Contest finds ‘coolest thing’ made in Illinois



(The Center Square) – A winner has been announced in a contest to determine the “coolest thing” made in Illinois.

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association calls the bracket-style contest “Makers Madness.”

“These remarkable manufacturers are the bedrock of our nation and the heart of our community,” said IMA President and CEO Mark Denzler. “We’re proud to showcase the amazing and innovative manufacturing sector with our Makers Madness contest.”

Chosen by voters from an initial field of more than 200 entries, the Komatsu mining truck was crowned the winner. Manufactured in Peoria, the truck is a large capacity vehicle that stands 26 feet tall, has tires that weigh more than 1,000 pounds and has a capacity of up to 400 tons.

“Komatsu is honored to receive this incredible recognition, which is a testament to the talent and skill of our team, who are the best in the business,” said Dan Funcannon, vice president of North America Engineering and Development for Komatsu. “We are proud of our contributions to Illinois’ strong legacy of manufacturing, where human ingenuity transforms raw materials into modern marvels.”

The other three finalists were Mullen’s Imitation French Dressing made in Palestine; the MQ-25 Stingray Drone Refueler manufactured in Mascoutah; and the Mod Box insulated outdoor building made in Quincy.

Former winners include the Rosenberg Moon Habitat, a 3D printed polymer structure designed to house humans on the moon, manufactured in Rockford, and Rivian’s all-electric R1T truck made in Normal.

“Congratulations to Komatsu’s mining truck for being named the 2024 Coolest Thing Made in Illinois,” said Denzler. “This magnificent construction and mining vehicle is a shining example of the innovation and creativity that drives the manufacturing sector, where big ideas become products that can change the world.”

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