The 2015 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Manufacturer of the Year, Small Firms

| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

WINNER

Torklift International

Sumner

Torklift International makes the stuff that makes trucks, RVs and cars more useful, productive or secure. Towing hitches. Turnbuckles. Tiedowns. Locking devices. Steps and handrails. The company also invests in new products, such as a camper bumper that provides extra storage and seating while also accommodating accessories like a grill. Its goal is to “produce products that do not exist in the market already.”

As part of its plan to grow internationally, Torklift recently added a distribution warehouse in Australia. It’s focusing on ways to make more products more efficiently, adding a high-definition plasma table and an in-house powder coating system and more than doubling the number of work cells. As a result, sales were up 20 percent in 2014.

One thing that’s not growing is debt. The company doesn’t believe in it. “If we buy a piece of equipment,” says General Manager Jay Taylor, “it’s paid for before it ever makes it in the door.” 

SILVER AWARD

WaterTectonics

Everett

The world needs clean water, and developing the systems for keeping water clean has proven to be a great market opportunity for WaterTectonics and its suite of technologies like WaveIonics electrocoagulation for targeting heavy metals, oil and bacteria. The technology has been useful in oil and gas, mining, construction and industrial applications, and it’s finding markets abroad. Foreign sales of WaterTectonics products accounted for 58 percent of the total in 2014. It’s shooting for 64 percent in 2015. 

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