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.

Ipsen Titan v6 furnace

Ipsen Titan v6 furnace

Advanced Machine & Engineering, a Rockford-based manufacturer of machine tool components and metal cutting machines, has purchased a new horizontal machining center aimed at filling the company’s 25 percent growth in orders. The firm expects to add 10 additional CNC machinists this year.

Northern Illinois Development Alliance, Freeport/Stephenson County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Freeport Downtown Development Foundation and Freeport Area Chamber of Commerce have joined together in forming the Greater Freeport Partnership, a new organization to promote economic development, tourism and business services throughout Stephenson County. The new organization is expected to begin operations this June.

ABC Supply, a Beloit-based wholesale distributor of building products, has acquired the assets of Robosson Supply Inc., a Maryland distributor of select exterior building materials. ABC Supply now manages more than 700 locations around the U.S.

The City of Rochelle, Ill., in partnership with local elected officials, business owners and managers, has established the Commercial & Retail Advisory Board to swap best practices and align common strategies. The group plans to meet monthly.

Astro-Physics, a Loves Park, Ill., producer of telescopes and related equipment, introduced its new 92mm f6.65 Stowaway at this spring’s Northeast Astro-Imaging Conference. Rehashed from a product the company built between 1999 and 2002, the new Stowaway is designed for easy portability.

Wahl Clipper Corp., a Sterling, Ill., manufacturer of personal, professional and animal grooming products, has introduced the Lithium Ion Vacuum Trimmer, designed for gathering up loose whiskers, and the Lithium Ion Aqua Blade, which features a stainless steel blade that’s set closer than traditional blades and doesn’t need to be replaced.

Greenlee Textron, a Rockford-based manufacturer of professional tools, has introduced the K09-SYNCRO crimping tool, designed with color-coded dies that rotate simultaneously to prevent misalignments. The firm has also expanded its line of battery-powered hydraulic cable cutters, introducing a Gator tool that can handle a 2-inch inline.

Rock Valley College (RVC) and Northern Illinois University (NIU) have signed a “2+2” agreement that allows students in the community college’s exercise science program to seamlessly transition into DeKalb’s four-year university. Students will complete RVC’s associate degree before earning a bachelor’s at NIU.

Ipsen, a Cherry Valley, Ill., producer of heat treating equipment, shipped 10 furnaces in the first quarter of 2018, sending its equipment to California, Georgia, Ohio, Washington, Wisconsin and Asia. The firm also designed and built a vertical, high-pressure quenching furnace that boasts twin cooling systems, a work volume of 350 cubic feet and a quenching capability of 1,000 horsepower.

Bergstrom Inc., a Rockford-based manufacturer of climate control systems for commercial vehicles, has introduced two new no-idle HVAC systems. The NITE Hawk-S is designed for SUV-based work trucks, while the eCoolPark provides a high-efficiency, electric no-idle air conditioner.

Siffron, an Ohio-based manufacturer of retail displays and custom merchandising solutions, has committed to a $2.6 million capital investment in its Rockford plant. Upgrades include new hook-forming machines and a robotic welder.

Littlestar Plastics, a Machesney Park, Ill., specialist in design and manufacture of plastic parts, has built specialty tooling for components of the Polimotor 2, an experimental project aimed at constructing an automotive engine from mostly polymer-based parts.

The “Freeport All In” brand initiative and Collaborate Freeport, a public-private partnership to increase strategic alignment, have won Best Branding Initiative and Best Website awards from the Illinois Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Nominations were judged by tourism directors from eight surrounding states.

Regal Beloit, a Beloit specialist in motors, motion control and power generation/transmission, has agreed to acquire Nicotra Gebhardt S.p.A., a European specialist in energy-efficient systems for ventilation and air quality. Regal’s $154 million acquisition is expected to close by the end of the second quarter 2018.

Accuride’s Rockford Operations, which specializes in Gunite and KIC-brand wheel end components, was named an IndustryWeek Best Plant in recognition of innovation efforts. The longest continuously operating plant in Rockford has recently received $70 million in capital upgrades, adopted lean manufacturing and quality standards, improved data-driven operation and built a culture of continuous improvement, according to Accuride.

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