Northwest Business Magazine

Local Manufacturing & Business Briefs

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

Architectural rendering of the new facility being constructed for Event Floral, in Loves Park, Ill.

Architectural rendering of the new facility being constructed for Event Floral, in Loves Park, Ill.

The Charitable Trust of Woodward Inc. has provided a $152,400 grant to Rockford’s Discovery Center Museum to encourage children’s interests in science, technology, engineering and math. The money will support classroom activities in the Rockford and Harlem school districts, teacher training and local museum exhibits.

The City of Rockford was awarded the Congress for the New Urbanism Illinois Charter Award for its Downtown Strategic Action Plan. The Charter Award recognizes urban design practices that prioritize walkable, diverse neighborhoods, public transit, public spaces, community institutions and building practices. Rockford’s latest downtown plan is based on previous studies that encouraged better design, private investment and connectivity with public spaces.

Excelsior, a Rockford-based manufacturer of custom gaskets, washers, seals, insulators, packings, shims and protective covers, has acquired Grumen Manufacturing, a manufacturer of custom gaskets, seals and mechanical components, based in Gurnee, Ill. Excelsior plans to integrate Grumen’s operations into the Rockford facility.

Event Floral, a Loves Park, Ill., specialist in floral arrangements and decor for weddings and other social events, has begun construction of a new 5,000 square-foot facility. The new space, more than double the size of its current facility, will include room for operations, production and streamlined processes. Construction is expected to be finished later this year.

Fehr Graham, a Rockford-based engineering and environmental firm, has won two Illinois Engineering Excellence Awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACES) of Illinois. The awards recognize the firm’s work on a pump station and main in Champaign, Ill., and improvements to tennis courts at Rockford’s Auburn High School.

The City of Rockford has won two merit awards from ACES of Illinois. The first award recognizes efforts to improve stormwater management in Harmon Park and the city’s Rolling Green neighborhood. The other award recognizes the city’s $1.5 million retrofit of an old railroad bridge into a bike trail that connects Davis Park and a Morgan Street bike path.

Ipsen, a Cherry Valley, Ill., specialist in thermal processing technologies, shipped a record 25 furnaces during the fourth quarter of 2016, reaching customers in six countries and 13 states. The company recently introduced the CompuCore software package for controls retrofits on vacuum heat-treating systems. The system features five main screens for increased operator monitoring.

Wahl Clipper, a Sterling, Ill., manufacturer of personal grooming products, has released three new shavers for men. The yellow LifeProof Shaver is built for active lifestyles and is waterproof up to one meter; the Speed Shave uses precision ground blades for a fast, close shave; the Smart Shave combines high tech with a precision ground trimmer for creating sharp edges.

Southern Imperial, a Rockford-based manufacturer of retail displays and fixtures, presented its new IMPulse 2 pusher system at the GlobalShop 2017 conference. The IMPulse 2 comes in two configurations, each designed for easily dividing and controlling products that are challenging to display. The company also presented its new Kinetic Shelf that aids the displaying of products like detergents, large bottles and soda cans.

Bergstrom Inc., a Rockford-based manufacturer of climate control systems for the cabins of commercial vehicles, has introduced the NITE Phoenix SSI, a battery-operated air conditioner that operates without idling the vehicle engine. The unit is designed to fit all sleepers and can reduce fuel usage by as much as 3,800 gallons per year, according to company estimates.

Local manufacturers met during two recent symposiums – an April event focused on suppliers to the aerospace chain, and a May event connecting manufacturers with Fiat Chrysler. The latter event was sponsored by Rockford Area Economic Development Council and Growth Dimensions.

SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health, announced its intention to build a $130 million women’s and children’s tower at its Midtown Rockford campus. The plan calls for a four-story structure to be opened in 2020, in addition to other campus renovations, including all-private inpatient rooms and improvements to areas including the emergency department, surgery area and catheterization labs. SwedishAmerican expects that, once these updates are completed, it will have spent more than $630 million in campus improvements since 2001.

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