Two Kansas manufacturing companies were honored for their innovation and entrepreneurship on Thursday night, May 14, when they were presented with the 2015 3i Show New Products award winners.
Bob Obee accepted the award for Curtis Machine for the introduction of a new, belt-free gear box assembly while Don Horning, owner of Crustbuster Speed King, accepted his award for a new 60-foot drill that folds to 12 feet wide for over-the-road travel.
Horning said the drill was developed for farmers in the Plains who farm large, wide-open acreages. He emphasized that the accomplishment as not his alone and introduced members of his engineering staff and manufacturing team who made the idea a reality.
"This was a team effort," he said. "Our future is embedded in developing new products."
Crustbuster is an original 3i Show exhibitor and a major supporter of the show, which this year is moving to October 8, 9, and 10 show dates to avoid the hot weather that has plagued the July show. The show will continue to be held on its permanent grounds at the Western Bank Expo Center in Dodge City.
Western Kansas Manufacturer's Association CEO, Eddie Estes, told guests the organization's annual meeting in Dodge City that weather records dating back to the 1870s indicate that the average temperature for the three days of the show is 73 degrees.
"And the average wind speed is 127 miles per hour," he joked to the enthusiastic laughter of the crowd.
Curtis Machine developed its new gearbox for a specific customer and Obee said that the technology will be used across the company's product line in the future.
Each of the new product winners received a plaque commemorating their honor and will be recognized at this fall's 3i Show.