These past winners and our next generation of innovators are collaborating to drive Michigan into a future that will continue to shape our collective fortunes, our state’s economy, the communities we serve, our individual businesses and our families’ livelihoods.

We look forward to seeing the 2024 nominees who continue the Michigan tradition as the cradle of innovation and invention for generations to come.

2023 Winner: Kirlin Lighting

Location: Detroit, MI
Product: INFRALED PRO Motorized Exam Lights
INFRALED PRO is Kirlin’s revolutionary recessed, remote-aimable motorized exam lighting system. Designed for ultimate infection control in critical environments, the system includes five unique luminaires that cater to the needs of specific areas in healthcare, such as Labor/Delivery. INFRALED PRO provides a safe, easy-to-operate alternative to boom-mounted exam lighting systems.

At Planewave, we’re a little awed to be part of this group. We are proud to be a Michigan manufacturer!

Richard Hedrick

President & CEO, Planewave Instruments, manufacturer of the 2022 Coolest Thing Made in Michigan

2022 Winner: PlaneWave Instruments

Location: Adrian, MI
Product: PW1000 Observatory System

The PW1000 is a complete 1-meter observatory class telescope. Designed, engineered and produced by PlaneWave, the PW1000 features a direct drive mounting system, light-weighted optics that excel at imaging on the largest format CCD cameras available today, and near zero maintenance. The PW1000 has set an unmatched global standard. Read more.

2021 Winner: Exotic Automation & Supply

Location: New Hudson, MI
Product: World’s Largest Hydraulic Power Unit

Being voted as the 2021 winner of The Coolest Thing Made in Michigan is truly an honor! We were able to show that we have the engineering and technical resources right here in Michigan to compete on the international stage. Our entire team worked extremely hard to meet this challenge and it’s wonderful that they’re being recognized for that.

Steve Orlando

Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Exotic Automation and Supply

The New Hudson-based maker of fluid power systems is one of many Michigan manufacturers that thrives on innovation and advancing technology. The scale of this project was impressive even for them, considering the staggering numbers behind the World’s Largest Hydraulic Power Unit: 4,800 horsepower, maximum flow of 2,700 gallons per minute, 1.9 miles of hydraulic tubing and a capacity of 11,000 gallons of hydraulic oil. Read more.

We’re delighted to be chosen as Michigan’s ‘Coolest Thing’ manufacturer. It’s exciting that we were recognized for that, and we have a great team here at Hemlock who work very hard at what we do.
Phil Dembowski

Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Hemlock Semiconductor Operations

2020 Winner: Hemlock Semiconductor Operations (HSC)

Location: Hemlock, MI
Product: Hyper-Pure Polysilicon

Polysilicon is the building block for all manufactured electronic devices, such as computers, smartphones and AI. It’s also a critical component for the emerging solar power industry. Hemlock Semiconductor Operations’ hyper-pure polysilicon is used in most, if not all, of the devices that streamed the virtual 2020 MFG Excellence Awards in which this crucial material was named the “Coolest Thing Made in Michigan.” Read more.

2019 Winner: Peninsular Cylinder Co.

Location: Roseville, MI
Product: Custom Booster Cylinder

The honor to have the title for The Coolest Thing Made in Michigan in 2019 confirms our credibility as an innovative cylinder manufacturer and is a boost for all of our employees who can be proud of their skill set and contributions. This win affords us a new opportunity to market specific design features to other manufacturers that could benefit from the aspects of the innovations we have utilized.

Bud Haver

President, Peninsular Cylinder Company

Hydraulic cylinders are an essential component for products in nearly every imaginable industry from automotive and aerospace to pharmaceuticals and mining. Before they can be used, pressure testing occurs to gauge product reliability, maximum capacity and the potential for leaks. That’s where Peninsular’s coolness excels. With its Custom Booster Cylinder, Peninsular says that its clients can use this device to accomplish their needs at much lower costs. Read more.

I can’t tell you how much it means to be recognized by people in Michigan for our cap. We’ve always thought the cap represents something that resonates with people; there’s a work ethic to it and we always hear people share the stories and memories that connect with it. But to be recognized like we were — it means a lot to the whole team.

Gina Jacquart Thorsen

President, Jacquart Fabric Products Inc.

2018 Winner: Stormy Kromer

Location: Ironwood, MI
Product: Original Stormy Kromer Cap

In a world that often defaults to disposable, the company remains committed to making high-quality gear that is made to last a lifetime. The original Stormy Kromer cap has been in existence for more than 100 winters thanks to a dedicated group of hard-working employees that take great pride in crafting products that are representative of the legacy of Stormy Kromer. The family owned Jacquart Fabric Products, owner of the iconic Stormy Kromer, has been innovating textile products for over 50 years making them a very cool Michigan manufacturer. Read more.

2024 Manufacturing EXCELLENCE AWARDS

The annual Manufacturing Excellence Awards celebration is the only one of its kind in Michigan. Through the Awards program, MMA helps recognize what makes Michigan manufacturing the best in the world! The Awards shine a light on the individuals and organizations creating the products that shape our economy and improve our daily lives.

Save the date for the 2024 Manufacturing Excellence Awards being held in November 2024 in the Capital Region