Made in the Suburbs: Elgin Sweeper

Made in the Suburbs: Elgin Sweeper

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From the Daily Herald; Suburban Chicago's Information Source


Q: Describe your company. What product(s) do you make and what are they used for?
A: Elgin Sweeper was founded over 100 years ago and is a subsidiary of Federal Signal Corporation based in Oak Brook. We are the industry leader in truck- mounted sweepers that utilize all modern sweeping technologies so we can offer the most appropriate sweeper for every application. Not only are our sweepers used to clean city and town streets, but also industrial sites, airports and even NASCAR racetracks.

Q: Describe the process of making your products.
A: Our facility can be broken up into three main parts: subassembly, painting and assembly. In the subassembly area we start with large sheets of steel which are then laser cut into smaller pieces. If necessary, these pieces then undergo additional processes such as stamping or bending and ultimately get welded together to form much of our sweeping components. These sweeping components then go through Elgin's in-house, five-step powder coated painting
Our powder coating process goes above and beyond industry standards. Components that are powdered coated at our facility can withstand over 2,000 hours of a salt spray test. For reference, automotive components only last 500 hours of the same salt spray test. Upon completion of painting, we begin final assembly where we mount our sweeper components onto procured truck chassis. Throughout our history Elgin has been known for high quality sweepers, something we take very seriously. Our trucks are rigorously reviewed by our quality department before being shipped to our customers.

Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
A: We are always looking to hire great team members and have openings for manufacturing and office positions. Likewise, we strive for continuous improvement in our manufacturing process and have investments lined up in our manufacturing processes.

Q: Do you have enough space in your current facility or are you looking to expand/find a new facility?
A: We are utilizing all of our current facility but do not have immediate plans to
find a new facility.

Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?
A: Unfortunately, we are experiencing challenges with our supply chain and work force like most other manufacturing companies. Though we have plans in place to address these challenges, we anticipate them continuing throughout 2022 and possibly into the beginning of 2023.

Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?
A: Like the automotive industry, street sweepers are moving toward a sustainable green future with hybrids and in time fully electric sweepers. We are proud that the first two hybrid street sweepers in the country are two Hybrid Broom Bears delivered to the city of Los Angeles at the beginning of March.

Q: Do you have a business mantra?
A: We say our products are "built for clean, backed for life." Elgin Sweepers are designed for a specific purpose, to clean; but we pride ourselves by standing behind our products for the life of the product. Elgin is known for our high quality product, so we take this saying very seriously.

Q: What is one interesting fact about your company that most people may not know?
A: Sweeping has many benefits beyond simply "making a street look clean." Clean streets improve water and air quality, overall community health and prevent water pollution.

Q: What are the benefits to you of making your product(s) here in the Chicago suburbs?
A: We are very proud of our history rooted in Elgin. Beyond our historic roots, our location provides us with a great pool of talent. We love our customers and being so close to O'Hare provides a ton of flexibility to visit customers and have them visit us.

Q: If you could make any product other than street sweepers what you do make, what would it be?
A: We have been manufacturing Elgin Sweepers for over 107 years in this area. It is hard to imagine building any other product in this location.

Q: If you could pick someone famous to promote your product, who would it be?
A: The city of Los Angeles nicknamed their new Hybrid Broom Bears Angus and Malcom, the guitarists of AC/DC; so we would have to pick AC/DC.