With its work deemed essential, GLR is remaining open for business and is now supplying critical materials to the frontlines of the coronavirus battle. It is supplying elastic headbands to a number of customers who are manufacturing face masks for hospitals fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. While already supplying hundreds of thousands of elastic headbands made up of 70% polyester and 30% rubber, Great Lakes Rubber has the capacity to deliver much, much more as well as any other essential rubber product.
With much of its business deemed essential during the COVID-19 economy, GLR remains open supplying products to medical, food sorting, and transportation industries among others. The company is deemed ‘critical manufacturing’ along with its parent company, Mac Valves, as the valves they manufacture go into medical supplies such as oxygen concentrators and ventilators. Great Lakes Rubber’s supply chain remains open as well.
Precautions are being taken in the workplace and GLR is following the guidance of health experts at the U.S. Center for Disease Control and state and local health agencies to prevent the spread of the virus. Policies have been put in place to keep employees healthy by frequent hand washing, social distancing, and working from home when possible. GLR has also increased the frequency of which it cleans and disinfects its facilities and equipment.
Great Lakes Rubber recently secured a contract with Dallas-based BULLYMAKE LLC, a subscription box provider of dog toys and treats. Great Lakes’ products are super tough FDA-approvable rubber toys made just for the “power chewers” which BULLYMAKE caters to. High on BULLYMAKE’s supplier criteria list was finding a custom molding rubber company that is also an automotive supplier. BULLYMAKE’s VP of Operations had spent over 30 years in a Tier 1 automotive supplier and knew the level of care and quality that automotive suppliers were required to meet. Where better to find a supplier meeting their criteria than SE Michigan and Great Lakes Rubber.
For many years, manufacturing at GLR has taken the “green” initiative by ensuring all of its rubber waste is truly never wasted. Scrap from manufacturing processes are given second life as GLR works with rubber recycling facilities to re-purpose the material into things like cushioning for track fields and playgrounds. Currently, over 100,000 pounds of rubber avoids the landfill per year thanks to these recycling efforts.
GLR’s newest addition to its capacity features a new Maplan 460T injection press complete with a silicone stuffer. This allows for more competitive pricing to customers, increased production rates, and the ability to injection mold silicone.
Since its beginnings in 1979 and its incorporation with Mac Valves in 1989, Great Lakes Rubber has taken care of hundreds of customers who rely on their rubber products around the world. From rubber seals holding up in the frigid climate of Alaska to a seat bumper on a Maserati, GLR products are everywhere. While the bread and butter of the company has been mastering the rubber components of a Mac Valve, what is learned there is applied to solutions for other applications.