Illinois Tool Works Inc. or ITW is an American Fortune 200 company that produces engineered fasteners and components, equipment and consumable systems, and specialty products. It was founded in 1912 by Byron L. Smith and has built its growth on a 'small‐wins strategy' based on decentralization, operational excellence, simplicity, customer‐focused innovation, and acquisitions. Today, it employs approximately 45,000 people in hundreds of businesses across 53 countries, and is based in Glenview, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. ITW has more than 18,000 granted and pending patent applications worldwide. The company typically ranks in the top 100 of patent issuers in the U.S.