Made In Champaign County

Taylor Studios, Inc.

Founded in 1991, Taylor Studios, Inc. began as a mail-order business creating museum-quality artifacts, fossil reproductions, and exhibits for museums and other clients. Quickly recognized for the passion and expertise brought to each project, the company initially carved out a niche in the paleontology, archaeology, and natural history fields. Today, Taylor Studios is recognized as an industry leader in exhibit planning, design, fabrication, and installation, serving a diversity of clients throughout the country and internationally. Their 3D storytelling now reaches beyond natural history to cultural history, history walls, and immersive environments of all kinds.

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Fun facts about the company:

  • They have completed over 700 projects around the world.
  • Their company first fabricated out of a garage and an old chicken coop, but they now have 65,000 square feet of fabrication space (as big as the White House).
  • It takes 80 hours to sculpt a bird model.
  • The heaviest exhibit element they’ve created is a 3.5 ton woolly mammoth for the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center.
  • They eat about 520 tacos every year thanks to Taco Tuesday at a local restaurant.

Frasca International, Inc.

Frasca International manufactures flight simulators for all aircraft types, fixed and rotary wing, used for pilot training for airlines, flight schools, colleges and universities, military, law enforcement, air evac and commercial organizations. Since its founding in 1958, over 3,000 Frasca simulators have been delivered worldwide.

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Fun facts about the company:

  • Frasca International was founded in 1958 by Rudy Frasca.
  • Over 3,000 devices have been delivered to 70 countries worldwide.
  • The company is family-owned.
  • Frasca is ISO: 9001 certified.


Wirco Foundry

The movement of the world economy depends on forging, casting, and working of metal parts. Wirco is integral to the supply chain of thousands of companies who work daily to create metal gears, axles, fasteners, turbine blades, steel (sheet, plate, rod coil), and countless other metal items needed in industries across the globe. Many of these metal parts require high-temperature transformations like carburizing, nitriding, and annealing. Those operations are performed in high-temperature heat treatment furnaces, which Wirco helps to keep operating through the supply of manufactured stainless steel furnace replacement parts. These parts take on many forms but can best be grouped into the following categories: gas and electric fired radiant tubes, furnace rolls, high-temperature fans, in-furnace material handling systems, and stainless steel furnace shells such as muffles, pit retorts, and salt pots.

Since 1941, the foundry division of Wirco, Incorporated has been continually producing stainless steel castings at their newly renovated Champaign, Illinois foundry complex. The Wirco foundry has an established history of producing long-lasting alloy castings purchased by thousands of clients in North America and the larger global marketplace. Unlike other alloy foundries, the Wirco foundry focuses specifically on heat-resistant stainless steels, found primarily in tooling and furnace components utilized in the heat-treating and steel production industries.

Products made by company:

  • Heat Treating fixtures
  • Heat Treating furnace components

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APL Engineered Materials, Inc.

APL Engineered Materials, Inc., an Advanced Lighting Technologies company, was founded in August 1944 by Dr. Scott Anderson. In the late 1950s, under a grant from the US Atomic Energy Commission, Anderson Physics Laboratory began to purify alkali halides. Around this time, lamp companies began to use APL’s purified salts. Their patented process of producing ultra-dry, high purity salts increased the efficiency and life of high-pressure discharge lamps. Their client list includes most of the lamp manufacturers in the world.


Since 2015, APL entered the radiation detection market launching products such as high purity cesium iodide, thallium iodide, lanthanum bromide, cerium bromide, strontium iodide, europium iodide, 6Li salts, etc. The materials are used by customers to grow single crystals or make thin films.

APL continues to grow its presence in other energy markets by providing key raw materials for photovoltaics, energy storage, displays, and the nuclear industries.

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Products made by APL Engineered Materials, Inc.: High purity, moisture-free materials such as halides, oxides, metals.

Fun facts about the company:

  • Largest global producer of chemicals used in HPS lamps, the yellowish lamps used for street lighting & indoor plant growth.
  • The majority of metal halide lamps, lamps used in stadiums and outdoor lights, contain salts made at APL.


Inprentus designs, manufactures, and sells x-ray and EUV diffraction gratings for use in synchrotron radiation facilities and industrial applications.

Inprentus was founded in June 2012 by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign physics professor Peter Abbamonte to commercialize an innovative, dual-atomic microscope scribing technology, which is a technique for carrying out nano-scale lithography via mechanical deformation of metallic surfaces.

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Products made by Inprentus: Custom Blazed Diffraction Gratings

Fun facts about the company:

  • They sell their gratings to customers around the world, including China, Japan, Australia, India, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, and Brazil.
  • In June 2020 they created their largest grating ever (and the largest one that they know of in existence!) – measuring over 1/2 meter long, or about 20 inches.
  • Their gratings are ruled with a density of up to 6,000 lines per millimeter (meaning that they are able to scribe 6,000 lines in just 1 tiny millimeter).
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