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      Well-known products created by local Upper Peninsula business

      Plastic drinking tumblers, WD-40, Tide Pod containers; we've all seen them and perhaps even used them. But at Extreme Tool and Engineering in Wakefield, they create them, from building the actual tool to manufacturing the product, to the finished plastic molding.

      â??Then we surround it with services on both the front and back end to offer one-stop shopping to global customers all over the world,â?? said President Mike Zacharias.

      Zacharias started Extreme Tool and Engineering in 1998 with only a few employees alongside him.

      â??Weâ??ve grown from five people to 80 employees in this location right now. Weâ??ve averaged double-digit growth every year. Our fastest growing markets are largely in health care; we do a lot of work in the inhaler business,â?? Zacharias said.

      The plastic molds for the inhalers are shipped over to Ireland, which is just one of the many countries they export to. Another medical product they manufacture is a plastic mold that compliments new mammography technology.

      â??The cutting edge part of it is it actually X-rays in 30 degrees from this side, to 30 degrees that side, so it gives it a depth perception of the mass and if it's growing, if it's shrinking, and they can locate it better as far as if they need to do a biopsy,â?? said employee, Michael Haupert.

      They make the standard tumbler sizes for the company, Tervis. They say eventually they'll ship close to seven to ten thousand of them a day. Those at the business say they enjoy being located in the Upper Peninsula because of the strong supply of engineering students at nearby universities, but also because of the unique environment and community the U.P. has to offer them.