What’s the coolest product made in Illinois?
SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) — From corn dogs to zippers, Illinois is home to everyday inventions.
What is the best of the best? The Illinois Manufacturers Association held its third annual online contest for the coolest thing made in the state.
“The promise of American manufacturing is incredible,” said IMA President Mark Denzler. “Illinois manufacturers are the backbone of our economy, creating good, well-paying jobs and investments in communities across the state.”
The Rivian R1T took first place, followed by Fruit by the Foot runners-up, Orion Space Capsule, and Custom Blade Diffraction rankings.
Automaker Rivian is based in Normal, Illinois. It produces a range of electric trucks and utility vehicles. The electric van, the R1T, began rolling out in 2021. The company has also partnered with Amazon to produce electric utility vans for the company’s deliveries, these are still in development.
“Rivian’s mission to keep the world adventurous forever is based on the principle that technology, innovation and collaboration can solve our planet’s greatest challenges,” said Rivian’s Vice President of Public Policy, James Chen.
The R1T has 400 miles of range on its electric motor. It can also go from zero to 60 miles per hour in about three seconds. Representatives from Rivian were members of the propulsion group, which is responsible for developing the technology to achieve these speeds.
The results came from over 400 hundred submissions, bracketed down by over 200,000 votes cast via the IMA website.
“From leaders in clean energy and deep space technology, to high-precision, cross-industry technological advancements, to long-loved snacks preferred by children and adults, me more than others, the makers of Illinois continue to prove why they are the best in the country,” Governor JB Pritzker said.
Fruit by the Foot, produced in Belvidere, Illinois, is a product of General Mills. The fruity, gummy snack stretches about three feet long in one continuous roll.
The Orion space capsule from Ingersoll Machine Tools, Inc. in Rockford, Illinois was designed for deep space travel missions planned by NASA. Another finalist, Inprentus’ custom blade diffraction gradations in Champaign, are used in virtual reality headsets as well as X-ray research and technology.
The full list of finalists:
- Niles, Illinois TCFW375 Series Ice Rink Chiller
- Rockford, Illinois Power-Grip LB-7Gx2 Lifting Magnet
- John Deer Combine of Moline, Illinois
- Fruit at the foot of Belvidere, Illinois
- Libman Tornado Spin Mop from Arcola, Illinois
- TexWalk Print Media of McHenry, Illinois
- R1T from Bloomington-Normal, Illinois
- Jackpoint Jackstands of Montgomery, Illinois
- Rear bulkhead, barrel and tunnel of the Orion Spacecraft Capsule from Rockford, Illinois
- Camper Van Foldaway Seat and Table from Chicago, Illinois
- Bison Pull-tight Pool Cover Gearmotor from St. Charles, Illinois
- Chicago, Illinois Freeze Flake Ice Maker
- Orion Spacecraft module control switches from Carpentersville, Illinois
- Custom Semi-Truck Bar from Easton, Illinois
- Caterpillar crawler tractor from East Peoria, Illinois
- Custom Blazed Diffraction Dimming from Champaign, Illinois
This was the first year that IMA was able to hold an in-person ceremony. Since the start of the competition three years ago, the event had to be virtual.
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