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54 PCB007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2020 to support our level of manufacturing. My wife would like me to vacation more, but I love what I do, and with over 35 years of experi- ence, I have something to offer. The first thing was building and develop- ing the infrastructure of key people. Now, we have five mechanical engineers doing Solid- Works and drawings, as well as four electri- cal engineers and two programming engineers. We have a production manager and a quality control manager. We have added more service technicians, and the whole idea is to be that company that can get the parts out and get the techs to the job site. Last year we made the decision to add 17,000 square feet of space, so we have built up the engineering infrastructure and floor space. We have added more staff to the production and fabrication area, but the existing build- ing is going to be all material prep. It will be cut, tack, weld, sub-assemblies, and then the new 17,000-square-foot space will be assem- bly, so that's what we are doing. We have a 44,500-square-foot factory now to support our North American market. We are prepared to deliver on time, which I am very proud to say. And then COVID-19 hit. Ultimately, we are a critical supplier who received letters from critical customers who realize our products are key to their infrastructure. We decided to keep going for- ward. We put the proper procedures in place to check employees' temperatures, like a lot of companies are doing, as well as monitor ev- eryone's health and increase employee awareness about not coming to work sick. Our plan was solid and needed just a little tweaking to accommodate the health concerns of our custom- ers. The technicians are test- ed for COVID-19, and we all wear masks to protect others. The technicians are eating fast food, and it's being picked up at the drive-through. It's a difficult time for our service technicians, but they are holding up, and they are looking forward to getting these machines up and running at optimum perfor- mance. I have been traveling with them for ex- tra support. We have been trying to drive everywhere we can, but we are still flying to support where we need to. With the effect that COVID-19 has had on our borders and people coming in and out of the U.S., we have seen a surge in our ser- vice opportunities. We are supporting equip- ment that is 20–25 years old as well. We can walk in and service and support the older tools that were built over the years, or that we inher- ited through the purchase of VCM in 1996 or Western Technology in 2001. I am trying to get to where I am not the point man on everything and delegate, so I hired a national sales manager. We've added the ser- vice people, which I'm taking out in the field and training to set the right tone for custom- Realizing there could be a disruption to the supply chain due to COVID-19 restrictions, Mike Brask stocked up on materials.

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