Standard Colors President Tom Picha (R) donates hand sanitizer to Linda Takyi and Matt Wolf of Wake Forest Baptist Health. Photo courtesy Standard Colors.
Standard Colors shifts gears to produce hand sanitizer
Posted May 6, 2020
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Tom Picha is president of Classic Dyestuffs, Inc. (CDI), Standard Colors, Inc. and Solarogen LLC (a subsidiary of CDI), companies that manufacture and distribute colorants for a wide range of industries.
On a regular basis they supply colorants and specialty chemicals for such end use application as textiles, leather, paper, agro chemicals, and food, drugs and cosmetics (FD&C).
Recently, Picha and his employees, through a mixture of need, serendipity, ingenuity and grace, have been turning out a clear liquid in great demand: hand sanitizer.
“We are blessed. I thank God openly,” said Picha. “We have been blessed with this opportunity to do this. It’s our way of giving back.”
Recently, Standard Colors and Classic Dyestuffs donated 275 gallons of hand sanitizer to Wake Forest Baptist Health. They followed with donations of 24 gallons each to the High Point police and fire departments.
“Once we established our supply lines, quality control and production processes to make product, there was no question what the next step was: we were going to give back,” said Picha.
When the onset of COVID-19 began slowing their traditional business and increasing the need for hand sanitizer, Picha and members of his staff researched the idea of handling and bottling the product.
“We gauged the interest in our core customers and there was an immediate response,” said Picha. “We decided to pull the trigger and produce a batch. It was outside of what we normally do. It was a gamble.
“Our revenues took a hit (from the COVID-19 crisis), but by that time we were gearing up for the hand sanitizer,” he added. “When some of our customers went quiet, it gave us time to get this moving.”
Amazingly within a short period of time from making the decision to begin production, “SolaroGuard” hand sanitizer was rolling out of the building.
There was some good fortune involved.
All of the companies – Standard Colors, Classic Dyestuffs and Solarogen – are considered essential businesses because they produce products for industries involved in the battle against COVID-19, so they were operational and staffed.
Some of the machinery used in the production of other products were similar to what was needed to manufacture hand sanitizer.
“We had to retool some machinery, sanitize the areas where we make the product and bottle it, but the turnaround was quick,” Picha said.
The facilities were already FDA registered, which enabled quick approval to bottle and package the product.
Because the companies were handling solvent-based colorants, they were familiar with flammables.
“We handle flammable chemicals on a regular basis and have the proper training and licensing,” said Picha, noting hand sanitizer is highly flammable. “We notified the fire department to let them know about our intention to handle hand sanitizer in bulk quantities at our facilities. They graciously accommodated us by advising proper safety and storage considerations.
Perhaps the biggest key in the quick turnaround to production was a nimble attack.
“I will say this about our company: we are very flexible and capable,” said Picha. “We’ll take on a lot of projects many companies won’t. We’ve got a strong team of good people. Everyone from production, technical, sales, customer service and logistics are hardworking and have a team mindset. We are blessed to have such a talented and hardworking group of people.”
“SolaroGuard” hand sanitizer is available for purchase at solargen.com or by calling (866) 519-3772 and ordering by phone.
Founded in 1979 by David Picha, Classic Dye/Standard Colors is based here. Other companies in the group include Solarogen, LLC, Reliant Aluminum Products in High Point and Centricor Analytical Labs in Charlotte.
Source: Classic Dye/Standard Colors