After recent improvements to our now patented manufacturing process, Neuvokas reached a significant milestone: We can now make GatorBar at 150 feet per minute! This is FIVE TIMES faster than our original manufacturing process. Not to mention the fact that we were already blowing the doors off of our competitors prior to this advancement. They are using a pultrusion process that still measures production in inches per minute, so yes, 150 fpm is REALLY FAST!
This monumental achievement was made possible by a core group of individuals convinced that there was a better and faster way, all stubborn enough to figure it out and build it from the ground up.
Meet the team behind the scenes:
Erik Kiilunen – CEO Neuvokas Corporation, Superior Polymer Products, Dirt Bag Inc, EcoStud LLC
Erik is the CEO, spark, and drive of the organization. With ten kids ranging from age two to 26 and an amazing wife, Erik has been finding creative and innovative ways to keep food on the table since 1989. (His eldest daughter was once caught pointing at a passing squirrel, “Look, Dad! Skirrel! Mmmm nom nom!”) The Chassell High School alum and MTU dropout (he’ll call it the “fast-track”) is the entrepreneurial spirit behind the operation with the dream and vision.
Ken Keranen – COO Neuvokas Corporation (previously involved with Superior Polymer, DirtBag, and EcoStud)
Erik’s “right-hand man” for 10+ years and funniest guy in the room (self-proclaimed, the rest of us sometimes shake our heads). Ken graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from Michigan Tech University in 2004, and took a job with Erik at Superior Polymer shortly thereafter. You could call him the lazy innovator; if there is an easier way to do something he will find it. (Except for yesterday when he spent an hour over-engineering a rope handle.)
Matt Kero – VP of Engineering Neuvokas Corporation
Matt is the tried and true engineer of the bunch. He even rocks a red beard in the winter time to play the part. After graduating from MTU in 2006, he spent over 10 years designing industrial wireless products in Minnesota and bringing metal matrix composite brakes to the market throughout the US. His expertise in product and process development has been critical in designing and building Neuvokas’ patented manufacturing process. (I’m pretty sure his head is a little bigger after proofreading this.)
Brad Kangas – Mechanical Designer Neuvokas Corporation
Brad is a self-taught Solid Works master, equipment designer, and equipment builder. He works closely with Matt, bringing to life new ideas and parts to improve our manufacturing process. Brad spent a few years working for Superior Polymer prior to his shift to Neuvokas. Though easily the thinnest of the four, Brad eats a lot. Don’t try to steal food from him; I took a bite of his pizza months ago and he has yet to forget it.
For these reasons and more, the group just works. Mostly because they just don’t give up. Here at Neuvokas we plan on reaching even higher in the coming months and years and look forward to finding out where this road ultimately takes us.