Product Innovation Alive and Well at Elkay Manufacturing

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Last week, the collective MetalMiner team had the pleasure of visiting a local manufacturer, Elkay Manufacturing, headquartered in Oak Brook IL. You might not know Elkay by name but you’ve definitely sipped from their water coolers.

Last week, we wrote about our visit as it got us thinking about how US manufacturers differentiate themselves from their Chinese peers. As you may recall, Jason (my husband and author of Spend Matters are currently re-doing our kitchen and learned that Elkay has developed a new technology to make stainless counter tops in a “custom matte finish that has the benefit of reducing the appearance of scratches and fingerprints. Since a friend of ours works at Elkay, he treated us to a plant tour and opportunity to see first hand whether or not this new product innovation would meet our requirements.

Here is a link to a video that showcases a similar product application (new innovation) from Elkay, etched sinks:

Besides product innovation, Elkay, like many manufacturers, has invested in new technology. In this short video clip, my 7-year old son holds a stainless steel bicycle charm made on a laser-cutting machine. The machine can cut to a 30,000th mm tolerance!

[flv]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3q-fxUshsA[/flv]

Now to finish that kitchen¦.

If you have a little snippet or video clip of an interesting product innovation in the metals space, send it to us, we’d like to feature these on a regular basis.

–Lisa Reisman

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