This article appeared in the January 2020 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.
The search for the “Coolest Thing Made in Michigan” included a variety of captivating products — a twin-engine pontoon, a next-generation mirror, the world’s top-of-line personal mobility vehicle — and thousands of votes were cast.
The winning product, the Custom Booster Cylinder by Peninsular Cylinder Co., was announced live on-stage at the 2019 MFG Excellence Awards in November and demonstrates how “cool” can take many forms.
“We know that it’s a cool product because we designed it and we are faced with these type of challenges on a daily basis,” said Bud Haver, president of Peninsular Cylinder Co. “To people in and outside of this industry, it’s cryptic.”
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.
“By boosting the pressure, greater force is achieved which can accelerate product pressure testing. Through our booster, our clients can accomplish their needs at much lower costs,” Haver explained. “We’re always looking at our products with fresh eyes. The more we can customize to specific customer needs, the greater advantage their products can have over their competition.”
Looking back, Haver shared a few essential thoughts that have kept Peninsular at the top of its game — a company worthy of being Michigan’s coolest:
- Take pride in what you do — every part matters
- Don’t cut corners — make quality something paramount to everyone employed
- Invest in the systems that will move you forward
- Promote your company’s cool factor — don’t be shy about telling your story
“I’ll admit, when we first entered the contest, we weren’t sure what would happen. Then we made it to the Top 10 and it was like ‘okay, we could win this’. The end result is a testament to all of the people who believe in us,” Haver said. “They didn’t just say ‘yeah, you’re cool’ — they said it with their votes and that inspires us to be even better tomorrow.”
In an industry where everyone works hard but the rewards can often feel few and far between, recognition as Michigan’s coolest product makes a lasting impression.
“Winning this award means that we have an opportunity to tell our story, showcase what we do and expand Peninsular’s brand recognition,” said Haver. “It’s kind of ironic; the success of our Booster gave us a boost — in pride and credibility. That’s pretty cool.”