From manufacturing PPE to enabling the expansion of Coronavirus testing, Elk Grove Village businesses are answering the call to duty
Many Elk Grove Village-based companies and manufacturers are re-purposing their operations in response to the growing demand of vital equipment, supplies and services brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
“What we’re seeing here in Elk Grove is that businesses and manufacturers have stepped up to play key roles in our national response to this pandemic,” said Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson. “We’re proud to call these businesses our neighbors and, on behalf of our entire community, we thank them for the work they’re doing to save lives, flatten the curve and help us all return to normal as soon as it is safe to do so.”
When the outbreak took hold in the United States in early March, the Village’s economic development team proactively reached out to local businesses to help identify production and sourcing capabilities that could assist in increasing production or acquisition of critical supplies during the pandemic.
Over 85 businesses in Elk Grove Village responded to this call to action, identifying resources and capabilities that could be repurposed or prioritized to respond directly to the coronavirus threat. This information was shared with the Illinois Manufacturing Association as part of a statewide coordination effort to ramp up production of essential products and foster collaboration among businesses that want to help the effort to fight the coronavirus.
As part of this outreach, Village staff learned about several companies that serve as essential links in the supply chain to enable more testing, provide more equipment to first responders, and get more products into the hands of citizens and essential businesses so they can keep themselves and their homes safe.
Some companies are repurposing their operations to create PPE and other equipment. Still others are doing the work they always do, but are responding to increased demand for the products they manufacture.
“It is a genuine point of pride for the Village that there are so many companies that are stepping up to meet this global challenge,” said Mayor Johnson. “We’ve worked very hard over the years to develop a business culture here that encourages entrepreneurship, innovation and collaboration, but all the credit belongs to those companies and leaders that have quickly shifted their focus their efforts on stopping the virus in its tracks. We’re grateful for the work they’re doing and proud that they call Elk Grove Village home.”
One company making a major contribution is Elk Grove Village-based Crafts Technology, which is supporting the fight against coronavirus by rush-producing tungsten carbide core pin tooling to be used in the injection molding machines that manufacture vials for COVID-19 testing. This core pin tooling, being used in a re-tooled machine, will help the molder significantly increase the production of the vials and thus significantly expand testing capacity. Crafts Technology are experts in designing and producing components from superhard materials for industrial equipment.
“Up until now many have focused on what the major corporations are doing to respond to this challenge. But so many small to midsized companies are making a real impact. You really need to look no further than Elk Grove Village to see that,” said Crafts Technology CEO Jeffrey Taylor.
(More information about Crafts Technology and the tooling it developed can be found online.)
In addition to Crafts Technologies, the following companies have altered operations or tapped supply chain partners to get critical supplies and equipment into the hands of those who need it most.
- Atrend, a company that normally produces plastic speaker boxes and TPI, a plastic injection molding and is now also making protective plastic face shields.
- Cristaux International, which manufactures trophies and recognition award, has tapped its supply chain to order touchless thermometers from China.
- HST Materials is a company that makes rubber gaskets but through their supply chain have sourced desperately need masks
- Libra Industries is a distributor of industrial safety clothing and has been able to source masks for use by local first responders and essential workers.
- Pulver Packaging is a packaging company that has designed a disposal plastic and cardboard protective face shield.
- RSI is a sign company that has laser cutting ability and they are cutting forms per order for a larger company to produce face shields
- TPI is a plastic injection molding company that is now also making protective plastic face shields.
“We know these companies represent a mere sampling of what’s taking place more broadly in Elk Grove Village, and in communities throughout the country, said Josh Grodzin, the Village’s Director of Business Development and Marketing. “As they make key contributions to keeping us all safe, we are working to help connect them to government resources and providing a forum where they can share information about their efforts and collaborate locally to establish critical supply chains.”
The Village’s economic development team has fielded hundreds of phone calls from local businesses seeking information, guidance and advice about how they can help manage this crisis. Information from these inquiries, as well as from targeted outreach efforts, was used to an online, one-stop resource to help Elk Grove Village-based companies manage coronavirus-related challenges. As home to the nation’s largest industrial park, the Village has a unique capability to facilitate local supply chain connections, and this website not only serves as a one-stop-shop for available resources to manage challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic, it also creates opportunities for collaboration between businesses in the community. This online resource can be found at https://coronavirus.egvbizhub.com/