(The Center Square) – After eight weeks of narrowing down entries, a contest to find the coolest thing made in Illinois has a winner.
“Makers Madness”, presented by Comcast Business, is designed to shine a light on Illinois’ diverse manufacturing sector.
The Self-Regulating Traffic Signal Heater manufactured by Termico Technologies in Elk Grove Village took the top spot. The heater uses conductive particles to heat traffic signals in the winter so they remain visible and free of ice and snow so they can be easily seen.
Mark Denzler, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers Association, said the contest is a great way to showcase products made in the Land of Lincoln.
“Whether they are iconic products such as the Caterpillar bulldozer or the John Deere combine, or technological innovations such as the self-regulating traffic heater that was crowned champion this year,” Denzler said. “This unique, energy-efficient product impacts our lives every day by making sure the people and goods travel on our roadways get where they’re going safely and efficiently.”
The other products that made the final four included Blistex Lip Balm from Oak Brook, custom tooling used by NASA and made in Decatur by Deco Manufacturing, and an outdoor chiller made by Thermal Care in Niles.
This year’s contest featured a field of 311 individual products initially nominated from across the state, with over 300,000 votes cast over the course of the competition.
“Seeing Makers Madness unfold first-hand has been really exciting,” said Comcast’s Regional Vice President of Business Development Sean McCarthy. “The contest created a showcase for Illinois manufacturers and the innovative products they’re bring to the world stage.”
The IMA noted statewide, manufacturing generates more than $304 billion in economic output, contributing 12% to the state’s Gross Domestic Product, the largest share of any industry in Illinois.