When running a business, many scenarios cross your mind. You prepare and plan and adapt. Yet very few, if any, can say they were prepared for the global pandemic that has put stress on not only their company, but also its team members and its operations. As always in challenging times, there is still the opportunity for good things to happen. We at Chicago Glue were thrilled to help another small business rise to the challenge of finding that silver lining.
As COVID-19 began spreading, Systematics, a family-owned and operated business that designs and produces displays, signage, fixtures, and kiosks, was contacted by healthcare workers across the United States who were in desperate need of personal protective equipment (PPE). Immediately, Systematics adjusted their operations to produce face shields, intubation safety boxes and safety partitions. And as Systematics increased their efforts benefitting healthcare workers, they felt they had the potential to do even more, but needed a stronger production process.
That’s when Systematics Owner and President, Andy Sanghani, contacted a fellow member of the Entrepreneur and Family Business Council, Nirel Inman. Andy was eager to know if Nirel, Co-President of Chicago Glue & Machine, would have a solution to speed up Systematics’ production of face shields and thus increase their output.
When Nirel received the call from Andy, she was excited for the opportunity and knew that Chicago Glue could help provide what Systematics needed to ramp up their production. She connected Andy to Adam Norton, Chicago Glue Sales Manager, so he could explain more about their process. At the time, Systematics was creating all face shields by hand with hot glue guns. Picture a room full of people applying adhesive to the foam pieces of the face shields with a glue gun – that’s exactly what was happening!
Adam suggested purchasing a piece of automatic hot melt dispensing equipment and sourcing a conveyor belt to keep the product moving down the line. Within just a few days, Rafael Palacio, Mechanic and Machine Operator at Chicago Glue, was on site at Systematics to help install the adhesive equipment. Rafael explained, “The machinery is able to identify when a foam piece is approaching and then dispenses the right amount of adhesive onto the foam, using a pattern controller to determine when and where to apply the adhesive, making this step in production entirely automated.”
In less than a week, Chicago Glue was able to help Systematics leverage technology to create a better production process and expand their production from one assembly line to two. The Chicago Glue team has even been supplying technical support from a safe social distance: Adam diagnosed an issue with the equipment by inspecting the information on the control panel remotely with FaceTime. Callie Schoeneman, Head of Digital at Systematics, said, “Chicago Glue was very helpful and we received multiple follow-ups when back and forth conversation and support was needed. Our team greatly appreciates the quality customer support at Chicago Glue.”
Before installing the adhesive equipment and updating their technology, Systematics had a crew of 15 people assembling approximately 3,000 face shields per shift on one assembly line. Now, they are more than doubling their output with approximately 6,000 face shields made on each assembly line during each shift. As production numbers, these statistics are impressive. But it goes much deeper than that. The teams at Systematics and Chicago Glue are proud to be doing their part to provide large quantities of lifesaving supplies for those who need it most.
We’re Here to Help
Chicago Glue and Systematics are honored to support healthcare workers during the global pandemic. But they aren’t done! Both companies have the capacity and desire to leverage their capabilities to continue serving the community. If you have a project that would be a good fit for one of these companies, please contact them by visiting www.chicagoglue.com or www.systematicsinc.net. As Nirel said, “We’re truly all in this together and we want to contribute our skillsets and capabilities to those that are making a difference. If we keep paying it forward, we’ll come out of this pandemic stronger than ever.”