Local Manufacturing & Business Briefs

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


Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) is the world’s fastest-growing airport for cargo, according to Airports Council International-North America. The group says RFD handled about 56.6% more traffic in 2018, outpacing Nairobi, Kenya, and Leige Airport, in Belgium, by more than double. Earlier this year, RFD jumped into the top 20 busiest cargo airports in the U.S., according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Hennig Inc., a Machesney Park, Ill., manufacturer of machine protection and chip/coolant management products, has broken ground on a new 125,000-square-foot addition to its plant. Built to accommodate the firm’s growing presence in the backup power generation market, the $17 million expansion will include a three-shift operation, generator testing capabilities and numerous pieces of equipment, in addition to 285 tons of crane capacity.

Rock Valley College’s (RVC) Data Assurance and IT Security program has been approved as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency. The designation, meant to equip American IT workers for cyber defense, makes RVC one of five community colleges and 12 academic institutions in Illinois with these credentials.

RVC was also awarded a $1.5 million Workforce Equity Initiative Grant to serve low-income, underserved and underemployed people from minority groups, particularly African-Americans, which will make up 60 percent of those served. The grant covers tuition and other expenses related to certificate programs in truck driving and manufacturing skills.

Clinkenbeard, a specialist in rapid prototyping for complex metal and machined parts, has opened its new, 40,000-square-foot facility in South Beloit, Ill. The new facility is nearly double the size of its former Rockford operation.

Ipsen, a Cherry Valley, Ill., specialist in industrial vacuum and atmosphere heat-treating systems, has launched its next Corporate Academy class for training field service engineers. The goal is to fast-track workers for field support of furnaces made by Ipsen and other brands, in order to keep up with rising customer demand. The next 26-week class is expected to begin in January 2020.

Americold, an Atlanta, Ga., based owner and operator of temperature-controlled, integrated infrastructure, has opened a 180,000-square-foot cold storage and operational space in Rochelle, Ill. The facility includes 173,000 square feet of refrigerated space, five rail doors, 23 truck doors, and 55,800 pallet positions, in addition to nearly 100 jobs. According to Americold, the automated system inside reduces by almost a third the number of associates needed at any one time.

PCI Pharma Services, an international specialist in outsourced pharmaceutical services and clinical trials, has opened its Clinical Center of Excellence in Rockford. The 30,000-square-foot addition is designed for flexibility and scalability on packaging, labeling and cold chain storage. The Rockford facility is now PCI’s largest of eight international sites.

ABC Supply Co., the Beloit-based wholesale distributor of exterior building products has opened locations in Auburn, N.Y., La Mirada, Calif., and Sharonville, Ohio. The firm now has more than 760 locations nationwide, including 20 in Ohio, 44 in California and 22 in New York.

Comply365, a Beloit-based specialist in software for content management and document distribution in highly regulated industries, has been selected to produce end-to-end content management and distribution for Wizz Air, a fast-growing European budget airline. The new software will allow the airline to share flight operating manuals between its Air Operator Certificates in Hungary and the U.K.

Bergstrom Inc., a Rockford-based specialist in climate control solutions for commercial vehicles, has partnered with Viatec, a Greenville, S.C., engineering firm, to produce SmartPTO, an electric power takeoff unit, and the eCoolPark, a compact high-efficiency, electric no-idle air conditioning system. Both units are designed to install easily and reduce vehicle emissions.

Woods Equipment, an Oregon, Ill., manufacturer of agricultural, landscape and construction machines, has introduced the Compact Super Seeder, an attachment for tractors, ATVs and UTVs that helps to improve efficiencies in seeding. The lightweight attachment is designed for narrow spaces, tight turns and hard-to-reach areas.