Your Story Made Here: Caliente

March 17th, 2015

News Coverage:

Your Story Made Here: Caliente

By Melissa Long- 21Alive

March 19, 2015 Updated Mar 19, 2015 at 10:45 AM EDT

When You're hot, you're hot! and like it's name, "Caliente" suggests, this downtown Fort Wayne business is en fuego! Here's this edition of "You're Story Made Here".

If you leave your car out in the cold…your battery might not start. Same thing with telecom companies. If their batteries get cold…you might be left incommunicado.

Caliente builds heating elements to keep the power flowing.

Mike Kelly says: The Cell phone industry actually builds cabinets alongside the road where they'll have battery backup systems in the base of those cabinets. So we keep those batteries warm so that if there's a power outage in the cold, they are ready to do their work."

They do that by printing a conductive ink on a thin sheet of plastic. It's dried in an oven and they cover it with another sheet of plastic. Those sheets have wires and are plugged in to an outlet, which keeps them warm.

Now…imagine that sheet in the shape of a person… or a tank.

Mike Kelly says: " We've taken that real thin, flat efficient heating technology and applied that to thermal targets for the military. The military used to train with night vision equipment and now they train with thermal equipment. And so they would have a thermal scope on their rifle and that would pick up on our heater down range and so they would scope it out and is it friendly or is it a foe? They'll be able to differentiate between the two and then be able to engage or not engage."

Jim Blake says: You can put up to 12 hundred rounds in something like thisso it provides a very realistic target for the guys to practice on. It gives them an advantage that they haven't had in the past.

Caliente has been in operation since 2001 and has 23 employees. It recently doubled it's production space downtown to 40 thousand square feet. They hire referrals and people with good work ethic and good attitudes. It has paid off. The company won the Indiana small business exporter of the year award in 2008. Mike sees a bright future ahead.

Mike Kelly says:" We have a pretty heavy pipeline of new products in the works. We're gonna do some stuff that we're patenting so. We would'nt have bought twice the space if we didn't think we could fill it. "

Keeping us connected and keeping our protectors sharp. Caliente is sizzling with potential.

Categories Unique Businesses