Tom Forsythe, Executive VP
KYZEN Corporation
Nashville, TN, USA

Running clean takes on new meaning in the spring of 2020.

Cleaning is always important of course, but during these days of the COVID-19 pandemic, it just seems like we are cleaning everything important in our lives. Of course, many electronic assembly shops run with No-Clean soldering materials, but even here there are stencils, reflow ovens and misprints which need the benefits of a high-performance cleaning materials.

Some high reliability operations clean all of their product of course, these days that often coincides with facilities that are deemed essential operations: sites that supply and support medical and military operations must operate. That is the reason why KYZEN’s manufacturing sites around the world have also been deemed essential and are operating today.

Of course, being essential makes it legal to operate, but like our customers, KYZEN facilities are a veritable ballet of talented production staff, logisticians, laboratory technicians and a whole array of suppliers: raw materials, packaging, lab supplies, power, utilities not to mention broad band connections to tie the world together. Due to our strong presence in China, led by our local facility on the outskirts of western Shanghai, KYZEN had an early wake-up call about the risks and challenges COVID-19 could present.

We created a global, cross-functional team that analyzed our supply chains, suppliers and the emerging needs of our customers across the 50 countries where we operate. This all started back in January. We were able to get masks to our team in China and their families early, while encouraging them to be “smart” as they all stayed safe during the challenging times after Chinese New Year.

It was not long before our sites in Malaysia, Europe and the USA had an opportunity to apply the lessons learned from our colleagues in China. We have been fortunate to keep all our staff and their families healthy and virus free while maintaining operations at all sites.

For our high reliability customers, surety of supply is critical. Being out of stock is simply never the right answer for mission critical materials. For these reasons, KYZEN’s always ample inventories were increased around the world to meet the challenges likely to pop up while moving product across oceans and borders during the pandemic.

Fortunately, not only has our staff been able to keep themselves and their families’ safe, but also we have been able to ship every order requested since the pandemic began. Our customers have had their own operations impacted by the virus, and we have adapted to make sure we can continue to meet their needs.