Sonoma County is renowned for making wine, beer and food products.
Manufacturing here involves so much more, though, from high-tech laboratories to small machine shops supporting an array of companies.
Below are profiles of two little-known manufacturers turning heads far beyond the county. One tapped into movie magic to help medics save lives on the battlefield. The other is credited with building an innovative machine for extracting key compounds from cannabis.
Dick Herman, president of the 101MFG manufacturing trade group, said the two companies demonstrate something key about local innovation: “The North Bay has still got it.”
Ron Howard once recalled visiting Industrial Light & Magic’s warehouse in Marin County during the production of the 1980 blockbuster “The Empire Strikes Back.” The “Apollow 13” film director said he “felt absolutely like the kid who’d gotten into Santa’s workshop at the North Pole.”
A similar sensation comes to mind when visiting the factory floor of TraumaFX in Petaluma.