Northwest Business Magazine

Local Manufacturing & Business Briefs


Discover some of the latest product launches and innovations happening within our region’s manufacturing companies.

Yanfeng Automotive, a Chinese-owned manufacturer of interior cockpit components, plans to build a production center in Belvidere to support the new Jeep Cherokee line. (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles photo)

Yanfeng Automotive, a Chinese-owned manufacturer of interior cockpit components, plans to build a production center in Belvidere to support the new Jeep Cherokee line. (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles photo)

Machesney Park-based Field Fastener, a global provider of inventory management and supply chain solutions for fasteners, has been named to the Inc. 5000 list for the sixth year in a row. Field Fastener’s latest ranking, at 3,933, is a significant jump from its previous position at 4,009, on a list that measures America’s fastest-growing companies.

The Huntwood Business Park in Belvidere has been added into the Belvidere-Boone County Enterprise Zone. Located at Huntwood Road, just south of U.S. Route 20 near Interstate 90, the park and its resident corporations are now eligible for state and local incentives. Finnish company Evac, a specialist in wastewater collection systems for large watercraft, expects to add 15 new jobs to its Belvidere site, inside the park.

The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford has announced that it will provide all four years of medical education at its Rockford campus, beginning in fall 2017. The move is expected to bring an updated curriculum, additional faculty and facility renovations that add up to $33.9 million in additional income over the next 20 years.

AAR has opened its new maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at Chicago Rockford International Airport. The facility covers 238,000 square feet under two 10-story hangar bays that can accommodate a variety of aircraft. The Wood Dale, Ill., company maintains 60 global locations serving customers in 110 countries.

Ohio-based ABX Air, one of the largest air express companies in the U.S., has begun making daily cargo flights from Chicago Rockford International Airport. In its first phase of development, ABX is working from a 72,000 square-foot cargo warehouse at the airport.

USA Today has ranked Rockford as the sixth fastest-growing housing market in the nation. According to the publisher, the median sales price of homes has grown 15.1 percent since 2015.

Chinese manufacturer Yanfeng Automotive plans to build a new manufacturing center in Belvidere to supplement production of Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep Cherokee. The $28.1 million plant is expected to open in 2017 and create about 400 new jobs. Yanfeng produces interior cockpit components such as instrument panels, door panels and floor consoles.

Ipsen, a Cherry Valley-based specialist in thermal processing technologies, has shipped 10 heat-treating systems to clients in India, Vietnam and the U.S. Thse recent orders, which fulfill industries such as aerospace, commercial heat treating and metal injection molding/tooling, include two furnaces with Ipsen’s PdMetrics software for predictive maintenance. The software optimizes equipment performance and production efficiency.

ABC Supply, a Beloit-based distributor of external building products, has acquired Arizona-based Sidewinder Supply Inc., a specialist in roofing material, and Chicago-based L&W Supply, formerly owned by USG Corporation. With these acquisitions, ABC Supply now maintains more than 700 locations in 49 states, with combined annual sales of more than $8 billion.

Bergstrom Inc., a Rockford-based manufacturer of climate control systems for commercial vehicles, has introduced two new heavy-duty air conditioning systems for mining equipment and four no-idle products for the Chinese market. Late this summer, the company opened a new location in Rockwall, Texas, to provide truck and bus HVAC systems for clients in the southeast U.S.

Woods, an Oregon, Ill., manufacturer of agricultural and landscaping implements, has introduced a high-speed Commercial Kinetic Log Splitter for use in commercial firewood production, tree services, campgrounds and landscaping. The splitter comes with a heavy-duty work table and a kickback absorption system.

Textron company Greenlee has introduced the Intelli-PUNCH 11-ton Battery-Hydraulic Knockout Driver designed to detect punch completion. The 6-pound tool exerts 11 tons of force and can punch up to 4-inch conduit-sized holes in 10-gauge mild or stainless steel. The swivel head rotates 360 degrees.

Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Rockford recently won the prized “Walker Cup” for revenue growth during the prior 12 months. The Rockford group of radio stations beat out seven other markets owned by Mid-West Family Broadcasting, including those in South Bend, Ind., Madison, Wis. and Springfield, Ill.

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