Bethel-based ARtech has launched a new line of hand sanitizers and a touchless dispenser system. The firm has diversified in response to the Covid-19 crisis from industrial packaging and lubricants. Readers can find their sanitizer at local retailers such as True Value of Bethel. We recently spoke with ARtech President Dan Arkins.
When did you start ARtech? I purchased an ongoing business in 2012. The previous company had been in lubrication since 1989. The business had been seeing margin and volume decline for a couple of years.
Why? Always wanted to own my own business. I had tried to purchase an electronic communications company previously but, the economy took a nose dive in 2005 2006. Obtaining loan monies became difficult to come by and I sidelined my dream for a while. I continued searched for less expensive companies with owners looking to retire. It didn’t matter what the company manufactured, I was interested.
You now offer a line of hand sanitizers, Vira-Gel. Please tell our readers a bit about that decision. I have a background in packaging all types of products. As such, I have contacts with many types of product developers in food, beverage, personal care, and commodity packaging. When the pandemic started to set in I phoned a friend who I had worked with many years ago. He and I worked on programs which included hand sanitizer. We both jumped in with both feet. We were starting to experience softening in our lubricants for heavy industry (not doubt a result of plant slowdowns) so we quickly modified a filling line and converted to small personal care bottles. We purchased blending and mixing equipment for the specific purpose of blending hand sanitizer. Additionally, we called upon chemists from our vast networking back ground to both source “safe” materials and formula combinations. We got to the starting line early but we needed to wait to enter the market because of the lack of supply of good quality, safe materials. We were offered materials that were not safe for use in hand sanitizers so we had go get good reliable and reputable product from US sources. I am sure our readers have heard of some of those products out there in the marketplace. We assure our customer that we use high quality USP product and our alcohol comes from some of the most trusted refiners in the business. All our product is backed by SDS (safety data sheets) supporting our claims. Additionally, we offer hand sanitizer stations which feature touchless dispensing. Units can be custom designed with customers logo’s.
What other products do you offer? We are a lubricant manufacturer and blender. We consider ourselves a boutique manufacture and blender of lubricants and personal care product . Our lubricants support unique industrial manufacturing, dept. of defense lubricants for weaponry, vehicles, aircraft and space vehicles, bicycle lubricants and cleaner as well as our new line of carpet and fabric cleaner.
What sets your business apart? As mentioned earlier, we are a boutique manufacturer of products. We are able to act quickly. We utilize our vast networking background from many manufacturing contacts to quickly and accurately get a product to market.
Are there any interesting milestones ARtech has reached? 1. Moving the company to Bethel. 2. Creating the line of bicycle lubricants opened up many doors for me personally / socially. 3. Hand Sanitizer business. We quickly and safely developed a product which I am proud of .
What is your most interesting customer story? Had a story written about us in a local publication several years ago. That was when we first began to manufacture our own brand of bicycle lubricants, Ride-Glide.
Because of that publication, a friend of mine, who I had worked with in a big consumers goods company, called and asked me if we would start manufacturing personal care products for him, we jumped at the opportunity and now we work together in the Hand Sanitizer business as well.
Why did you chose to locate ARtech in Bethel? When I purchased the company, it was located in Huguenot NY. 1 hour 45 minute drive from Ridgefield. I knew I needed to move the company closer when I bought it. Bethel had several buildings available. I contacted Janice Chrzescijanek from Bethel’s economic development office and it was 1 stop shopping.
What would you like our readers to know about ARtech? While we sell most of our products out of the country and state, we welcome the opportunity for prospective customers to give us a call and challenge us with anything packaging related program. In addition to developing and packaging products, we also design and build custom packaging equipment.
How can they find out more about ARtech? Check out our websites www.artechlubricants; www.ride-Glide.com; www.Vira-Gel.com. Or stop by to purchase Vira_Gel hand sanitizer or Ride-Glide bicycle lubricant products.