Providing a Helping Hand

Crafts Technology is a member of ENCLAVE for Entrepreneurs Foundation Inc., a not-for-profit economic development education initiative. The foundation focuses on finding highly personal ways to support entrepreneurial individuals and their influencers through capabilities assessment, educational programs, and professional support.

During an Enclave’s Founders First Academy meeting, Crafts technology met Chris McCarthy of Earthpaint.org.  This charity organization does paint recycling with an emphasis on hiring and training people with special needs. They have created a program that empowers adults with disabilities and trains job/life skills by collecting unwanted paint and recycling it into new paint and other products.

Earlier this year Earthpaint.org’s production facility became flooded.  It was during the Enclave’s meeting that Crafts decided to help this company by hiring a restoration firm to clean up the water damage at their facility.  As part  of Crafts COVID-19 Operational Response Plan they had hired BAC Restoration.  BAC is a family owned business that is certified in inspection, cleaning, and restoration.  They utilize EPA approved hospital grade disinfectant to clean work environments using protocols established by an Environmental Hygienist.   BAC also performs water restoration and was hired by Crafts Technology to assist Earthpaint.org.

According to Chris McCarty, “The restoration company that Crafts Technology sent worked hard all day to remove the water and left us with enough fans and dehumidifiers to solve the problem quickly.  Our mission of recycling and providing work for people with disabilities was barely interrupted thanks to your immediate response to our need.  We are fortunate to have your support and we look forward to a busy summer now that our building is ready for our team and our customers”.

At Crafts Technology, all our employee owners share our fundamental values, including transparency, innovation, and integrity in all we do.  Our shared commitment is seen in the quality of the parts we make, the advanced designs we conceive, and the way we interact with our clients and our community.

WEBINAR: Hear Members of Crafts Executive Team Discuss the Shift to the “New Normal”

WEBINAR: Hear Members of Crafts Executive Team Discuss the Shift to the “New Normal”

Masterclass No. 35 Brought to you by Enclave, will bring on Crafts Technology President & CEO Jeffrey Taylor and Vice President of Engineering Jeffrey Roberts to reveal and examine how they had to shift gears in their minds, and their organization to respond to “the new normal”.

Wednesday June 17th, 2020 6:00pm – 7:30pm.

Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83226611772?pwd=LzZNcHgySldVNGIrZFBFc3FhVDY1Zz09#success

Meeting ID: 832 2661 1772 Password: 339121

For Telephone Connection without Video: 312.626.6799

Email us for more information on our COVID-19 Response Plan

General disclaimer information

This site contains information, data, documents, pages and images prepared by Crafts Technology. While the Information contained in this site and in the Response Plan has been presented with all due care, Crafts Technology does not warrant or represent that the Information is free from errors or omission.

The Information is made available on the understanding that Crafts Technology and its employees and agents shall have no liability (including liability by reason of negligence) to the users for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information and whether caused by reason of any error, negligent act, omission or misrepresentation in the Information or otherwise.  The information is being supplied so that users of the information can develop their own Response Plan that is reviewed and modified accordingly by the user.

Accuracy of information

While the Information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the Information. The Information may change without notice and Crafts Technology is not in any way liable for the accuracy of any information printed and stored or in any way interpreted and used by a user.

Links to third-party sites

Crafts Technology takes no responsibility for the accuracy, currency, reliability and correctness of any information included in the Information provided by third parties nor for the accuracy, currency, reliability and correctness of links or references to information sources (including Internet Sites).

Links to other Internet Sites are for information only. Care has been taken in providing these links as suitable reference resources. However, due to the changing nature of the Internet content, it is the responsibility of the users to make their own investigations, decisions, enquiries about the information retrieved from other Internet Sites. Providing these links does not imply any endorsement, non-endorsement, support or commercial gain by Crafts Technology.


Crafts Technology, Inc. manufactures machinery and components. The Company offers rings, core pins, fluid dispensing components, tungsten carbide, advanced ceramics, and precision knives. Crafts Technology conducts its business in the State of Illinois.

Sharing Crafts COVID-19 Operational Response Plan

Sharing Crafts COVID-19 Operational Response Plan:

In order to remain operational during the pandemic, Crafts Technology was compelled to develop and evolve a comprehensive best-in-class response plan that has been a very important tool to help us operate and keep our people safe.

Because this plan benefited us, to such a high degree, we want to share the plan for the good of everyone.  As such, we are making the plan available immediately, at the link below. We only ask that you send us an email directly if you would like an editable [Word] version of the plan.

