October 2017

How a Small Metal Company Grew Over 80 Percent in Five Years

How a Small Metal Company Grew Over 80 Percent in Five Years

Larsen Manufacturing

Larsen Manufacturing, a Chicago-based metal parts manufacturer, has achieved what is more and more difficult in today’s domestic manufacturing environment: double digit growth on a year over year basis for the last five years. So how did they do it?
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“When the market was down, after the mortgage crisis, I knew it was time to invest,” said Dave Larsen, co-owner of Larsen Manufacturing. “Our primary business was metal stamping, but we had many customers who often requested prototype parts and other customers whose volumes didn’t justify the investment in hard tooling. So we jumped into the deep end of the metal fabrication business.” Larsen partnered with Amada to equip themselves with the latest technology in lasers, turrets and press brakes. Since its inception in 2009, the fabrication business has continued to grow at a record pace for Larsen.

A Stronger Voice through Education and Advocacy

A Stronger Voice through Education and Advocacy

National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM)

The National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) has proactively supported its members for thirty years from its headquarters in Topeka, Kansas. Its growing membership is a testament to its ability to engage, cooperate, inform and advocate.
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“There is more power in unity than division” – Emanuel Cleaver, member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Preferred Choice for Nearly a Century

The Preferred Choice for Nearly a Century

Preferred Utilities Manufacturing Corporation

Not often do you find four generations working in the same corporation, but that is exactly how the Preferred Utilities Manufacturing Corporation in Danbury, Connecticut has operated since 1920. The company has come a long way since the early days and is proud to launch a number of new products this year.
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The corporation is affectionately known as ‘Preferred’ by those familiar with the company– quite a compliment for such a large and dynamic operation. It offers products and engineered solutions for industrial, commercial, nuclear, and institutional facilities with boiler plants, emergency generators, mission-critical fuel handling requirements, and combustion processes.

Still Making Innovation History

Still Making Innovation History

Cincinnati Incorporated

Cincinnati Incorporated, now branded as CI, boasts a legacy of innovation, strength and performance. After more than a century of success, it shows no signs of stopping or slowing down. This is one of a handful of US-based build-to-order machine tool manufacturers.
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CI is now a successful fourth-generation family-owned operation. CI was founded as the Cincinnati Shaper Company in the late 1890s. In the 1920s, it broke into the metal fabrication equipment manufacturing market which remains its core strength to this day.

30 Years of Thermoforming Expertise

30 Years of Thermoforming Expertise

General Plastics, Inc.

As a manufacturing process, thermoforming boasts many cost, aesthetic and performance advantages over other manufacturing processes. Thermoforming consist of heating plastic sheet to a precise temperature point where it is pliable. Then it is quickly formed into the desired part shape using vacuum or pressure forming techniques. Once the part is vacuumed down on the mold, water running through the aluminum tool is used to cool the material down to permanently set the final part geometry.
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Over the past 30 years, General Plastics, Inc. (GP) has established itself as a leader in this growing, multi-billion-dollar industry. Providing high quality and cost-efficient products and services, the Milwaukee-based business serves clients in the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) sector, in diverse fields ranging from medical to food and beverage, construction, agricultural, gaming, rail and bus, office, and many other applications across both the United States and Canada, as well as the Point of Purchase (POP) market.

Making the Walls Talk

Making the Walls Talk

Aparium Hotel Group

In today’s world, hotel guests expect more than a tidy room, a comfortable bed, and a place to sleep and shower – they want experiences, and few hotels are better equipped to meet and exceed the expectations of travelers and locals alike than Aparium.
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Under the leadership of highly skilled and seasoned professionals, the Aparium Hotel Group provides patrons with top-tier service, outstanding food and drink, and rich cultural experiences unique to their location, whether they are staying or dining at the Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Hotel Covington in Kentucky, the Foundation Hotel in Detroit, or any of the other stellar hotels under the Aparium umbrella.

A New Twist on a Classic Concept

A New Twist on a Classic Concept

Waxy’s Modern Irish Bar

Arguably, there are more Irish bars in North America than any other themed establishments. It is a staple of any town but particularly present in Massachusetts, where Waxy’s Modern Irish Bar is as authentic as it gets. The food, of course, includes Irish fare to go along with pub favorites, but there is so much more to Waxy’s. It is an Irish pub that strives to be a genuine representation of modern Ireland. Business in Focus spoke with Director of Marketing & Events Julie Doherty about this rapidly expanding concept.
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The first Waxy’s was opened in Fort Lauderdale in 1997, with a distinctly old-school Irish pub feel, but things have progressed in the last twenty years, and it has been reinvented. Waxy’s is expanding into six states, from Texas to New York, but its head office remains in Brookline, Massachusetts. Paul McKenna, one of the four owners is in his thirties and from Dublin. He wanted to embrace the vibrancy of modern Ireland with restaurant food, cocktails and beer.

