NEW BERLIN, WI— A New Berlin-based manufacturer,, is celebrating its 75th anniversary amid the pandemic, the company shifted gears to produce equipment that helps protects worshippers from the coronavirus.
The company's name comes from the words ‘dynamic’ and ‘protection.'
Formerly known as A&A Manufacturing, the company started during World War II and while there were industries dedicated to wartime items, Dynatect was asked to make basketballs and footballs for children, Jonathan Piel, Vice President of Business Development, said.
Dynatect's founders started sewing the basketballs and footballs in their garage. After the war, workers used the sewing expertise to make fabric bellows for machines. The manufactured items evolved into different fabric solutions and machine protections.
"You know the long busses with what looks like an accordion in the middle? We make those," Piel told Patch.
Dynatect is the top manufacturer in the country of roll-up doors such as the ones on a side of emergency vehicles like fire trucks.
The company has over 700 employees worldwide. The New Berlin location, Dynatect's headquarters, has been in operation since 1970. There are also two plants in New Berlin and additional plants across the country.
Dynatect's staff had to make a number of modifications due to the pandemic. When the Wisconsin Safer at Home mandate happened, Piel said about 40 employees were able to work remotely.
Piel added the health and safety of employees is always a priority and the company made sure staff spread out, wore masks and everything was clean.
"Painfully, our business has gone down in the midst of the economic recession. We had to make some adjustments," he said to Patch.
Shortly after the pandemic started, Dynatect started producing fabric masks. Piel said they put in an inventory of 1,000 masks and sold 800. After another 1,000 masks were put in "the whole market changed," Piel said, explaining that the market became flooded with cheap and lower quality masks.
Dynatect also made other safety and protection items. They had some creative engineers create inexpensive plexiglass shields that sit on a table or counter.
"We thought we could do it less expensive, faster, and with better quality than other people could," he said.
They introduced it but unfortunately, it hasn't seen much commercial success. The market had become flooded with this type of solution.
From that build, the staff asked themselves what solution are other people not addressing? Through brainstorming, Dynatect came up with the "FaithShield" for pews in churches or other religious institutions. The invention was in response to places of worship that needed protective barriers so more worshipers can participate.
Dynatect’s FaithShield mounts to the top of pews to provide protection whether participants are seated or standing. There is a built-in hand-bar to assist transitioning between sitting and standing.
A 'passion project'
The FaithShield is considered a passion project for the company as they are not making their business off of it. Although they are hoping for adoption that drives more hiring.
Piel said the company knew the previous two endeavors of masks and plexiglass shields were not commercially successful. They didn't know if the FaithShield would be commercially successful for Dynatect either, but "being people of high convictions, we decided this was the right thing to do for people to get back into worship," Piel told Patch.
He added staff at Dynatect are trying to improve their culture and country throughout adversity.
Dynatect's FaithShield was recently nominated for "Coolest Thing Made In Wisconsin" contest. Each year, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and Johnson Financial Group partner to determine the "Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin".
"The competition aims to highlight the state’s vibrant manufacturing industry. The contest not only brings attention to all the cool things made in Wisconsin, but also the outstanding career opportunities available in manufacturing – an industry that employs 1 in 6 people in the state," according to the contest's website.