automation, Inc. was born. It all started in Orville Rinne’s garage and shop. Orville’s son, Rhett, and his wife, Cathy, were on board from the start.

Flex-Line has remained a family business since, with employees like Rhett and Cathy’s daughter, Lauren, growing up in the business and becoming an integral part of our day-to-day operations.

We’re pretty proud of Flex-Line. We’ve poured ourselves into this company, and we love our work! We really get to know our clients and their needs, and we get to “save the day” a lot, thanks to creative thinking and industry knowledge and experience. At Flex-Line, we are all family, including our customers!

Lauren helping out Grandpa Orville in the early days of the Flex-Line shop.

A History of Excellence

In 1987, four years after we started, we became an authorized FlexLink System Builder. This was when they just started the program; in fact, we were selling FlexLink in the US before they even had an office here.

Since we started creating solutions, we’ve earned many awards for excellence in sales and service from FlexLink, as well as other vendors. We’ve also patented several new products and conveyor solutions that we’ve developed internally. We’d love to tell you more about those, but due to their proprietary nature, we can’t.

Keeping secrets is part of our business, and if we develop something for you that needs to stay quiet, we can do that. We understand the competitive nature of business, and your need to keep that edge on the competition.

Calling Chester Home

Flex-Line is based in Chester, IL. We’re in a great central location in the US, close to major interstates and right on the banks of the Mississippi River. Not only is it a beautiful area, but we’re also in a perfect spot to get your order out the door and on the road to you.

Chester, IL is also the home of Popeye (you know, the “Sailor Man?” Spinach ring a bell?), and we’re definitely Popeye enthusiasts. In fact, we love it so much that Rhett built a custom 1948 Harley Davidson Panhead replica, decked out in tribute to Popeye. Our lobby features a display case with generations of Popeye memorabilia, too.

The Flex-Line crew are animal lovers, and we support the local Humane Society with donations. We have also donated to help the tornado victims in Alabama, and support bettering our own local community as well.

We’ve created unique solutions for clients all over the country, from smaller businesses to large, corporate giants, and they’ve all agreed that we deliver a cost-effective and custom solution that satisfied their needs and improved their process.

A lot has changed since 1983, but one that hasn’t is our dedication to being at the top of our industry, and doing it by exceeding your expectations with every turn. Whether you’re ready to change the world or you’re just reworking the production floor, let us help. We can handle it better than anyone.