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portable hospital bed

CIT Inc. took an idea, adapted an idea and manufactured that idea in two weeks. They didn’t even have a design when they began.

Direct Supply came to CIT with a concept for a versatile, portable hospital bed to accommodate the overflow of patients in the coronavirus crisis. There wasn’t an image. There wasn’t a sketch. Just an idea. It was CIT’s duty to turn that idea into a design and make magic happen.

The process began with the Sales Team. They set up Zoom calls to review ideas and specifications until there was firm grasp of the product expectation. The Engineering Team joined these calls so that they knew what to expect when the design was handed to them. Once CIT had finally drawn up a design based on the concept, CIT Engineers worked with Direct Supple Engineers to develop the plan.

All the teams worked together and communicated often so that they could move the product to manufacturing in record time. 

That weekend, Engineering worked around the clock. They were always on call to answer questions. They had one task at hand that weekend – to make the hospital bed concept a reality. When the product was complete, the Estimating Team finished up with the pricing. But these dedicated workers weren’t finished yet. Once the bed was complete, the process started over again for the development of the side assist rails and head/foot board brackets.

As soon as design, engineering and pricing were finished for all parts of the bed, CIT immediately produced a prototype for product testing. The documented testing was completed in one day and then, at last, the product was released for manufacturing.

During development, team members from all departments stopped by the robotic welders to see the action. When the first beds were facing inspection, team members gathered around to show their pride in what they’d just accomplished. They realized that they’d done it. They’d been involved in something that would be a crucial helping hand to recovering coronavirus victims.

The process from concept to manufacturing might have been intense, but the reward – knowing that they’d made a difference – was worth it.

Rapid Product Development

When the COVID health crisis caused a shortage of hospital beds, CIT had to manufacture and produce new portable, versatile beds – and they had to do it fast.

A 12-week process became a 2-week process. To go from concept to manufacturing to the market can be expected to take two to three months to complete. With a dedicated team and an important deadline, CIT had a product ready to test one week after receiving the assignment and had their first shipment ready in two weeks.

This rapid product development was far from easy, though.

The customer sent a picture of the product they had in mind, but this design didn’t fit CIT’s manufacturing strengths. They wouldn’t be able to make the deadline. So, the design team started from scratch to change the product idea into a plan that would for CIT and was feasible to complete in two weeks. This challenge alone couldn’t have been overcome without a dedicated team.

The process and timetable were much different than what any CIT employee was accustomed to.

“Design team, who worked the weekend, had to finish the design in 5 days, purchasing had to work on getting material lined up and manufacturing engineering had to have the fixtures in a matter of days,” Kim Wuertemberger, CIT founder, said.

Everyone felt the pressure.

“Everyone did was necessary,” Wuertemberger said. “Our welding robot programmer worked all night to have the first bed complete ready for testing one week after design was given the project. Our weld crew worked the weekend to have a minimum of fifty beds by Monday morning.”

This wasn’t just another project. The rapid-response bed meant that employees had to work more and harder than they ever had before. Regular work hours were nonexistent. There wasn’t time for mistakes. Despite the challenges, CIT Inc. did it, and they did it with grace.

“Our experience in the type of manufacturing that we do can have its share of pitfalls,” Wuertemberger said. “We have enough experience to be able to identify where are challenges are and tackle the long lead issues first to keep projects on track. Consequently, what we did on this project is we can do for others when required!”

To have the beds ready for shipment in just two weeks was – to put it simply – remarkable. The CIT team knew the importance of this product and they stepped up to overcome. For CIT, there is no challenge too big. Not even rapid product development.

CIT Team rapid response

When CIT Inc. quickly went to work to make life-changing rapid response hospital beds to help in the COVID-19 crisis, they had a special weapon – a team.

Though CIT had the tools, skills and experience needed to get the job done, their work ethic and teamwork is what made this project so successful.

Kim Wuertemberger, the president of CIT, said that the team knew of the importance of the rapid response delivery date, so everyone carried out their responsibility flawlessly.

At CIT, employees embrace a “get it done” attitude. When something new comes their way, they are always ready to take it on. Over the years, they’ve improved processes so that they can be sure to offer their customer the best quality product. No task is a task too hard. CIT gets it done. They get it done together.

“Without top-notch people we would just be another average manufacturing facility,” Wuertemberger said.