A Shared Passion

A Shared Passion

The Matador

The Matador – a restaurant known for its Mexican cuisine and extensive tequila bar – has been offering its customers a unique experience and quality food ever since its inception. From its beautiful works of art to its décor and atmosphere, its owners have put their passion to work, and their hearts into creating this one-of-a-kind establishment.
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The Matador was established in 2004 by co-owners Zak Melang and Nate Opper. “We both came from the restaurant business. I was a bartender and restaurant manager, and so was he. And we were both very fond of Mexico and tequila,” says Zak. “We have over 150 different types of tequilas. It’s a big part of our image.”

A Rooftop Oasis in the Heart of the City

A Rooftop Oasis in the Heart of the City

230 Fifth Rooftop Bar

When Steven Greenberg set out to open 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar, the concept was simple: create a space that allowed tourists and locals alike to escape the hustle and bustle of New York City’s streets. With that in mind, he selected the rooftop of an iconic building in the Flatiron district of Manhattan, and a new standard in nightlife was born.
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With a relaxed vibe, unmatched views of the Empire State Building, full food and drink menus and programming to please even the toughest critic, Mr. Greenberg achieved his goal, and in doing so, he created one of the foremost venues of its kind in the city.

Old-World Charm Meets Fresh Pub Trends

Old-World Charm Meets Fresh Pub Trends

The Pig ‘n’ Whistle Group

The Pig ‘n’ Whistle Group has been serving up good cheer, great food and drink and friendly service at a series of Irish-style pubs and restaurants for decades. The group operates thirteen locations in total, a dozen in Manhattan and one in Dublin. While these locations vary in décor, menus and ambiance, they aim to blend old-world Irish charm with contemporary food and drink trends.
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The Pig ‘n’ Whistle Group – which was originally founded in 1969 – is looking to expand, in a carefully considered manner. Next year, the chain will break from its Celtic heritage when it opens a new Mexican-themed restaurant in Manhattan.

Built on People

Built on People

Astro Machine Works

Astro Machine Works is a comprehensive machining and fabrication facility that specializes in custom machine building, machined parts, and fabrication. With more than three decades of experience serving a diverse range of industries, and a team of highly qualified experts – some having been with the company since the very beginning – Astro has truly become a complete solutions provider.
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Throughout its history, Astro Machine Works has often chosen to take the path less traveled, and its immense success is a glowing testimonial to its capacity for innovative and out-of-the-box thinking.

Committed to Innovation

Committed to Innovation

Paragon Metals

Paragon Metals is a global company that specializes in manufactured precision-engineered metal components and is devoted to meeting its customers’ needs while offering great service and competitive pricing.
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Paragon Metals got its start in 1991. “When I started the company, we started as a broker or middleman representing some Chinese manufacturers in the electrical distribution line hardware, and from that, we turned into an automotive manufacturer,” says Paragon Metals Chief Executive Officer Michael Smith. “It was a progression based on what was happening in the world.”

Not Just ‘Nationwide’

Not Just ‘Nationwide’

Nationwide Boiler Incorporated

Nationwide Boiler Incorporated has rented and sold boilers and related equipment to clients in six continents and provided essential equipment to restore steam services after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City. Now celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, the company attributes its longevity to a simple combination of excellent products and quality service. The Fremont, California-based firm has also developed an expertise in environmentally friendly boiler solutions.
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Nationwide sells and rents boilers, trailer-mounted mobile watertube boilers, temporary steam plants featuring firetube boilers, and associated support equipment. The company also provides start-up services, training and around-the-clock support in the form of maintenance and inspection. Main sectors served include pulp and paper, food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, utilities and power generation, ethanol, manufacturing, hospitals, universities and colleges.

