Mueller Blog

Focused on Tomorrow’: What Mueller is Doing to Grow Despite COVID-19

Posted by Mueller Custom Cut Solutions Team on Sep 28, 2020 9:45:00 AM

Even before the pandemic became a serious matter back in the spring, Mueller Custom Cut hit the ground running and never looked back. 

And we’re still pushing forward.

In the beginning, it seemed many businesses transitioned into survival mode, trying to figure out how to stay in operation and not go under. But after living with the pandemic for several months, companies have realized they must focus on growth—or else.

Here’s how Mueller is growing its business despite COVID-19 and why you can continue to count on us for all your gaskets, seals, and die-cut products.

What Is Mueller Doing to Grow During the Pandemic?

The areas Mueller has focused on to improve, expand, and grow during this crisis are hiring experts, upgrading equipment, and helping the community. 

Hiring for Key Positions 

While many companies have been forced to reduce staff, Mueller has continued to hire for crucial roles during the pandemic. 

We’ve brought in a plant manager to make sure we’re as efficient and optimized as possible. We’ve also hired an enterprise resource planning (ERP) manager to give customers the best schedule with the best information.

“Those are massive investments in people,” said Pete Futia, Mueller’s general manager. “We keep putting more experienced people in technology in places to create a win-win scenario for our customers and our employees for the long term.”

‘We haven’t changed our marketing budget or our investment in people and machines,” added Billy Lipari, marketing manager at Mueller. “That has stayed the course.  

We have also implemented a new customer relationship management (CRM) system. This platform has allowed sales and marketing employees to better meet the needs of new and existing customers by delivering information and replying to requests almost instantaneously.

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Upgrading Equipment

Because Mueller was deemed an essential business at the start of the pandemic, our engineering and maintenance teams have been busy upgrading equipment and completing other plant priority projects.

Here is a list of tasks we’ve accomplished so far.  

Operator Safety

  • Upgraded safety devices on auxiliary, in-line, and offline lamination systems with improved guards & safety interlock devices
  • Upgraded lathe slitters with electronic deadbolt interlocks on guard doors
  • Added light curtains to all rotary die-cutting presses
  • Engineered and fabricated, new & improved ergonomic unwind carts for laminators to eliminate lifting of heavy rolls

Added Capacity and Capabilities

  • Added another rotary die-cutting press
  • Built a portable inline auxiliary rotary die-cutting press
  • Added stacker tables to rotary die-cutting presses
  • Upgraded laminators with stainless steel drum covers and splicing tables
  • Installed footage counters on all roll-fed equipment
  • Upgraded our laser inspection system to allow multi-cavity inspections
  • Added automatic packaging equipment with label making capabilities
  • Improved efficiency of compressed air with upgraded oil separators & air dryers

Other Improvements

  • Revamped inventory control system for critical spare parts
  • Revised and improved preventive maintenance (PM) program with a focus on TPM (total productive maintenance)
  • Implemented new software on the production floor to monitor production rates and efficiency on critical equipment & resources
  • Launched a new & improved recycling program for chemicals and scrap metals
  • Upfit nine office spaces in the plant for engineering and production/plant management

“We’re looking years out, not days out,” explained Futia.

Helping the Community

Early on, Mueller saw an immediate need for personal protective equipment (PPE). We quickly pivoted to make face shields for first responders and other entities that needed bulk orders of PPE.

We have donated our Pro Shield 1 face shields to several organizations in Charlotte, North Carolina, including:

  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department 
  • Charlotte Fire Station #26 
  • St. Matthew Catholic Church
  • Elevation Church

A representative from St. Matthew said the clergy and ushers would put the shields to good use during Holy Mass.

Also, 5% of all proceeds from the sales of Pro Shield 1 are donated to Second Harvest Food Bank. So far, nearly $7,500 has been given to the charity. Fortunately, Mueller has been able to remain socially-minded and give back to our community.

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What Mueller is Doing to Grow Despite COVID-19

Now you know how Mueller is growing its business despite COVID-19 and how we continue to be a leader in custom-cut services and navigating the pandemic.

By investing in new staff, our equipment, and the community, we are not only surviving this crisis—we’re thriving.

“We are so focused on tomorrow,” said Futia. “We doubled down on our investment of equipment, people, and systems to make sure we come out of this better than we went into it.”

Mueller has a variety of capabilities and services for your prototyping and production needs. Tell us about your project and we’ll help you select from our available materials. Let’s chat!

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