Weeks before the onset of COVID-19, Lifetime Products partnered with George Koch Sons LLC to design, fabricate, and install a powder finishing system to support its business demand. For many, Lifetime’s trademark basketball goals, play sets, and outdoor equipment provided a necessary and safe distraction from everyday life during the pandemic. As a result, Lifetime found itself helping mitigate the negative impacts of social isolation. Maintenance and Facilities Director at Lifetime, Jayson Barnes, credited much of Lifetime’s response to their collaboration with Koch, saying the installation process, constant communication, and performance of the system made it possible to fulfill customer’s recreational needs at a time when social events have proven dangerous for physical health and safety.
In April, Koch mobilized onsite to begin the installation of the system. Barnes, a first-time customer for Koch, was pleasantly surprised by the sense of urgency and detail shown by Koch throughout the building and installation process. When unforeseen obstacles arose, Koch was able to quickly remedy a solution that ensured smooth installation and timeliness. “I’ve worked with so many other companies, and between cleaning up messes, issues with parking, and monitoring safety regulations, the installation process can sometimes feel like a nonstop babysitting interaction, that was not the case at all with Koch,” said Barnes.
Koch Project Manager, Seth Johannemann, touched on the virtually flawless communication between Koch and Lifetime, saying, “We faced an adverse and unprecedented pandemic environment coupled with 1,500 miles separating our locations. Still, communication and conflict resolution were streamlined due to diligence demonstrated by both teams.”
At a time when many of Lifetime’s product demands have seen a rapid increase, Koch’s comprehensive system engineering and high-quality manufacturing have been transformative in accelerating production rates. Describing Lifetime’s dire need for products over the last six months, Barnes stated, “At one point in time some of us were working six days a week to provide play sets, basketball systems, and kayaks for people who wanted their kids to be outside. Without those things, depression and other problems escalate quickly.” Lifetime’s new system allows for a rapid line speed of 18 feet per minute, a 98% uptime performance, and the ability to simultaneously run different parts. Barnes says the Koch system has exceeded his expectations and positively influenced the lives of Lifetime’s customers.
While the last six months have created unfavorable circumstances for many, Lifetime has provided a necessary distraction from harsh realities imposed by the pandemic. The outdoor equipment company is proud to be a reliable source of support for its customers during uncertain times and feels confident the Koch system will continue to allow for consistent, high-quality production. Koch is humbled to play a fundamental role in Lifetime’s efficient pandemic response and looks forward to collaborating on future projects.