From day one, manufacturing has been a vital component to the business of Emecole Metro. With October recognized as Manufacturing Month, we take the opportunity to reflect how the role of manufacturing has and continues to be paramount to the success of our business.
As with most businesses, their stories often start with an idea – long before manufacturing takes place. The story of our company begins with the vision first imagined by Lou Cole in the 1980s. Following extensive conversations with his network of contractors within the Chicagoland market, Lou recognized an opportunity existed for a more economically viable means to repair poured concrete cracks, specifically in residential foundations. An accomplished chemist bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, Lou was determined to figure out a way to make his vision a reality.
After years of vigorous trial and error, Lou eventually demonstrated that cracked concrete in poured foundations could be bonded together via the use of epoxy injected at low pressures ranging from 20 to 40 PSI. Lou accomplished this by formulating two-component epoxies packaged in dual cartridge tube sets, which would allow him to sell his material in lesser quantities, which would be more cost-effective for contractors specializing in residential repairs.
The dispensing of Lou’s epoxy from its tube set and into the crack was accomplished with the development of his own specialized dual cartridge dispensing gun, today known as the Emecole Metro Jake 300. Equipped with a spring-loaded high performance trigger, the Emecole Metro Jake 300 allowed contractors to easily inject the two-component epoxy from its tube set directly into the crack with minimal add-on injection accessories.
In 1987, the first incarnation of our company, Emecole, Inc., was launched. Initially a “corner business” renting space and spare crew members inside a larger manufacturing facility, Lou had the flexibility to produce and package his epoxies in quantities small enough that allowed him to keep up with demand while minimizing material waste. This arrangement also allowed him to assemble his dual dispensing guns one at a time as demand warranted, further allowing him to minimize overhead.
As demand for his product increased throughout the Midwest and select areas throughout the East Coast, Lou moved the business into his own building and hired his own crew, allowing for the manufacturing and production of his product to be in-house. As crack injection caught on nationally, demand for his products grew nationally, requiring him to expand his office staff from single-digit to double-digits.
As instrumental as Lou’s initial vision was, the growth and sustained success of the business would not have been possible without the talent and tenacity of our manufacturing staff. While keeping up with the production demands that a national product yielded, our staff was also relied upon to test and perfect a vast array of product ideas and innovations that Lou regularly came up with throughout his tenure as president. Lou’s original set of injection epoxies eventually included polyurethane injections, epoxy surface seals, a sodium-silicate based concrete sealant, crawl space encapsulation liners, and foundation drainage systems.
Today, now aligned with Metropolitan Industries, we continue to become further entrenched with the manufacturing resources provided by our sister company. Together with Metropolitan, Emecole Metro is developing additional products that will expand our reach within the concrete repair and waterproofing business.
While the manufacturing process is a dynamic sector that drives the global economy, it also plays an integral role for each individual business from a micro level. Without the incremental attributes that make up a company’s ability to manufacture, even the world’s greatest idea would never stand a chance.