SEC Design returning to Libertyville
Husband and wife CEO/CFO team Rory Gahart and Ellen Gahart of Libertyville walk through the empty warehouse of their new Libertyville location at 1800 Tempel Drive. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
NAME: SEC Design Technologies
SPECIALTY: Creates first-ever machines for companies to increase production, test products
LOCATION: 1800 Tempel Drive, Libertyville
HOURS: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
CONTACT: (847) 680-0439; www.secdesign.com
Updated: October 14, 2012 12:22PM
LIBERTYVILLE — SEC Design Technologies is moving back to Libertyville in a really big way.
The company that designs and builds custom automation for customers worldwide is leaving its Lake Forest location to operate from a 19,000-square-foot space at 1800 Tempel Drive and add more staff to meet growing demand.
Founder and President Rory Gahard started SEC Design 20 years ago in his house in Libertyville, completing small design projects for local companies. As demand grew, Gahard quit his job at Abbott Laboratories and opened a 2,000-square-foot shop in downtown Libertyville. They outgrew that space in five years.
“When we left there, we probably had four employees,” said Gahard, a 1977 Libertyville High School graduate.
Three moves later, SEC Design employs 10.
“But we’re looking to add on, once we get completely into the new building,” the Libertyville resident said.
Gahard will seek additional engineers, designers and machine builders to meet the needs of SEC Design’s growing list of worldwide customers.
“We actually make the machines that will assemble and test products,” Gahard said.
With an in-house machine shop and design team, SEC creates and builds machines that helps companies produce more, faster.
“Every machine we build is very different than the one before,” he said.
One of Gahard’s first customers in 1992 when he launched his business was MacLean-Fogg Co. in Mundelein, where he worked for two years in the machine shop through the co-op program at LHS.
“That’s where I learned to be a machinist,” he said. “They taught me electrical, welding, design — all that stuff.”
Kevin Small of MacLean-Fogg said the machine Gahard designed and built allowed them to produce nuts that wouldn’t free-spin on a bolt.
“It increased our production and gave us more consistent quality,” Small said.
SEC Design also worked with New Archery Products in Forest Park to speed up production of its broadhead arrows from 40 an hour to one every eight seconds.
“We have over 30 pieces of our equipment in their facility,” Gahard said.
SEC Design was the first company to create production machines that could automatically over-pouch an IV bag.
“Those went all over the place — Ireland, Spain, Mexico, Germany,” he said.
The over-pouch assignment, like all the rest, have been referrals.
“That’s one of the unique things about us,” said Gahard. “In 20 years in business, I’ve never had a salesperson. It’s all been word of mouth.”
Gahard hopes to continue that success in the move from Ballard Drive in Lake Forest to the new location across the street from the Libertyville Sports Complex, which should be completed later this month.