Local Manufacturing & Business Briefs

Discover some of the latest product launches and opportunities happening among our region’s manufacturers.


omax Systems Opens New Facility
The manufacturer of static mixing technology has opened its new facility in The Business Park at Spring Creek Lakes, in Loves Park, Ill. The first development in the new business park is expected to add 20 employees at its start, with an additional 10 positions opening soon.

Health Clinic Planned for Downtown Rockford
Chicago-based Oak Street Health, which provides care, classes and events for older adults on Medicare, has signed a 15-year lease for a new clinic in downtown Rockford, at 301 E. State St. Expected to open this summer, the clinic will add 18 health care jobs with plans to double its staff by 2019. The property will receive a $1.1 million update.
Illinois a Top Contender for Development
Illinois has been ranked No. 3 for for capital investment attraction by Site Selection magazine. The state’s 394 projects last year put it just behind Texas and Ohio, and just ahead of North Carolina and Georgia. In Rockford, more than 2.4 million square feet across at least 30 projects were planned for development during 2014.
Manufacturing, Logistics Lead in I-39 Corridor
Investments in the I-39 Logistics Corridor, which stretches from Bloomington, Ill., to Janesville, Wis., grew 81 percent year-over-year in 2014, according to the Rockford Area Economic Development Corporation (RAEDC). New growth is primarily connected to new manufacturing and transportation-related developments.
Rockford Startup Nabs Funding Prize
Rockford-based EIGERlab’s latest FastPitch Competiton winner has taken the top prize in the InnovateHER Challenge sponsored by the Women’s Business Development Center in Chicago. Tracie Burress, owner and creator of the sockTABs laundry tool, competed against 10 other American female entrepreneurs for $30,000 in cash prizes. She was the only Illinois woman named a semifinalist. The 2015 FastPitch Competition is scheduled for June 17 at EIGERlab, a business accelerator and startup laboratory in Rockford.
Firm Expanding in New Production Center
Superior Joining Technologies, a Machesney Park, Ill.-based firm specializing in precision welding, laser applications and special processes, has purchased a new 54,000 square-foot facility in Machesney Park. The company plans to create a state-of-the-art production center.
ABC Supply Builds Market Share
Beloit-based ABC Supply Co. has acquired Rome Building Products in Worcester, Mass., in addition to Minneapolis-based Western Roofing Supply Co. Both acquisitions expand the roofing and building supplies dealer’s footprint in those markets.
Astro-Physics Releases New Equipment
The Machesney Park, Ill., producer of telescope control devices has released several pieces of equipment, including the redesigned “Gran Turismo,” a triplet lens telescope for astronomical photography. The Gran Turismo was introduced at the Northeast Astronomy Forum this spring.
Southern Imperial Display Wins Big
The Rockford-based manufacturer of retail display solutions has won the Bronze 2015 POPAI’s Outstanding Merchandising Achievement Award. The company’s entry, a display for Ocean Vodka, reached participation levels that were about 245 percent above plan. Southern Imperial has also released Allura LED lighting for product displays. The lighting system reduces energy consumption by 80 to 90 percent and can last about 50,000 hours.
New Woods Tillers Dig into Market
Woods Equipment, based in Oregon, Ill., has introduced several new lines of heavy-duty disc harrows for soil tilling. Available in three widths, these tools fit utility tractors and eliminate the center ridge created by traditional models. Accessories include furrow fillers, mud scrapers and a rear drawbar.
Survey Shows Positive Signs For Area Growth
About 35 percent of area companies said they plan to expand capacity in the next three years, according to the latest Voice of the Customer survey, performed by RAEDC. Expansion will cost about $293 million in capital, cover about 896,000 square feet of new space and create 1,876 jobs. According to executives, the Rockford area’s competitive strengths include low cost of living and easy access to infrastructure and the Chicago/Milwaukee markets.
Greenlee Wraps Skunkworks Project
The Rockford-based manufacturer of hand tools, knockouts, wire and cable tools, and electronic measuring equipment has completed its second skunkworks project at Rockford’s EIGERlab, a business accelerator and incubator. Over five months, engineers used the lab’s product development and industrial production spaces to create the CTF-200 cable tray feeder.