Or email engineering@craftstech.net

We were able to put together this document with great help and support from our network:

We hope this document helps you in some way as we get through this pandemic.

As we navigate through this pandemic the only constant will be change. We know our document will continue evolve and be modified with new rules, regulations, and best practices. We hope that sharing this document openly will allow others to comment and provide input on what we (and others) can do to continue to make our place of work safer for our employees and our community.

Please feel free to email us (at engineering@craftstech.net) with any questions or input. We are all in this together and through teamwork and collaboration we will get through this together.

Stay safe and healthy.

Crafts COVID-19 experience

As an Essential Business providing necessary materials for a number of industries, including medical device suppliers who produce COVID-19 test kits, Crafts Technology hasn’t shut down during the pandemic. This puts us in a unique position because we’ve stayed ahead of the curve in developing policies and procedures to maintain the safety of our team, while continuing our manufacturing operations. Through this experience, we’ve learned a lot fast. Without excellent resources and assistance from a number of people this journey would have been more difficult and taken longer to maneuver, now it’s our turn to help.

The culmination of our efforts resulted in the Crafts Technology COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plan (Email us for an editable response plan that we’re openly sharing). The plan describes how to prevent worker exposure to coronavirus, protective measures to be taken in production and office areas, personal protective equipment and work practice controls, cleaning and disinfecting procedures, and what to do if a worker becomes sick.

How to create a COVID-19 response plan

Crafts Technology employee wearing PPE during COVID-19 pandemic
As an Essential Business Crafts Technology has implemented numerous measures to keep our team safe while continuing operations.

Our plan and government policies highlight the fact that businesses need to take action to protect employees and the community, during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you’re questioning how to respond to everything from welcoming workers back to the office to what steps you’ll need to take if someone at your facility tests positive, here’s a few things we’ve learned and some resources

  • Create a multi-disciplinary team
    We involved people from different groups and different levels of management to encompass a whole business perspective. The team includes our president & CEO, vice president of engineering, controller and human resource manager, operations manager, and shop supervisor.
  • Research what information is available from local and national trade organizations along with government agencies
    • The Illinois Manufactures’ Association [IMA] was also a substantial resource to continue to evolve our control plan to meet any the ever changing requirements. The IMA website helps us keep up-to-date on the evolving situation by providing daily information describing how to maintain a safe environment, along with updates on legal requirements we need to know.
  • Don’t recreate every facet of your plan
    There’s a tremendous amount of resources available, the CDC and OSHA offer ongoing mitigation guidance for businesses and workplaces including prevention support, and cleaning and disinfecting options.
  • Develop a plan as unique as your business
    No template will include everything essential to your business. Our team developed a plan by systematically evaluating our points of contact along with embracing the assistance of outside experts.
  • Make it a live document open to revisions
    Although many areas are starting to bend the curve, the long-term implications of COVID-19 are unknown. Not to mention, changes to COVID-19 rules and regulation are expected. As research and data continues to evolve, you’ll need to update your plan to reflect the best practices.
  • Share the plan
    Schedule meetings with the entire company (preferably by phone or video conference) to bring everyone in the organization up to date. When we conduct in person meetings attendance is collected verbally, we limit gatherings to groups of 10 or less, and participants must remain at least six feet apart.

Why a response plan makes a difference

As the economy starts to open, we’ll embrace our new norm, and workers will return to offices and factories.

By developing a response plan you’re protecting your most important asset, your people. When returning to work there’s bound to be uncertainty. Being prepared and providing a comprehensive plan that includes valuable resources will reduce stress by ensuring your team access to critical health and safety information.

Email us for more information on our COVID-19 Response Plan

General disclaimer information

This site contains information, data, documents, pages and images prepared by Crafts Technology. While the Information contained in this site and in the Response Plan has been presented with all due care, Crafts Technology does not warrant or represent that the Information is free from errors or omission.

The Information is made available on the understanding that Crafts Technology and its employees and agents shall have no liability (including liability by reason of negligence) to the users for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information and whether caused by reason of any error, negligent act, omission or misrepresentation in the Information or otherwise.  The information is being supplied so that users of the information can develop their own Response Plan that is reviewed and modified accordingly by the user.

Accuracy of information

While the Information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the Information. The Information may change without notice and Crafts Technology is not in any way liable for the accuracy of any information printed and stored or in any way interpreted and used by a user.

