News & Resources

Big Ideas

As engineers, we love learning about the world around us and drawing inspiration from other people and inventions throughout history. And, we love sharing our favorite stories with you! Who knows? Maybe they’ll help spark your next big idea too.

Another Engineer Obsess—err, Hobby: Squirrel Defenses

Here at Custom Powder Systems, we’re always on the lookout for creative applications of practical absurdity. Because we’re so often faced with constraints (space, time, budget, gravity, etc.) in the projects our clients bring us, we try to hire engineers who look at problems outside of work with the same

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Our Customized Platform Lifts Will Elevate Your Operation

There are hints of lifting devices dating back to the time of Archimedes. Leonardo da Vinci, our kindred Renaissance spirit, drew up elevator designs. Steam-powered elevators would haul lumber and coal in the 19th century. It would be years before people thought about hoisting people in these machines…and this kind

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Photo by H Shaw on Unsplash

Protecting Your Employees When PPE is Hard to Find

“PPE has gone up 1000% in price across the board. Companies are calling us and saying ‘Here’s the situation, do you have any options?’” Angelo Rubino, Business Development Specialist PPE has been a common term for people in hospitals, factories, and other potentially hazardous workplaces. With the onset of COVID-19,

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Da Vinci’s Genius [VIDEO]

As you may have noticed, Leonardo da Vinci is on our Mt. Rushmore here at CPS and ICS. He embraced the constraints that faced him, saw patterns and connections others never could, and unlike most of the mere mortals of his time or any other—to paraphrase George Bernard Shaw—dreamt things

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Where’s Your da Vinci-Chute?

It once seemed outrageous to think a ship made of heavy steel could ever float on water. Imagine the reaction if a painter told you a contraption of wood could let you toss yourself from any height and drift safely to earth.  The parachute was one of the many inventions from

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Napkin Sketch

Happy New Year! Here’s Your Blank Napkin

We are an idea company. When we first meet customers, they are always a bit baffled…perplexed…flummoxed even. Our job is to take their (seemingly) impossible challenge and come up with the best way to solve it. We love love love being asked to do the things that haven’t been done before. We’ve been

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Napkin Sketch: Life-Saving Fire Hose Nozzles

Necessity is the mother of invention, but when three million gallons of liquid hydrocarbon explodes in front of you, waiting for mother to call isn’t an option. While the event was cataclysmic, it inspired the invention of the variable flow fire nozzle now used by fire departments around the world. Volunteer

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Thanksgiving - Custom Powder Systems

Preparing for Thanksgiving

No, that’s not a typo.  No, we didn’t push the wrong button. Instead of a holiday once a year, what if we gave a little “thanks” …every day? At Custom Powder Systems, we’re a building full of scientists and engineers.  We like to see methods and proof. This is why

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Not All Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) Are Created Equal

The plumbing in your house.  The road under your car. The intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) you use in your process.  All important.  All easily overlooked.  Pipes, highways, and IBCs have been around for a long time doing crucial jobs, and fortunately, somebody else thinks long and hard about them.  And

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Another Engineer Obsess—err, Hobby: Pinball Machines

When engineers aren’t “engineering,” you’ll often find them building, tinkering, and inventing. Most engineers spend their days within a structured framework, but they’re always on the hunt for a creative outlet. Today, we profile Scott Heffern, Senior Vice-President of Products, about his after-hours obsession: Pinball Machines. At Custom Powder Systems,

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ELGIN, Ill., April 19, 2019 –  Custom Powder Systems of Springfield, Mo. was recently chosen to receive a 2019 Safety Award of Merit from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA). Open to all FMA company members, the FMA/CNA Annual Safety Awards recognize metal fabrication companies that adhere to excellence

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Custom Powder Finding Inspiration Through Da Vinci

Finding Inspiration through Da Vinci

From a 21st century perspective, one might look at the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci and conclude he “stumbled upon the inevitable.”  His original concepts, ranging from tanks to parachutes, appear “obvious” in hindsight.  But Leonardo wasn’t working with hindsight. All he had was the limited resources of 15th century

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Custom Powder Systems STEM vs STEAM

Should STEM Evolve into STEAM in Our Schools?

At Custom Powder, we spend an inordinate amount of time applying art to science. As a result, we’ve taken a special interest in the current (and often heated) debate to introduce art into the concerted efforts for more primary and secondary education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Should

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CPS Engineer Burnout

A New Negative Pressure: Burnout

As we continue to develop our reputation for aseptic isolation, we’ve learned a thing or two about containing negative pressure… and its many forms. In our shop, we use this focus as a regular reminder to consider and address the other kind of negative pressure: Stress and frustration and, specifically

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CPS Hug Your Cat

CPS Celebrates National Hug Your Cat Day

There is a long-standing tradition between engineers and their love of cats. Maybe it’s a fascination with how they always seem to land on their feet. With June 4th being National Hug Your Cat Day, it’s the ideal time to celebrate cats, engineers, and the relationship that they have together.

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CPS Mousetraps

Better Mousetraps – The Art of Solving Problems

At Custom Powder, we have tremendous respect and appreciation for novel solutions to complex problems, as well as the people who create them. Changing human behavior is, perhaps, the most complex of problems. That’s why we loved this short presentation from Dan Pink on emotionally intelligent signage. The basis of

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