The HopperStand was recently launched with help from NIU EIGERlab’s Center for Product Development.

Local Manufacturing & Business Briefs

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

The HopperStand was recently launched with help from NIU EIGERlab’s Center for Product Development.
The HopperStand was recently launched with help from NIU EIGERlab’s Center for Product Development.

Specialty Screw, a Rockford-based specialist in engineered fasteners and cold-headed products, has broken ground on a $2.5-million, 20,000-square-foot addition to its Huffman Boulevard plant. The firm expects to hire an additional 10 employees.

Visitor spending in Rockford and Winnebago County reached $383.7 million in 2017 – the highest total ever recorded, and an 8.3 percent improvement over the previous year, according to the Rockford Area CVB. Tourism now accounts for an estimated 3,084 local jobs and $93.8 million in payroll. Since 2009, visitor spending in Winnebago County has grown faster than any other metro area in Illinois, according to the RACVB.

ABC Supply Co., the Beloit-based wholesale distributor of building materials, has acquired Landis Supply, a Vineland, N.J., distributor of building materials and roofing products. ABC Supply’s L&W Supply division has acquired Rose & Walker Supply, a Columbus, Ind., specialist in interior building products. ABC now maintains more than 700 locations nationwide.

Mid-West Family Broadcasting, a Rockford-based radio broadcaster, has agreed to purchase the assets of WDKB-FM, B95. The DeKalb, Ill., station focuses on local programming and community involvement. Mid-West now operates in eight markets.

The City of Rochelle has begun a $7 million expansion of its city-owned railroad line. The 3.5-mile rail system extension includes the addition of a four-track rail bridge and double-track transloading rail yard. Funding came from the city, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Commerce. Martin Excavating, of Oregon, Ill., William Charles, of Rockford, and RailWorks of Minooka, Ill., will perform construction.

The Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence (NICNE) has become an affiliate of Northern Illinois University. NICNE, which currently serves 12 counties across the region, plans to expand its impact to nonprofits seeking education, training, technical assistance and assessments. It’s now housed inside NIU’s east Rockford campus.

ABC Supply Co., the Beloit-based wholesale distributor of building materials, has been selected to serve on the HIVE Action Partnership, a group of building trades specialists working to address affordable and accessible housing issues.

Siffron, an Ohio-based manufacturer of retail displays with a plant in Rockford, has released two additions to its Space-Max line of impulse merchandising products. The new Promo Riser and Shelf Extender products create “visual disruption” that allows product to be displayed an extra 3.5 inches beyond the edge of the shelf.

NIU EIGERlab, a Rockford-based business incubator, has helped serial inventor Santosh Arcot to launch his third product, the HopperStand. Arcot’s device is labeled as the Swiss-Army knife of utility tables, and it’s designed to act as a universal bag holder. HopperStand was designed with assistance from NIU EIGERlab’s Center for Product Development, which helps entrepreneurs to bring their products to market.

Bergstrom Inc., the Rockford-based specialist in climate control systems for commercial vehicles, has added a “workplace care partners” program to its employee benefits. Teaming up with Dallas-based Marketplace Chaplains, Bergstrom now provides employees with counseling services, including crisis interventions, consultations and hospital visits, all at no charge to employees.

Regal Beloit Corp., a Beloit-based specialist in motion control and power generation, has won the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2018 Product of the Year for its NovaMAX EC Permanent Magnet Motor. The motor’s unique conical rotor/stator geometry provides improved efficiency and performance over previous designs. The motor also was recognized as a finalist in AHR Expo’s Innovation Awards.

PCI Pharma Services, a U.K.-based specialist in medical packaging with a plant in Rockford, has signed an exclusive collaboration agreement with CSP Technologies for U.S. clinical trials and stability testing using PCI’s Activ-Blister packaging technology. Activ-Blister is designed to protect and encourage speed-to-market products that are more susceptible to moisture and gases.

Rock Valley College’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program has received a donated laser wire marking/cutting machine from Service Components Inc., a Machesney Park, Ill., specialist in electrical wire harnesses, cable assemblies, controllers and warehousing for fasteners, pipe fittings, electrical parts, lighting and hardware. The donated machine, a Tri Star laser, will help students learning about the manufacture and repair of aircraft wiring.