When CIT received the hospital bed assignment, these top-notch people met together to come up with a game plan. The design team manipulated the design to work to our strengths for manufacturing. The entire CIT team discussed the required time line and gave responsibilities – the design team (who worked the weekend) would have to finish the design in 5 days, purchasing would work on getting material lined up and manufacturing engineering would need to have the fixtures in a matter of days.

Completing the entire process to have the hospital beds ready for shipment in just two weeks should have been next to impossible. But not for CIT.

“Our people have been the biggest reason for the success of this project and countless others that we have tackled,” Wuertemberger said.

With a great team and a strong work ethic, CIT isn’t just another manufacturing company. They’re a manufacturing company that can do almost anything for almost anyone. The specialized rapid response hospital beds are proof of that.

 

CIT Stepped Up to Help Save Lives in the Coronavirus Crisis

When coronavirus swept the nation, no one was truly prepared for the damage it would cause. As it spread, some lived in sickness while others lived in fear. Meanwhile, healthcare heroes worked endless hours to do all they could. So, when the healthcare workers needed help, CIT Inc. was there.

As more and more people in the United States fell ill, more and more hospital beds were needed. There just weren’t enough. Larger cities couldn’t give help to all who needed medical attention because the hospital bed shortage was real and serious. How could those patients get treatment when there is nowhere to put them?

CIT had the answer – A portable, versatile hospital bed. The team got to work designing and manufacturing a bed to meet the needs of the coronavirus crisis. They had one main goal in mind, to create a bed that would accommodate the overflow of patients while still offering the support of a traditional hospital bed. People needed the beds, and they needed them fast.

Standard business hours and days did not exist. The design and engineering team worked around the clock to get their product ready. The first bed was sent to be tested just one week after CIT received the assignment. The following week, shipments were ready.

The CIT team took their responsibility seriously. These beds weren’t just another project. They were an urgent, critical need. The country needed them. The healthcare workers needed them. The many patients needed them.

During the coronavirus crisis, many businesses have changed their ways to help make ends meet. But CIT didn’t change ways, they just fulfilled their duty – to provide a high-quality product in a short amount of time.

The client, Direct Supply, deserved the hospital bed they asked for. The sick deserved, and desperately needed, a place to rest and heal. Now, they have it. The CIT designed hospital bed has been important during these uncertain times. It helped eliminate the hospital bed shortage.

The CIT team didn’t just accomplish another task. They didn’t just create another innovative design and product. They helped save lives.

COVID-19 Hospital Beds

Company goes from concept to first beds in 2.5 weeks

As coronavirus (COVID-19) rapidly spreads throughout the United States, it is causing a shortage of hospital beds impacting the delivery of healthcare services in places like New York. This has highlighted the critical need to ensure plenty of capacity for COVID-19 intensive care patients. With a shortage of beds, a portable, rapid-response bed was needed to shore up shortages in health care facilities during a crisis like COVID-19.

Indiana-based CIT Inc. was contacted by Direct Supply to manufacture a portable, versatile hospital bed designed to accommodate an overflow of patients while offering the support of a traditional hospital bed. CIT designed the first prototype and rolling out the first of thousands of beds this week. The to-market process has taken two weeks to complete. The design and engineering team collaborated and worked around the clock to complete this process in record time. 

CIT Hospital Bed

 “Normally this process takes eight to 12 weeks. We’ve done it in two weeks,” said Wuertemberger, founder of CIT. “To go from concept to manufacturing beds is pretty amazing.”

 “I’m happy to keep our employees working to support medical services, so that emergency ‘healthcare heroes’ can have more beds for patients,” he said.

 CIT is focused on design, prototyping, and manufacturing solutions for companies in aerospace, automotive, cab and canopy, material handling and medical industries. Learn more at c-i-t.com.

 Direct Supply is an employee-owned company committed to Bringing What’s Next to Senior Health via world-class procurement, building management, care technology, and design and development solutions. Learn more at DirectSupply.com.

 

Recently, a CIT built cab was featured on the MCFA website and in Mystic Seaport’s video entitled “Mystic Seaport’s Long History with Lift Trucks.” Check out the video below to see a CIT cab in action.

