In 1968, a car exploded during the pre-trials of the Indianapolis 500. The driver of the car came out of the flames engulfing his vehicle completely unharmed. His name was Mario Andretti and he went on to win the race that year. The suit that saved his life was made by protective fiber developed by TenCate. “One of the first pieces of clothing done with fire protective fabric was done for a racing team, not for firefighters,” explains Mike Anderson, vice president of operations for TenCate Protective Fabrics.

Read more: TenCate Protective Fabrics

Throughout an automobile’s life, the exterior of the vehicle can suffer many scratches and dents that change its appearance. U.S. Chemical & Plastics is a firm that clients turn to so they can help consumers return their cars to their former glory.

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The shift of the consumer electronics manufacturing base to Asia that accelerated in the late 1990s was a catastrophic trend for many U.S. firms. Like many of its peers, Nypro Inc. faced a decline in its volume because much of the work it had performed moved to Asia.

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In business for more than 65 years, Hitchiner has become a leading supplier of complete-to-print, high-volume, complex thin-wall investment castings, as well as fully finished casting-based subassemblies and components. Hitchiner leads the industry in high volume production, reduced lead-times and just-in-time manufacturing, and has the world’s highest unit-volume investment casting capacity.

Read more: Hitchiner Manufacturing Co. Inc.

When TV news stations report on the scene, they often rely on The Will-Burt Company and its telescopic masts, President, CEO and Chairman Jeff Evans says. “Everyone has seen a broadcast truck [with a mast],” he says, noting that electronic newsgathering is one of its major client markets. “We, at one time, had 100 percent of [it].”

Based in Orrville, Ohio, Will-Burt manufactures telescoping masts, as well as tower elevation products, light and camera towers, composite shelters, integrated trailers, cabinets, containers and doors. Partners B.G. Cope and William A. Tschantz started Will-Burt in 1918 as an experimental design shop.

Read more: The Will-Burt Company

Teledyne Hastings has set the standard – and yet it continually raises the bar on process and product improvement. This philosophy has propelled Teledyne Hastings Instrument’s reputation as a leader in developing quality, long-lasting vacuum instruments and gas mass flow gauges and controls.

The nearly 70-year-old firm manufactures gas and vacuum measurement and control devices for a variety of industries. Applications for its mass flow controllers include leak testing, vapor deposition, pollution monitoring, gas blending, medical research, gas chromatography and semiconductor support systems. Its vacuum controls are used in semiconductor processing, refrigeration, metallurgy, food processing and lighting production applications. In addition, the company has achieved ISO certification and CE mark approval.

Read more: Teledyne Hastings Instruments

Twenty years ago, Stein Seal Co. was shipping $10 million a year. Today, the company ships more than $40 million a year and its growth continues. This is all because a year-and-a half-ago, owner Philip Stein set a growth goal that matched forecasted growth for the aerospace industry – approximately 60 percent of its customer base. If the company was prepared for the boost in aerospace equipment production, it stood to potentially double its revenue over the next eight years.

Read more: Stein Seal Co.

Everyone knows what a griddle does. But what if you poured the pancake batter on a griddle and the batter froze instead of frying? That would just be a normal day at Polyscience, where creative thinking made the Anti-Griddle possible, a griddle that freezes food instead of frying it.

Developed for enthusiasts of gastronomy – such as starry-guided Michelin chefs – the Anti-Griddle is used to prepare unique desserts, sauces, purees, crèmes and foams. It can freeze liquids poured on it solid or with liquid centers. Polyscience also sells The Smoking Gun, a smoker that looks like a hairdryer and can enhance many foods – such as butter, oysters, salads, cocktails or chocolate – with a smoky aroma and flavor that would be difficult if not impossible to produce any other way.

Read more: Polyscience, a division of Preston Industries Inc.

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