Advanced Manufacturing

Cluster Icons-advancedmanufacturing-blueManufacturers of industrial machinery find the Rockford Area to be an ideal location, according to a study conducted by Carter & Burgess, a major national site selection company. Several factors came into play, including the city’s highly skilled workforce, the availability of highly specialized existing facilities, and a strong, qualified supplier base.

The region’s central location and close proximity to key transportation assets (airports, road and rail) are an additional benefit. The Rockford Region maintains a much higher concentration of skilled metal-working employees than the national average. In fact, the region has 7.2 times the national average for industrial machinery manufacturing employment and 4.2 times for metals manufacturing and R&D. This is a very compelling reason for metal-working companies of any kind to consider the Rockford Region.

In particular, the machine tools, food-processing equipment, medical equipment, and R&D engineering industries are particularly well suited for this region.

Rockford Region Advantages

  • Good labor availability and quality, especially skilled
  • Critical mass of engineering talent & educational institutions
  • Good access to markets
  • Satisfaction with electric power service
  • Many potential sites with rail
  • Competitive labor costs
  • Good training opportunities
  • Low-cost existing facilities
  • Access to established vendor/supplier network
  • Superior transportation system
  • Good labor/management relations
  • Large amount of regional expansion and location activity
  • Foreign Trade Zone benefits

Within the four-county area surrounding Rockford, there are more than 250 machine tool companies. The 12 largest, each with more than 200 employees each, are:

  • Carrier Commercial
  • Woods Equipment
  • SPX
  • Estwing Manufacturing
  • Ingersoll Machine Tool
  • E.D. Etnyre
  • Evoqua Water Technologies LLC
  • Ingersoll Cutting Tools
  • Regal Cutting Tools
  • Newell Operating Company
  • W.A. Whitney
  • Goellner

Industrial Machine Manufacturing Strengths

  • Specific strengths in machine tools, food processing equipment, medical equipment, and research and development engineering
  • Good labor availability, especially skilled and engineering
  • Good labor quality
  • Good access to markets
  • Many training opportunities
  • Regional suppliers
  • Good labor/management relations
  • Large regional location activity
  • Good job and wage impact