From gadgets we use on a daily basis to things we see launch into space, many people don't know they could have been made right here in our own backyards.
The next time you respond to a text message on your cellphone or turn on the navigation system in your car- materials that went into making those items may have been made by Indium Corporation.
Founded in Utica in 1934, the company was exclusively focused on the element indium, but fast-forward to 2012... "We quickly expanded to other metals and alloys that included indium. But, then went beyond indium to alloys and metals that don't' have anything to deal with indium. While we still manufacture materials that have indium we also manufacture materials that don't have indium at all," said Rick Short, Director of Marketing Communications.
Indium Corporation has grown from a small number of people to now 700 employees worldwide with 12 manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
The company is a manufacturer of industrial assembly materials- ranging from automotive electronics to medical electronics to nanomaterial.
But, what does that mean?
"Our customers are the famous names you know. We are the behind the scenes material that enables them to produce their products. So you can find our products in common items like cellphones, laptops, medical devices and communication devices," said Short.
Another high-tech company that also makes products for famous names is CTM or Custom Tool & Model Corporation in Frankfort.
Started by his father back in the 60s, Steven Naegele says he's keeping the dream alive for precision machining.
The company shapes metals and materials with old fashion technology as well as new, updated methods, like cutting metal with electricity or lasers.
CTM makes a variety of parts for items ranging from computers to airplanes to rockets.
"The latest everyone knows about is the curiosity that is on mars right now doing soil sampling. We made 50 or 60 parts for this particular project. And others we're doing that we can't tell you about," said Naegele.
Thanks to a trade show in New York City, CTM met engineers who were working for a subcontractor for NASA. To make a long story short in 2008, CTM was building a scoop on the rover for the Phoneix Project.
"One part led to another part that led to many parts. So each year, each quarter we are doing different stuff for NASA. It's very exciting," said Naegele.
And interestingly enough, CTM says the crews don't know exactly what project they are working on at the time until it gets leaked out by the engineers they work with.
It's a different story for Trenton Technology in Utica. It started off as a refurbishment business with only three employees.
CEO Albert Mazloom says it evolved into a contract manufacturing business and now also develops its own products.
"Our product is not for the typical consumer. You're not going to buy a computer from best buy and find our product in it," said Mazloom.
Trenton Technology says you can find its product in Utica if you are a heavy equipment dealer driving a forklift truck. The business also serves the defense industry, medical industry and even the toy industry.
"People tend to think of things in terms of an end product in a box like an iPhone. What they don't see is the guts. We build those guts that people take and make it into an end product," said Edward Wheeler, the Director of Manufacturing Engineering.
Wheeler says the company buys new equipment and upgrades almost every year.
No matter how big these companies have grown throughout the years- one thing is for sure- they say they plan on continuing to keep to their roots right here in Central New York.