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 Business > Manufacturing

1795 Commerce Drive | Elk Grove Village, IL 6007 | www.dkgroup.com

Protecting and Enhancing Graphics

Protecting and Enhancing Graphics

Lamination was a manual, time-consuming process for manufacturers, until engineer Karl Singer automated it in the 1970s with a cutting machine he built from his garage. “An automated cutting system for lamination didn’t exist before that point,” said Brian Biegel of D&K. Singer moved his budding business in 1979 to Elk Grove. Dissatisfied with the quality of film he bought from other manufacturers, he became a one-stop shop by adding to his services film, laminating equipment, adhesives and custom products.

The company also manufactures and sells equipment for desktops, as well as big jobs and wide format printing. Its films can be cut to specifications to eliminate waste and keep costs down. “We are the only company that does what we do,” Biegel said. “We are a total solution provider for graphics applications.”

Lamination enhances images and protects graphics from handling and the elements. The demand is staggering. “We convert over 1 million linear feet of lamination film per day for graphic markets,” Biegel said. D&K products are everywhere, he said, from restaurant menus to credit cards to books and outer labels on food products, commercial airplanes and electronics. “You most likely have D&K products in your wallet right now.”

The company employs from 150 to 200 workers, including Singer’s two sons, Tony and Kasey. It has five locations in Elk Grove Village as well as a North Carolina facility that services equipment used by framing shops, and an independent operation in England that handles overseas accounts.

“In the beginning, we were one of a few companies doing what we do. Today it’s more competitive with industry consolidation and competition from overseas.” Luckily, in the last decade, he has seen a push for products “Made in America,” a quality inherent in the D&K line.