Voting concludes March 26 in the 2023 “Makers Madness” contest. Four products emerged as finalists in the bracket-style tournament, hosted by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. Among them are three southern Illinois businesses. On March 29, officials will announce the winner of The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois.
Presented by Comcast Business, the competition celebrates the work of manufacturers across the Prairie State. A recent study estimated the total economic impact of manufacturing in Illinois is between $580 billion and $611 billion each year – the largest share of any industry to the state’s Gross Domestic Product.
In recent weeks, voters chose their favorites in four head-to-head matchups between individual products, with 55,516 votes cast in that round.
From an original field of nearly 250 products, nominees now have been whittled down to the Top 4. They include Drug Terminator, made by Elastec in Carmi; 17th Street Barbecue Sauces, manufactured by 17th Street Barbecue in Murphysboro; the 77GHz Radar for Driver’s Assistance and Automated Driving, made by Hella Electronics Corp in Flora; and the Rosenberg Moon Habitat, manufactured by Ingersoll Machine Tools, Inc. in Rockford.
Details about the “Makers Madness” Final Four include:
Manufactured by Elastec in Carmi, the Drug Terminator is a portable drug incinerator designed to help healthcare officials and law enforcement safely destroy prescription drugs and confiscated narcotics. It is used to destroy evidence drugs and prescription medication collected during drug take-back programs. The Elastec Drug Terminator destroys such narcotics, turning them into ash in a safe, efficient manner.
17th Street Barbecue Sauces
Manufactured by 17th Street Barbecue in Murphysboro, 17th Street Barbecue Sauce comes in various flavors and is a special sauce made for ribs, chicken pulled pork, and more. It's a creation of champion pitmaster, Barbecue Hall of Fame inductee and 17th Street Barbecue founder Mike Mills, who affectionately was known as “The Legend.” The sauces are used in 17th Street Barbecue restaurants in Southern Illinois and marketed nationally.
77GHz Radar for Driver’s Assistance and Automated Driving
Made by Hella Electronics Corp in Flora, the 77GHz Radar for Driver’s Assistance and Automated Driving is a compact sensor to assist drivers and improve road safety. It records and evaluates object-related speed, bracket, and distance information, thereby detecting and warning drivers of dangerous situations. The sensors enable 360-degree detection of moving objects such as pedestrians or vehicles, as well as non-moving surrounding objects. The radar can be used regardless of weather conditions and can detect both distance and relative speed.
Rosenberg Moon Habitat
Ingersoll Machine Tools’ entry, the Rosenberg Moon Habitat was designed by the Rosenberg Institute. It is a place for astronauts to live when they return to the moon. Because of its large size, it is impossible to print it on Earth and launch it. Ingersoll collaborated with the Rosenberg Institute to produce a machine with the capability to print the habitat on-site. It is a three-story habitat built to house a crew of two and is the world’s tallest single-piece 3D printed polymer structure, with a height of 23 feet, but a thickness of only 5 millimeters. It is made of six panels and is a unique contribution to space exploration and travel.
Voting for this round at www.makersmadnessil.com concludes at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, March 26. Voters may cast one vote per day. The contest culminates with an awards ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion Wednesday, March 29, when the winner is announced as "The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois."