Celebrating our history: a look at our founding

Like Apple’s Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, or the Hewlett Packard boys working in a converted shed, Designetics’ founders Wally Krueger and Craig Williams created a revolution in a humble place. Nearly thirty years ago, Krueger was approached by a leading glass manufacturer with a problem, a challenge and a hope.

Automotive manufacturers were looking for a way to update and upgrade the way automotive glass was assembled on a car. Previous methods slowed production, increased scrap and created issues for worker safety. The question was asked, what if there is a better way, one that would provide an even and smooth coating? A process that would increase production, decrease scrap and support worker safety?

And so, Krueger and Williams worked to create our process. A mechanical engineer by trade, Krueger brainstormed with Williams, who had a technical and business background, on ways to make a repeatable process, one that could produce sharp lines of fluid on glass.

Previously, glass workers would manually mask off areas for fluid application, sometimes even using rags dipped in fluid to get the fluid onto glass. Naturally, that meant drips and spills, with fluid splashing onto assembly workers and the assembly line itself. So, for Krueger and Williams the first order of business was creating an environmentally-safe, closed-system that provided the same amount of fluid, in straight lines, with no mess, which was no small task.

They worked on prototypes that allowed an operator to dispense an even amount of fluid onto the substrate, and tested applicator tips to handle the flow. Then, they tested some more. When the duo found the right solution, they enlisted family members to construct the applicators and dispensers for their client, eventually outgrowing the garage and leasing outside storage units. With Williams making sales calls to potential new customers, the team soon acquired their first building—then a whopping 1200 square feet, making the rest, history.

And today, Designetics continues to expand our product line and product reach, which all started from a single customer request, a bit of tinkering and a garage.

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