Defense contracting can be a messy game.
We often see stories of out of control costs, lack of oversight, and shoddy manufacturing.
Typical big government problems.
However, a little American ingenuity can solve just about any problem.
Check out this incredible story about some innovative Alaskans who are changing the way small businesses are viewed…
A 22-employee startup company here invented a machine that is cleaning the decks of aircraft carriers all over the world.
Hans Vogel, president of Triverus, said there is no reason Alaskans can’t compete in high-tech, high-value manufacturing, which is a key knowledge-based driver of the world economy.
I arrived unconvinced, pulling up Monday morning to a metal building in an industrial park near the Alaska State Fair grounds. I left a believer. Without government subsidies or big-time investors, Vogel and his colleagues are competing with defense companies all over the country.
Their patented technology protects the environment, reduces interruptions to Navy flight operations and reduces risk of accidents. They have also sold dozens of less-expensive cleaning machines for civilian runways, roads and sidewalks all over the U.S.
“We’re essentially competing with every other machine shop that exists,” Vogel said. “We’re doing this. We’re shipping metal parts out of here all the time.”The engineers in Palmer design equipment in three dimensions on computers. The files they create print directly to computerized metal cutting and milling tools in the shop that can make pieces of any shape without human intervention — work that would have taken old-fashioned machinists many steps.
This little shop in Palmer takes in raw metal and puts out this high-tech equipment. For high-value manufacturing, Alaska is not too far from markets.
Alaska minds can create jobs. We have more than resources to remove from the ground or water. But success in this kind of industry takes innovation and technical know-how.
Hopefully, this company can serve as an inspiration to all the other small businesses in the country that are trying to get by on a more modest budget than some of the large corporations.
The Alaskan spirit on full display!Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.