In Minnesota, there is a company that makes video cameras – the only video cameras to be manufactured in the USA. That company, Vaddio sells and distributes PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) digital cameras used in broadcasting, videoconferencing, and other audio-visual applications. Those video cameras can be operated remotely, either singly or in a group – they’re often used for businesses, churches, schools, and courtrooms. Vaddio also makes microphones, connectors, and ways to control PTZ cameras. One of their new offerings was released last week.
Apple A5 Processor
There’s been much talk of the iPhone’s production in Shenzen, China, so we’re not even going to go there. But Samsung, a South Korean company, has quietly begun manufacturing chips for iPads and iPhones in an unexpected place: Texas. According to Reuters, the A5 is actually now made in Samsung's brand spanking new foundry in Austin, Texas. It's a $3.6 billion endeavor the size of nine football fields, which started full motion in December 2011. Samsung has added 1100 jobs there and plans to add more as the A5X and the A6 chips are rolled out.
Since Olevia folded, there aren’t any televisions that are domestically produced. However, Winegard makes TV antennas and satellite dishes for homes and RVs. Their new FL-5000 is just the newest in a long line of consumer products. According to their website, the company has counted many "firsts" in the industry — all-channel yagi TV antenna, 82 channel antenna, antenna mounted preamplifiers, antenna amplifiers, anodizing process, perforated aluminum satellite antenna, RV television antenna.
It sounds ominous, but PrimeVapor is an electronic cigarette company – that makes its products in the USA. The company’s website says: PrimeVapor fills it cartridges with our exclusive flavors right here in the United States using an ISO9002 certified facility for production. With flavors like Alpine Chill and Cherry Tobacco, who can resist?
In 2007, Steve Jobs demanded an iPhone screen made of tough glass. At that time, the Corning factory in Kentucky took on the job. Since then, Apple’s been pretty quiet about who makes their glass, but Corning continues to innovate and expand their business. Most recently, they came out with Willow Glass -- a paper-thin scratch-resistant, bendable sheet that measures 100 microns thick. The tech works well with touch sensors, so it will likely be in upcoming smartphones, and the company says it could also be used for solar cells.
It’s not ready yet, but Intel is busy building a $5 Billion manufacturing plant in the middle of the Arizona desert. The space, which is called “Fab42” will start spewing out the world’s tinisest microchips (14 nanometers wide) next year. It’s set up to be the highest-volume maker of chips, and those smaller parts means less heat and increased energy efficiency – ideal for mobile phones.
Electric Car Batteries
If you want to drive a next-generation car, you have a couple of options that are made in the USA. One of them is EnerDel, a company that produces its batteries at its state-of-the-art facilities in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is expecting to be the first company to mass-produce a cost-competitive lithium-ion battery for hybrid and electric vehicles. According to the website, in addition to the automobile market, applications for EnerDel lithium-ion battery technology include medical, military, aerospace, electric utility and other growing markets. In January of 2011, the company tested out one of their C30 batteries in a Volvo crash test.
ATI proudly states that their amps are “designed, engineered and assembled in the USA.” They make heavy-duty amps in a southern California factory. In 40 years, ATI’s president has designed and turned out a half million amps – not too shabby.
For high-end speakers and home audio systems, Legacy Audio is at the top of their game. They made all their systems in the USA, and their Signature SE has been getting rave reviews. Their products tend to be expensive, fancy – and creating domestic jobs. They also focus on the next generation of sound-producing machines, getting researchers on board in the company.
When you’re firing up the coals this summer, remember that the people, design and tech that created Weber grills is all-American. Although Weber does produce two inexpensive gas models in oversea, all other grills, including all its flagship charcoal models, are made in Illinois. New for this summer, the company has made pizza stones, vegetable baskets, and smoking kits. Grill baby, grill!
Sure, electric car company Tesla has been propped up by the American taxpayers for years now, but it is developed, designed and manufactured at home. The Roadster costs a whopping $101,500 after the federal tax rebate, but this week the company will begin handing over keys to the Model S, a family-friendly $50,000 sedan built entirely in the US. The first new American car company since DeLorean, Tesla brings together many things Americans love: fast cars, new technology, and helping the Earth. Tesla drivers are getting 245-plus miles from its battery technology -- so vroom away this summer.