Links to third-party sites

The Information contained in this site includes information derived from various third parties that are neither endorsed nor supported by Crafts Technology and does not necessarily reflect any policies, procedures, standards or guidelines of the organizations that comprise Crafts Technology.

Crafts Technology takes no responsibility for the accuracy, currency, reliability and correctness of any information included in the Information provided by third parties nor for the accuracy, currency, reliability and correctness of links or references to information sources (including Internet Sites).

Links to other Internet Sites are for information only. Care has been taken in providing these links as suitable reference resources. However, due to the changing nature of the Internet content, it is the responsibility of the users to make their own investigations, decisions, enquiries about the information retrieved from other Internet Sites. Providing these links does not imply any endorsement, non-endorsement, support or commercial gain by Crafts Technology.


Crafts Technology, Inc. manufactures machinery and components. The Company offers rings, core pins, fluid dispensing components, tungsten carbide, advanced ceramics, and precision knives. Crafts Technology conducts its business in the State of Illinois.

Lean Manufacturing Thrives for Micro Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing Thrives for Micro Manufacturing (Below .001″)

Engineers who are responsible for developing systems and tooling for applications that require critical performance and high repeatability for an extended period of time have a difficult job.  Selecting a partner you can trust to provide solutions for micro manufacturing demands is challenging because issues with inferior micro components can cause macro problems.

Today, products are designed with smaller and smaller components that are increasingly complex. To meet demands, many applications require super hard materials, technical manufacturing methods, and exceptional designs.  These challenges have resulted in some machining technologies reaching their limits. To succeed you need a partner who is willing to go against the grain of traditional manufacturing philosophy and look at every component from a new perspective.  A supplier who understands the need to develop solutions for a wide variety of problems, including extreme conditions and long wear, while maintaining costs and exceptional quality.

Why top manufacturers use production cells

The goal of cellular manufacturing is to flawlessly and efficiently produce products with as little waste as possible. Generally, cells are composed of one or multiple machines, which accomplish a certain task. Products like micro-components or tooling move from one cell to the next with each station completing part of the manufacturing process.

Advantages of cellular manufacturing

  • Flexibility, since many of the machines are automatic, simple changes can be made quickly
  • Cells shorten the distance a part has to move, which reduces equipment and labor costs
  • Cell operators understand the whole process and feel responsibility for their work, which can identify potential quality issues

Obviously, a product is only as good as the system. That’s where lean manufacturing techniques come into play.

Visual Management Boards improve communication

Visual management boards allow everyone to identify current process information at a glance.  The more complex the manufacturing process the more room for error.  By using a visual summary every team member, regardless of their shift or responsibility, can walk up to the board and immediately know what is in process.

Crafts Technology Lean Manufacturing Visual Management Board
Crafts Technology uses Visual Management Boards to provide up to date process information at a glance
Crafts Technology Lean Manufacturing Product Visual Management Board
Visual Management Boards travel with the product at Crafts Technology to display production status and communicate standards of work

Kanban systems improve workflow

Kanban techniques are related to just-in-time (JIT) production. By using a visual chart that moves with the project operators can identify what to produce, when to produce it, and how much to produce. By including a Kanban scheduling system ideal inventory levels are maintained.  As material is pulled through production a signal for replenishing stock keeps the process flowing.

Crafts Technology Lean Manufacturing Kanban Board
At Crafts Technology Kanban Boards help control workflow, increase productivity, and reduce waste
Crafts Technology Lean Manufacturing Kanban Inventory
Kanban concepts help Crafts Technology maintain a continuous delivery of materials and control inventory

Built in Quality prevents defects

One of the most effective ways to manufacture high-quality micro-scale long wear components is by building quality into the manufacturing process. Instead of detecting defects Built in Quality prevents them. By building quality in the production cell you can lower costs by reducing the need for inspection and correction.

Crafts Technology Lean Manufacturing Built in Quality in Action
Crafts Technology has established the largest collection of Micro-EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) machines in the world to meet micro-production demands
Crafts Technology Lean Manufacturing Built in Quality micro-EDM
Crafts Technology achieves Six-Sigma levels by using advanced program micro-EDM machines to dress a tool, inspect the tool, and update programming parameters with the newly inspected tool dimensions before producing features on a part.

Continuous improvement ensures efficiency and productivity

A well implemented lean manufacturing system focuses on adding value while reducing waste, but without continual improvement it will soon become outdated. PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) encourages continual process and product improvement, and resolves issues, using the scientific method of problem-solving.  With a culture of ownership, ideas are implemented in a methodical way to achieve positive results.

