The highly competitive grinding wheel industry is shrinking, meaning there is not much room for Industrial Polymers & Chemicals (IPAC) Inc. to grow in its traditional market, accord­ing to President Bob DesRosiers. This does not cause the company to fear, however. IPAC is using its expertise and extensive capabilities to diversify into new markets with customers who appreciate its brand of quality and service.

Founded in 1881, Home Rubber Co. is still largely a job shop producing specialized components made from blends of synthetic and natural rubbers. It even still produces its products in its original location using mostly batch manufacturing techniques, although the factory has had numerous additions over the past 130 years so it now encompasses 65,000 square feet.

According to Tobin Pospisil, presi­dent of Gallatin Steel Co., mini mills are not to be underestimated. As a producer of steel hot-rolled coils, he says Gallatin’s three major focuses are safety, quality, and reliability and its goal is to improve all three. “Along with the majority of the steel industry, we continue to sharpen our product quality and move into applications that people didn’t be­lieve mini mills could supply,” he says.

For 145 years, Flint and Walling has specialized in products that help its customers move water. “[Our cli­ents] expect a high level of service and we do our best to provide it,” President Scott Lechner says. Based in Kendallville, Ind., the company is a manufacturer of water pumps, centrifugal pumps, pressure booster pumps, variable speed drive systems, and specialty products such as pond and fountain systems. Flint and Wall­ing started operations in 1866, one year after the presidency of Ab­raham Lincoln.

With more than 110 years of experi­­ence and a long list of high-profile customers in the retail, restaurant, petroleum, hotel, finance, automotive, corporate identification and gam­ing markets, Federal Heath is frequently the sign vendor of choice for many businesses nationwide. These clients select the company to design, manufacture, in­stall and maintain their storefronts and commercial locations.

Faribault Foods is more than a food packager – it says it is a solution for producers looking to outsource their niche product manufacturing. “We’re a full-service supplier,” Vice President of Manu­facturing Scott King says. “From sourcing ingredients to the end-product, we can and have done it all for all sorts of individuals.”

Peter Fink, founder and owner of Certified Transmission, explains that his company’s warranty policy is simple: “If you have a problem, it’s our problem. If it quits a few thousand miles out of warranty, we’ll fix it.”  This is probably one of the reasons Certified Transmission was again sel­ected by the Better Business Bureau as an Integrity Award Winner in 2010.

“Our industry is down nearly 60 percent over the last four to five years, but we are still performing well. That is due to efficiencies in all areas,” stresses Terry McNew, executive vice president of Brunswick Recreational Boats. With more than 23 years of experience in the recreational boating industry and responsibility for product development and engineering, manufacturing and quality of the Sea Ray, Bay­liner, Trophy and Meridian Yachts brands of boats, McNew knows best how Brunswick has kept ahead of the rest while the industry deals with the fallout of the economic recession.

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