Made In Champaign County

APL Engineered Materials

APL is known worldwide as a premier global supplier of high purity & ultra-dry metal halides, amalgams, metal and other advance materials for a wide range of markets including lighting, energy, scintillation and other high technology markets. The company was established in Urbana as Anderson Physics Labs in 1944 by Dr. Scott Anderson to perform sponsored experimental research in molecular physics. In the late 1950s, under a grant from the US Atomic Energy Commission, Anderson Physics Laboratory began to purify alkali halides. The development of metal-halide lamps around this time required high purity, dry salts. APL’s patented process of producing ultra-dry, high purity salts increased the efficiency and life of high pressure discharge lamps. Over the years, APL developed several products and added sales offices globally to help customers solve issues and make better lamps. Their client list include all major lighting companies such as Venture Lighting, Signify, Osram, Ledvance, Tungsram, etc.

With the decline in conventional lamps since the advent of the LEDs, APL has expanded their product offering to add products for the radiation detection market. High purity, dry halide salts made using APL’s proprietary technology is used by customers to grow single-crystals and thin films for national security and medical imaging applications.

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Fun facts about the company:

  • Over 75% percent of the metal halide lamps, lamps used in stadiums and outdoor lights, use SALTS made at APL.
  • 90% of the high-pressure sodium lamps, lamps used for outdoor lighting and horticulture, use AMALGAMS made at APL.
  • In the past, APL LAMPS were used in 2004 Olympics in Athens, Washington Monument, NASCAR circuit, Chrysler building, bridges in Miami, and french fry lamps in McDonald’s.
  • In the past, APL SALTS were used for lamps in Vegas, Lakeshore drive, underwater for fishing, and the first night game at Wrigley field.


Inprentus manufactures the most efficient high line density diffraction gratings in the world. Inprentus was founded in June 2012 by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign physics professor Peter Abbamonte to commercialize an innovative nano-scale scribing technology, which is a technique for carrying out precision lithography via mechanical deformation of metallic surfaces.

The company, based in Champaign, manufactures blazed diffraction gratings used at a growing list of synchrotrons and free electron laser facilities around the world. These are large, government-operated research facilities where research scientists use diffraction gratings in spectrometer and monochromator instrumentation. They use infrared, ultra-violet and x-ray radiation to study the properties of novel materials, pharmaceuticals, environmental science, physics and life sciences, which advance the core research of a long list of large industries.

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Fun facts about the company:

  • Inprentus has customers on 4 continents.
  • Did you know that Inprentus can scribe lines in the 10 nanometer range? Nanometer = 1 billionth of a meter.
  • Four of the largest U.S. national labs are customers of Inprentus.
  • An Inprentus production machine uses as much as 286 gallons of cooling fluid per hour.
  • The Environment Control Cabinet for an Inprentus ruling machine has over 500 individual wires.

Advanced Filtration Systems Inc.

Established in June 1986, Advanced Filtration Systems Inc. (AFSI), manufactures liquid filters using automated, computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) techniques. Highly automated production techniques enable AFSI to manufacture filters of the highest quality at competitive prices. The filters are used in lube, fuel, and hydraulic applications.

AFSI has been recognized for exemplary efforts in creating a progressive work environment focusing on quality and employee involvement and safe practices both internally and externally. Caterpillar has recognized AFSI since 1993 as a certified supplier of quality and material filters.

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ShapeMaster Inc.

In January 1990, ShapeMaster was formed because they saw a need to provide buyers, engineers, inventors, and designers with the ability to order small or large quantities of solutions in plastics and other materials for the manufacturing of their products; regardless of their size, they receive the same high level quality of service.

Their centrally located Ogden, Illinois facility has since expanded three times to accommodate the latest technology, including new thermoformers, injection molding machinery, and a metal machine shop, allowing them to enhance their production abilities to better serve their customers. From vacuum forming, drape forming, and pressure forming to CNC machining and custom fabrication, they take pride in their ability to take your project from conceptual design to production including 2D or 3D drawings, materials research, custom tooling, prototyping, replication of existing parts, and custom package design – all within their facility to maximize your return on investment.

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Fun facts about the company:

  • They have clients from around the world, including England, Canada, Brazil, and New Zealand.
  • They have hired, trained, and employed hundreds of people who live right here in Champaign County.
  • ShapeMaster has weathered a tornado (1996), a fire (2005), and many floods.

Litania Sports Group

Litania Sports Group is the parent company of two market-leading brands in the sports facility market, Gill Athletics and Porter Athletic.

Gill Athletics, founded in 1918, is the official Track Equipment Corporate Partner of the NFHS and the Official Equipment Supplier of the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Gill equipment is used all over the world including all levels of competition from colleges to high schools to masters’ competitions. Porter Athletic, founded in 1868, is recognized by coaches, architects, contractors and school administrators as the leader in the gymnasium equipment market. Porter equipment is featured in more award-winning athletic facility construction projects than any other brand.

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Fun facts about the company:

  • Gill Athletics founder, Harry Gill, helped organize the NCAA, and then won the very first NCAA championship as coach of the University of Illinois track & field team.
  • Porter Athletic was the originator of the first fan shaped basketball backboard and first glass basketball backboard.
  • Men’s and Women’s javelin world records were set with Gill manufactured implements.
  • Gill Athletics is the largest pole-vaulting pole manufacturer in the world.
  • Their equipment can be found inside The White House & Mark Wahlberg’s home gym.


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