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At the intersection of Joliet Road and Bluff Road is the Ridgewood Business Park and the location of Automated Design Corp (ADC). This family owned company has been in Romeoville since the 90’s and today, they’re building robots that golf. The ADC Swing Robot mimics a real-life golfer’s swing and provides the accompanying data. To the average person, just seeing a golfing robot in action is exciting enough, but to those in the know, the ADC robot is groundbreaking.
“Swing robots have been around for a long time, but the data the earlier models generate is not as complete as the equipment manufacturers would like,” explains Tom Bitsky, CEO of ADC. “We listened to what our customers wanted and what we built can be considered revolutionary.” What makes ADC’s robot so different is that it can mimic the wrist swivels you would find in an actual golfer. Other robots do not offer those points of articulation. “When we showed the robot to our customers, they were literally high fiving and cheering. They were having a ball because they had never seen the quality of data that the ADC system can provide.” That’s what this is all about: data. Robots like this are sold to sporting goods companies so they can run tests on their products. They then use the feedback to build the best club, ball, or other piece of equipment.
Automated Design Corp. is a custom automation company, with the majority of their work relating to sports. “There’s very little that we don’t do in golf,” explains ADC President Lisa Bitsky. “We also supply equipment for other sports products like baseball and tennis. We even test shoes!” Lisa also details some of their non-sports work, including machines that put flyers in bags for mail order pharmaceuticals or machines that stir starch in massive vats. “If anyone has a need for something, if they have a unique situation, they will come to us for a solution.”
“So often we talk about innovation and technology and here we have a prime example of such a company,” pointed out Mayor John Noak. “We’re extremely proud that ADC is building robots right here in Romeoville.”
ADC is proud that over 50% of their equipment is sold overseas. They know a thing or two about exporting, working with companies on four continents and having been recognized with prestigious exporting awards in 2013, 2018, and 2019. The U.S. Small Business Administration has been a huge help in getting them into exporting. “They have counselors who teach and advise you. The people are amazing,” detailed Lisa. “There are so many resources out there that can take your small business onto a level playing field with the big companies. People shouldn’t be afraid to export. The world is too small for that now.”
There are a great many businesses in Romeoville, with some of the most exciting ones hiding in plain sight. The next time you see a pro golfer debut a new club, know that a Romeoville company (and a robot) probably played a key role in its development.