Pittsburgh Technical Council

Innovator of the Year: Manufacturing

Innovator of the Year: Manufacturing

2017 Tech 50 Finalists
Innovator of the Year: Manufacturing – The Kurt J. Lesker III Award for Excellence


BoXZY - BoXZY is a combines a 3D printer, laser cutter, and CNC mill into one desktop makerspace. Joel and Justin Johnson created BoXZY to free makers, engineers, students, and hackers from the burden of location and the constraints of time. It is the only consumer oriented device that gives everyone access to production-level tools in their own homes, offices, and schools.


Hänel Storage Systems - Hänel Storage Systems manufactures automated vertical storage equipment, also known as automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS).  Hänel’s Rotomat® Vertical Carousel and Lean-Lift® Vertical Lift Module (VLM) can be customized to any application, providing numerous advantages to their customers, including increased floor space, improved inventory accuracy, greater productivity, enhanced inventory security and proper ergonomics for users. Founded in Germany in 1953, Hänel established its U.S. headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA in 1984.  Through its network of 100 channel partners in North America, Hänel has become the premier supplier of vertical storage units in the United States.


IAM Robotics - IAM Robotics provides a complete set of technologies required for autonomous mobile manipulation solutions, with a focus on order picking and retrieval. Their robots provide flexibility to their customers’ labor force with a platform of products including a Swift autonomous piece-picking robot, Flash product scanner. IAM is uniquely suited to help Supply Chain, Retail, and Logistics managers succeed and scale in the face of e-commerce challenges and increasing customer demands.


Interphase Materials - Interphase Materials is an advanced materials company that provides solutions to improve efficiency of cooling systems. Their first product, the HTE system, is a surface treatment for industrial cooling systems which reduces utility spend by increasing heat transfer efficiency and protecting against bio-fouling, corrosion, and scale deposits.


MSA The Safety Company - Established in 1914, MSA – The Safety Company is the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures. Many MSA products integrate a combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations. The company's comprehensive product line, including self-contained breathing apparatus, fixed gas and flame detection systems, portable gas detection instruments, industrial head protection products, fire and rescue helmets, and fall protection devices, is used by workers around the world in a broad range of markets. 


Optimus Technologies - Founded in 2010, Optimus Technologies is the market leader in high performance biodiesel conversion solutions that utilize biodiesel and diesel for medium and heavy-duty truck fleets. With Optimus, fleet operators have a simple way to significantly reduce fuel costs and emissions, while addressing renewable fuel targets. Optimus was built on the vision and the knowledge that other alternative fuel solutions are prohibitively expensive and do not provide the same results as biodiesel.

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