Made in the Suburbs: Jessup Manufacturing

  • Emely Estudillo, Machine Operator on the CL1000 -- a coating and laminating machine.

    Emely Estudillo, Machine Operator on the CL1000 -- a coating and laminating machine. Photo courtesy of Jessup Manufacturing

Updated 5/15/2023 12:56 PM

An interview with Rob Jessup, President, and CEO at Jessup Manufacturing Company.

Q: Describe your company. What product(s) do you make and what are they used for?


A: Jessup Manufacturing is a family-owned company that has been producing adhesive coated and laminated films, anti-slip tapes, photoluminescent materials, and specialty graphics media since 1956. The company has two manufacturing plants in the United States and provides bulk materials that can be converted into a variety of industrial and consumer products through slitting, sheeting, laser cutting and die-cutting processes.

Jessup's commitment to quality and innovation has made it a trusted name in the industry, and their products are utilized in diverse industries such as manufacturing, transportation, retail, architecture and government institutions. The company also offers labeling, packaging, supply chain management, and logistics services to its clients, enabling them to focus on their core business functions. Jessup's expertise and experience allow them to meet the needs of various industries and applications, from nonslip tapes for industrial safety to custom graphics media for advertising.

Q: Describe the process of making your products.

A: Jessup is well-known for its innovative custom coating and converting capabilities. This is achieved through the company's six-step Solve + Make process, which enables Jessup to develop unique and engineered solutions for a wide range of industrial and commercial applications. One of the key advantages of this process is that it allows Jessup to work with a variety of materials, including those that use solvent-based adhesives and client-supplied materials.

By utilizing this process, Jessup Manufacturing can provide custom solutions that meet the specific needs and requirements of its clients. This level of innovation and customization is a hallmark of Jessup's commitment to providing high-quality products and services to its customers.

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Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

A: We are always looking to add new talent to the Jessup team and have positions open in both of our manufacturing locations. In addition, we plan to aggressively add new capital equipment designed to improve quality and efficiency so that we can continue to delight our customers.

Q: Do you have enough space in your current facility or are you looking to expand/find a new facility?

A: It seems the more space we build, the faster we fill it. Yes, we will be adding to our existing manufacturing footprint in the Chicago suburbs and also continuing to add global distribution for our branded product lines.

Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?

A: Supply Chain Disruptions: Supply chains have become increasingly complex and vulnerable to disruptions. Jessup could potentially face challenges in sourcing raw materials leading to production delays and cost increases.

Competition: The manufacturing industry is highly competitive, with new entrants and established players vying for market share. Jessup Manufacturing could face increased competition from domestic and international competitors.


Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?

A: In recent years, some of the hottest trends in the adhesive coated films industry have been toward more sustainable and environmentally friendly products. Many companies (including Jessup) are investing in research and development to create adhesives that use renewable resources and are biodegradable or recyclable. Additionally, there has been a focus on developing adhesives that are stronger and more durable, while also being easy to apply and remove.

Q: Do you have a business mantra?

A: We make products that make the world a safer place to work and play.

Q: What is one interesting fact about your company that most people may not know?

A: Jessup The Original grip tape is a well-known product in the skateboard industry, and it is one of the first grip tapes on the market, born in the early 1980s. The grip tape is made of a high-quality silicon carbide grit that provides excellent traction for skateboarders. Jessup The Original® grip tape is known for its durability and long-lasting performance, and it is used by skateboarders of all levels, from beginners to professionals.

Q: What are the benefits to you of making your product(s) here in the Chicago suburbs?

A: There are several benefits to Jessup for making our products in the Chicago suburbs.

First, being located in a major transportation hub allows for easy access to national and international markets. This makes it easier to distribute products to customers quickly and efficiently.

Second, the Chicago area is home to a highly skilled workforce, which helps to ensure the quality of the products produced.

Third, Jessup can take advantage of the local infrastructure and resources, such as utilities and raw materials, which can help to reduce production costs.

Finally, being located in the Chicago suburbs provides a central location for customers to visit and tour the manufacturing facilities, which can help to build relationships and trust with clients. Overall, making products in the Chicago suburbs provides Jessup with a strategic location and access to resources that can help us produce high-quality products efficiently and effectively.

Q: If you could make any product other than what you do make, what would it be?

A: More earth friendly sustainable products ... round out our portfolio of sustainable product solutions.

Q: If you could pick someone famous to promote your product, who would it be?

A: Our customers. They are the best spokesman for our products and services. Our customers are the ultimate testament to the quality and effectiveness of our products and services.

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