For nearly a century, the mixer has remained at the core of KitchenAid's success – and all designed and manufactured in Greenville, Ohio where they’ve been created since 1941. Recently, the company has been making mixers and bowls in new colors and with new features like sausage-squeezers and ice cream makers.
World of Warcraft
While video game systems aren’t even close to being made in America, there are still some games that are conceived, built and created at home. One of these is World of Warcraft, which with 10.2 million subscribers, is the world’s most played MMORPG. Blizzard Entertainment, based in Irvine, CA, created the game in 2001, and the most recent update came out six months ago.
Geospring Hybrid Water Heater
General Electric is turning its focus to domestic manufacturing. In February, it opened a new facility at its campus in Louisville, Kentucky – the first new factory to open there since 1957. The investment of $38 million in the water heater will create more than 1,300 new jobs in the U.S. by 2014. The new product and other recent investments at Appliance Park have already created hundreds of jobs in fields like engineering, industrial design, and manufacturing, they say. The company is also making refrigerators in Alabama, Indiana, and Tennessee, and cooking ranges in Georgia.
Thought Out Accessories
Founded in New England in 2004, Thought Out makes accessories to meet any growing technological need. They make a range of stands for iPads, cameras and tech. Thought Out is the first and only iPad, iPhone, iPod and Mac accessory manufacturer to be certified with the MADE IN USA Seal. One of their new products is a tripod for an iPhone that has a smooth 360-degree rotation.
Nice By Design
Nice is a new company backed by Kickstarter that is starting to churn out cute tech accessories like cable keeps. Their production and design is all in Woodinville, WA. Nice has a goal – a social and environmental mission to be “nice” at every touchpoint. The company says its mission is to bring premium design products to market that delight, inspire, and build on our foundation of empowering our local community, reducing environmental impact, and sharing success.
Tom Bihn makes eye-catching laptop bags for the modern consumer, and does so with an all-American workforce and production line. Based in Seattle, WA the company makes travel-based bags, laptop caches and pooch-bearing pouches. One of their newest offerings is this slender holder for a MacBook pro. Bihn, the founder of the company, has been making bags since 1974 and likes to say: "The bad days have two things in common: you know the right thing to do, and you let someone talk you out of doing it.”
Orb Audiois an employee-owned American company that handcrafts its satellites in Sherman Oaks, CA. They made stereo speaker systems that combine sound quality and cute, spherical design. The speakers can be linked to each other by connecting the positive and negative terminals of one speaker to the corresponding terminals of another. As the system grows, Orb offers a line of stands that fit the different number of speakers. One of their new systems runs about $1000.
Want something that sucks, seriously sucks? Metrovacdeliberately makes their vacuums and blowers in New York, where they have worked since 1939. The family-owned operation is now on its third generation, and their new products include dog-grooming blowdryers, motorcycle dryers and the DataVac Electric Duster, a safe, green alternative to potentially dangerous canned-air dusting products. Suck away!
Solar Food Dryer
The Solar Food Dryer helps families eat better and save money by using the sun to prolong food’s life. Food only freezes well for six months, says the company, while dried food can be kept for a year safely. works in any sunny area on your patio, deck, or back yard, and relies 100% on passive solar energy, so it has no operating cost. You can see how it works here. The kit was designed and made in Eugene, OR.
Blending is hugely popular these days, and Vitamix is one of the biggest household names around – and it’s a company that still makes their products in the US. They make all the components in eastern Ohio with the exception of the motor, which is flown in from Sweden. The company even uses local research and development, two ex-NASA engineers have supported the Vitamix team on occasion.
Systemax is one of the only companies to make a computer domestically – and even that is a little bit of a fib. The company builds reliable desktops, notebooks and servers using foreign and domestic parts (with a small manufacturing facility in Ohio). Systemax has a policy never to outsource an American job.