CIT has proven to be successful in creating the highest quality products for clients over the last 30 years. How do they do it? With a quality strategy that meets ISO requirements and puts clients first, as well as by implementing quality control strategies throughout the entire manufacturing process. These are the three key elements in CIT’s quality strategy.

Manage expectations

CIT builds in quality up front with state of the art equipment and fixturing by setting and managing expectations from the very beginning of the production process. They also use reputable suppliers to purchase the needed materials for production of finished products.Through the use of the highest quality equipment, CIT sets great expectations for its products.

Aligning the team to objectives through one-on-one training

One-on-one training helps to not only create a solid, unified and well-informed team but also guarantees that employees are aware of objectives and expectations during the manufacturing process. CIT trains and properly instructs employees to assure that they understand the expectations of each component that they make.

Developing long term goals and metrics

During the design and manufacturing review meetings, CIT develops and plans the quality controls to be used during manufacturing. This method ensures that quality can be properly measured both throughout and after completion of the process.

CIT’s quality strategy creates results that benefit the customer above all. With this quality strategy in place, CIT customers can expect a higher, consistent quality of the products and services provided by CIT. This strategy also means that products come at a lower cost to customers and quality products are delivered on time and meet customer expectations.

Whether it’s off-loading or outsourcing, there is an opportunity for outsourced tooling in the aerospace industry. OEMs are farming out a variety of tooling work. This opportunity comes with expectations, processes and standards that are beyond any industry CIT has ever worked with, requiring the utmost design, quality and expertise.

CIT’s interest in this highly advanced market fits with its capabilities to produce sophisticated tools and high end parts while being cost competitive at the same time. Large aerospace OEMs are looking to CIT because of our small size, competitive nature and talent to do the work faster, cheaper and better. This follows the business model that is prevalent in the automotive industry, with the obvious differences in scale.

CIT will work diligently to be the right supplier for the right aerospace companies where it can add the best value and create the best relationships.

When there’s a need in the market, CIT looks to meet it.

There was a noticeable lack in the robotics market and instead of sitting by and letting someone else handle it, CEO Kim Wuertemberger decided his team would solve the problem and start creating robots of their own. CIT builds robots for several reasons: cost, custom application, efficiency for the client and offered flexibility.

Cost

From a cost standpoint as they surveyed the market, CIT couldn’t find anything to fit its needs and the cost was just too expensive. So, instead of outsourcing robotics, they designed and built their own at a more affordable price.  

Custom application

There’s a very specific need around the manufacturing of returnable shipping racks, cabs and liftgates and, at the time, there was nothing in the marketplace that was able to fit this need. By implementing custom robotics, CIT’s clients can now have their own individual needs met.

Efficiency

By implementing a robotics system, CIT is able to create efficiency for the client instead of having parts manufactured from several different places. By not outsourcing robotics, CIT is giving customers not only a more cost-effective solution, but a more efficient one as well.

Flexibility

Customer robotics systems allow CIT to give customers the flexibility to utilize robotics for racks or fully welded cabs.

CEO Kim Wuertemberger focuses primarily on the small details that help make the big picture happen within the company. When these small details come together, CIT is able to provide top-notch custom robotics that are cost-effective, efficient and flexibly offered.

“I’m basically a shop floor kind of guy,” Wuertemberger said. “You’re most likely to find me working with our team on process improvement or reverse engineering. I’m obsessed with the details of how things work with safety and efficiency, and of course, we have to think about profitability- not just our own, but our clients’ profitability. It’s this type of design and process thinking that has been at the heart of our success.”

In case you missed it, CIT recently featured the cab that it produces for Mitsubishi at the CONEXPO Show. 

According to Dave Mahan, Senior Program Manager, CIT’s cab is not like the rest of them.

“What’s really unique about this cab is that it’s comparable to a tilt cab except that both sides open completely. So you just have engage the latch on both sides in order to completely open the side panels in order to reach the engine,” Mahan said.  

The way the side mechanism works, you can access the engine from either side of the cab. This slight distinction makes a big difference in the long run. It’s easier for maintenance departments to gain access to the engine this way, making repairs simple and the upkeep process smoother and more efficient.

This is a big win for the industry as CIT continues to showcase its ability to create innovative, cost-effective and quality cabs and other manufactured goods for the automotive industry.

For more information on our cab designs, read our “Cab Of The Future” roundup post here.


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