Mainstream Engineering Corporation, a 25‑year-old Brevard County manufacturer of advanced, lean-manufacturing, cost-competitive thermal control and energy conversion products, has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Army to demonstrate a new solar-assisted high-efficiency ice maker that will eliminate the need for transporting ice into Forward Operating Bases. The trucking of ice into forward bases not only wastes energy, it puts soldiers in harm’s way during this exposed transport.

Ice in 125F conditions

Mainstream has developed a unique solar-assisted design that efficiently produces ice in the over 125°F ambient desert conditions while exceeding the Army’s performance requirement by more than 12%. Mainstream plans to rapidly transition this equipment into the field, and has a 100% Department of Defense track record of commercialization.

Like all Mainstream products, these new solar assisted portable ice makers will be manufactured completely in the U.S. While many employers in Brevard County are discussing reductions in force, Mainstream has increased its staff by 14% in the last year. This new U.S. Army contract will allow Mainstream to create additional engineering and production positions.

“The state of the economy and the continuing job losses at Kennedy Space Center, have been difficult for Brevard County," says Dr. Robert Scaringe, President of Mainstream. "Mainstream is excited about the possibility of employing displaced aerospace workers from the local community. This new U.S. Army contract is another small step in a series of ongoing job-creating programs that we are developing at both Mainstream and our automotive spin-off company,” Scaringe says. “We are creating local jobs, improving the nation’s energy efficiency, and reducing our dependence on foreign oil, all while reducing emissions and preserving the environment. We are very proud to say that our products have always been “Made in the USA.”