When evaluating partners, look for a company like Crafts Technology who is committed to lean manufacturing and practical problem-solving to achieve innovative solutions.

Learn more about Crafts Technology’s engineering Capabilities


Crafts Technology, Inc. manufactures machinery and components. The Company offers rings, core pins, fluid dispensing components, tungsten carbide, advanced ceramics, and precision knives. Crafts Technology conducts its business in the State of Illinois.

How a Culture of Ownership Improves Performance and Productivity

Financial Literacy – An ESOP Life

If you call and ask to speak to one of the owners at Crafts Technology you may be surprised at the response.

As a company with over 127 years of history, Crafts understand the importance of changing with the times and investing in our number one resource, our employee shareholders.

Over the years, we’ve strived to develop a culture of ownership. To demonstrate our commitment, in 2013 we introduced an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) that provides employees with stock ownership. We’re proud that today 100% of our team are employee-owners.

We quickly learned that having an ESOP wasn’t enough, its success would require more than passing out financial statements.

An ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) is an employee benefit plan that gives workers an ownership interest in the company.

culture of ownership

What an ESOP taught management

To support our employee-owners financial literacy training was introduced. Initially, we met monthly reviewing income statements, discussing cost of goods sold, and explaining net income. The goal was to assist our team in understanding the benefits of an ESOP. The unexpected reward was that employee-owners, at every level of the organization, started using the same vocabulary and developed skills that helped them make informed decisions related to our corporate resources.

As financial literacy improved our controller, Susan Lustro, organized smaller groups where participants discussed more detailed financial concepts including how to read a balance sheet, how assets and liabilities affect decision making, and how EBITDA is used to measure profitability. Understanding fundamental financial theories provided a foundation that encouraged everyone at Crafts to feel comfortable making suggestions, which resulted in positive changes.

According to Joe Abbate III, Technical Sales Manager, “For any business owner, it is important to understand the financial calculations used to run the business, and the employee-owners of Crafts Technology are no different.  As owners/shareholders who understand our financial statements we can make better decisions for our company.  The simple start was to review our financial statements as a team and explain why certain changes occurred in certain months.  With better understand, we are able to make strategic decisions with confidence.”

How employee-owner financial literacy makes Crafts a better supplier

Through our shared commitment and values, we’re a stronger team. We have improved in ways that are demonstrated daily:
• the quality of every component we manufacture
• the designs we conceive for our clients
• how we interact with our clients

The benefit of using financial strategies to embrace continuous improvement allows Crafts to develop superior systems and tooling for our OEMs and End-Users. The additional benefits of cost containment, along with lead time and cost reductions, has helped us grow and remain competitive.

As partners in the company with a vested interest, everyone at Crafts works toward the common goals of complete customer satisfaction and improved efficiencies. Knowing Crafts success raises our stock value is a tremendous motivational and management tool.

A culture of ownership improves everything we do

Today, Crafts Technology employee-owners understand how financial decisions impact our clients. And, how reaching our mission to foster synergies that produce solutions to continually enhance the performance & productivity of industrial equipment is a team effort.

According to Jeff Taylor, Crafts Technology president, “Financial literacy is imperative to build a company for the better.” Our financial literacy training has resulted in better customer satisfaction, better employee-owner relations, and better solutions for our customers when faced with application challenges.

We continue to evolve, embracing innovation and creativity in every facet of our business. Developing custom industrial tooling and wear parts requires a dedicated team. Implementing an ESOP and financial literacy training has helped everyone do their job better.

For our employee-owners ESOP participation is a reward for years of dedication and hard work, and a successful incentive for future business growth.

Learn More About What Makes Crafts Technology Culture Unique


Crafts Technology, Inc. manufactures machinery and components. The Company offers rings, core pins, fluid dispensing components, tungsten carbide, advanced ceramics, and precision knives. Crafts Technology conducts its business in the State of Illinois.

The Retirement Celebration of the Year: Celebrating Two Incredible Legacies

Crafts Technology had the honor of hosting a surprise retirement party for Tom Kuhl & Dave Lemaistre, two of the three prior owners of Crafts Technology. 

Tom and Dave had been leading Crafts Technology since 2001, when they purchased the company. Both Tom and Dave had been involved with Crafts operation prior to 2001 and knew that Crafts Technology was a company that had a lot of potential for additional operational improvements and sales growth. 

Tom and Dave progressed the company into 2013; when the three owners sold the entire organization to the employees in a 100% ESOP [Employee Stock Ownership Plan] conversion.