HUNTLEY – Plastic products maker TEQ – Thermoform Engineered Quality is going lean with new, more efficient machines as it expands production in Huntley.
TEQ, which makes plastic ear thermometer covers and other custom products for the medical industry, recently added a second clean room, new machines, and renovated some of its employee facilities.
Like other manufacturers, TEQ is trying to boost capacity and reduce energy consumption through more efficient processes, said Todd McDonald, the company’s director of sales and marketing. It is also making improvements to its lunch room and work areas, as part of an effort to attract and retain skilled employees.
“We’re making it a nicer place to work,” he said. “We want to make sure we can draw the best employees.”
Part of that effort has included a campaign to show workers the products they make every day save lives, McDonald said. Posters throughout the company’s facility at 11320 E. Main St. show people using the medical devices TEQ helps produce.
Other infrastructure improvements are aimed at increasing productivity and lowering energy costs.
The changes come as many of the company’s customers grapple with a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices that went into effect this year as part of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
“Our customers are looking to save on packaging,” McDonald said.
TEQ recently installed an eco-friendly roof at its Huntley headquarters designed to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and lower energy usage. McDonald said the company has already seen its energy bills start to tumble.
“This significant machinery and infrastructure investment will not only allow us to enhance our offerings for our medical device and medical packaging customers but will also help us to continue to exceed the unique demands and strict quality and safety regulations of that industry,” TEQ President Randy Loga said. “We are always thrilled to find new ways to enhance the safe and efficient manufacturing of medical devices and sterile packaging.”
TEQ, founded nearly 30 years ago as TekPackaging, has about 100 employees at its two Huntley facilities. About 70 percent of what the company makes is used in the medical industry, but it also manufacturers packaging and specialty products.
TEQ’s specialty products include The Go Plate, which is a plastic plate with a hole in the center that fits over most bottles, cans and plastic cups. The tailgate-friendly product was designed to allow people to hold both food and beverage in one hand at parties and other social settings, according to its website.
While some manufacturers have struggled, TEQ has seen sales jump in recent years. In 2012, net sales at the company were up $6.6 million and in 2011 net sales increased by $12.7 million, according to financial reports.