Steam Powering Industry across America and Beyond

Steam Powering Industry across America and Beyond

Johnston Boiler Company

Since its founding in 1864 in Ferrysburg, Michigan, Johnston Boiler Company, a pioneer of the Scotch Marine boiler system has been the unsung hero of the industry, providing steam power to such diverse industries as Fortune 500 companies, hospitals, food processing plants, utilities and distilleries. Customers looking for reliability, efficiency, longevity, and low emissions, along with a customized approach, can find all this and more at Johnston.
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Thom Parker, National Sales Director at Johnston Boiler Company, says that while steam is the backbone of industry, he’s happy with the company’s ‘unsung hero’ status. Johnston has built its reputation on dependable operation of its equipment over many years of service. “If our equipment is operating well, the customer can concentrate on their process and what they do best. It’s when it’s not operating well that everyone notices the boiler; this is because steam is essential to the customer’s entire process,” he explains.

Leading the Way in its Field

Leading the Way in its Field

Leader Tech

Leader Tech is a U.S. manufacturer of EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) shielding products for various applications including enclosures for electronic devices, circuit boards, and interconnect cabling. Electromagnetic interference is what’s happening if you hear your car radio buzz when your cellphone rings, and it’s the reason you’re supposed to turn your cellphone off on an airplane. Electronic devices can interfere with each other, but by encasing them in EMI shielding material, you can reduce that interference to some degree.
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Founded in 1984, Leader Tech has grown into a world leader in its industry. In 1994, it filed its first patent for a Circuit Board Shielding technology. This was a defining moment for the company, as the product quickly became recognized in the marketplace as the best performing, and most flexible, shielding technology available. The CBS line two-piece design (fence and cover) accommodates virtually any through-hole or surface mount application. For more than a decade, the company grew organically on this foundation.

A Unique Company with a Unique Approach to Customer Solutions

A Unique Company with a Unique Approach to Customer Solutions

Epic Polymer

A Zen proverb simply states that the obstacle is the path. A confusing phrase for most but upon reflection, it carries a significant meaning. All obstacles can rightly be perceived as challenges. Most will shy away from a challenge, preferring to remain within the realm of the status quo, the secure and safe, carrying on business as usual.
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But that doesn’t give rise to new ideas, new ways of thinking outside the box. Nor does it lend itself to new strategies for problem-solving. In fact, challenges can open up new opportunities and new solutions – and a vision for where they’re most needed and least expected.

Unparalleled Performance Under Pressure

Unparalleled Performance Under Pressure

GP:50 NY Ltd.

When it comes to precise and dependable pressure sensing instrumentation, GP:50 NY Ltd. is one of the world’s leading suppliers and a highly recognized and respected name. Each day, customers from many industries rely on its products, most of which are customized to address unique needs and requirements.
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GP:50 NY Ltd. was founded in 1986 by mechanical engineer Donald J. Less. Located in Grand Island, New York, the company was built upon Less’ quarter of a century of experience in the pressure instrumentation field.

Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Sustainable Energy

Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Sustainable Energy

The Bumpy Road Ahead

Some call it green energy, while others refer to it as sustainable or renewable, but it all comes down to one thing: the ability to meet today’s energy requirements without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their power needs. Unlike the five fossil fuels formed over millions of years from decaying organic matter – coal, oil, petroleum, natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas – sources of sustainable energy such as solar, wind and water power are virtually endless.
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Sustainable sources have been used for centuries, such as using the force of water to power mills or windmills to pump water out of the ground, but it is only in recent decades that these forms of ‘green’ energy have rejoined the mainstream. In Golden, Colorado, the Department of Energy initiated the Solar Energy Research Institute, the first federal facility of its kind, in 1977. Three years later, this was followed by the construction of the world’s first wind farm in New Hampshire and the more recent development of large-scale solar farms and geothermal projects.

Preserving Water Resources for the Future

Preserving Water Resources for the Future

Global Water Resources

Global Water Resources is a water resource management company that employs a concept called “Total Water Management” to offer water, wastewater, and recycled water utility services to customers in several areas within the state of Arizona.
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The company was founded in 2003 by Canadian entrepreneurs from British Columbia. They had the foresight to recognize that the scarcity of water in the arid American southwest, specifically in Arizona, would require innovative solutions and they moved to Arizona to acquire private utilities and implement their unique vision of total water management.

Coming in Loud and Clear

Coming in Loud and Clear

The Marlin Company

Effective communication with employees is paramount to safety, productivity, and morale in the workplace. The Marlin Company understands this well, and provides visual communication platforms that empower companies to communicate more effectively to their employees.
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The Marlin Company has in fact been a leader in workplace communications for more than 100 years. Business in Focus spoke with Frank Kenna III, President and CEO of The Marlin Company, to learn about the company’s past and present success, and how it’s adapting to the ever-changing needs of the market.

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