Norsk Titanium in Plattsburgh, New York is the world’s first FAA-approved supplier of aerospace-grade, additive manufactured, structural titanium components. Steve Eaton serves as the Vice President of Operations there and oversees two advanced manufacturing facilities. New York State Manufacturing Now spoke with him about the company’s Plattsburgh operations and how Norsk Titanium is building a world-class supply chain focused on delivering 3D printed parts for aerospace use.
Steve: Hey, welcome to New York State Manufacturing Now, the podcast that’s powered by FuzeHub. I’m your host, Steve Milito, and today we are here with Heidi Quinlivan, who is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at New Scale Technologies. So Heidi, tell us about New Scale Technologies.
Heidi: We are a New York manufacturer and we have many teeny motors micro motion systems that our first product was the Squiggle motor. Our founder, David Henderson, invented them in 2002 using advanced PS electronic materials to create a motor that was only about an inch long. And the company grew from there making even smaller motors along the way and mechanical systems and helping customers integrate their products. We like to say we help our customers make great products smaller. For example, a blood analyzer instrument that medical workers can carry into remote areas in a backpack instead of needing a full lab with a bench top analyzer.
Steve: That’s something they probably really appreciate when they have to make a long hike into wherever they’re going. So Heidi, what’s your story?
Heidi: My career began in business development, marketing, customer care, and financial management. I gravitated towards technology companies in around 2002. I started at Keita Technologies, who was a robot scanning system company that scanned books. And I’m an avid reader, so I found making books easily accessible all over the world, very exciting. I worked in Platonics Technology Center in Canandaigua and Plurist Technologies, a foundry based MEMS organization. And then I came to New Scale in 2012. I was promoted to sales manager in 2015 and vice president in 2019. What I love about working in high tech companies is the opportunity to make the world a better place by helping OEM manufacturers create new products to improve their existing products. We assist in many medical applications and what they can do today never ceases to amaze me.
Steve: Well, that’s great. So you joined New Scale Technologies in 2012, which means you’ll have a 10- year anniversary next year.
Heidi: Yes, it’s coming up.
Steve: Congratulations in advance with that one. So tell us about New Scale Robotics in its relationship to New Scale Technologies?
Heidi: So New Scale Technologies launched New Scale Robotics Division in 2018, focused on collaborative robots market, which is really growing like crazy. We applied our experience in micro medtronics to make precision grippers and calipers that work with collaborative robots. The market and audience is different than New Scale Technologies.
Steve: Okay, I see. So what does New Scale Technologies do better than anybody else?
Heidi: New Scale Technologies makes great products smaller. You can miniaturize your product while increasing your performance so you can expand into new markets and be competitive in your existing markets. We spent decades becoming micro motion experts, so our customers don’t have to. Starting new designs with all in one positioning modules allows product development engineers to achieve smallest system size. Embedded motion modules are new option for product design teams. Combining the mechanical and electrical functions to one optimized, easy to integrate device. They speed the design process and ensure smallest size to avoid adding needless space and complexity to motion components. Product designers should consider using our modules.
Steve: I like that. You make life easier for them, especially if they do it at the beginning of the design process. So Heidi, what are some of the applications for your company’s products and what is your ideal customer like?
Heidi: So an ideal customer is really a worldwide manufacturer in the industries such as medical, research automation, industrial aerospace, and government producing in the thousands annually of their products. They are OEMs the need to miniaturize their tabletop instruments to make them handheld and portable. We enable smaller, smarter imaging systems, scientific instruments, medical devices, aerospace and defense systems and much more.
Steve: All right, so smaller and smarter, those are key things in those markets. And what are some awards and successes that you’ve had?
Heidi: So we won numerous awards over the years, but our most recent ones actually have been local. We did the RBJ Technology and Manufacturing Award for Global Advancement sponsored by the Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association, and that was in the fall of 2019. We also won the Victor Local Development Corp for the Technology Business of the year and the spring of 2019. And then a little bit earlier, but very key was the ECN Impact Award for excellence in electoral me medical devices. The M3LS is our linear micro smart stage, and that was made in 2015. Since the launch of our linear stages, they have become like our premier product and they’re used in so many applications, but really growing business industries are in gene sequencing and brain research. So we have a MultiPro manipulator that we use called the MPM for Brain Research and Alan Institute is the one that’s really leading the charge with this product. And they are sharing the information throughout neuroscience community. This business segment has grown twofold yearly.
Steve: That’s great. So you’ve got some strong growth, a lot of awards, a lot of successes. What are some of the challenges that you’ve overcome?
Heidi: When New Scale Technologies was a startup in 2008, we plan to produce focus modules for the cell phone industry. We achieved the absolute smallest complete motion system. However, the industry decided to stay with the voice coil, so we really had to reinvent ourselves and we created the M3 family of modules for OEMs. Recently, our greatest challenge has been starting up a new business, the New Scale Robotics division during a pandemic. And specifically for New Scale Technologies during the pandemic, becoming an essential medical manufacturing company, keeping our team healthy and working throughout
Steve: Certainly has been a challenge getting through it. So going back to some happier time to pre pandemic in May 2019, Finger Lakes Community College got a FUS Hub manufacturing grant and worked with you on a project. Can you tell us about that?
Heidi: Dr. Samantha New Scale Robotics and the Finger Lakes Community College won a FuzeHub grant for Collaborative Robots Cobots, the tool development partnership. It helped us launch our robotics division and accelerate our research. Dr. Samantha of FLCC acted as a consultant on the Smart Platform Development project and used Cobots to teach students to demonstrate Cobots applications, problem- solving, and any issues that surface during development.
Steve: Great project. So in addition to FLCC, have you worked with any other New York State funded resources and are there any areas of assistance that you’re currently seeking?
Heidi: So we do and have throughout the years. The most recent ones we have done are through the Global New York on step grants for trade shows. It’s helped us to attend a trade show that we wouldn’t have been able to in another country. It also provided us opportunities to meet distributors in the area and to increase our distribution network. And then we applied for and received a next Corpse Map RG& E Manufacturing Acceleration Program grant to help us grow our new medical customers by getting our medical ISO certification. The grant provides training and consulting funds to assist us through the ISO certification process.
Steve: That’s great. Really wonderful to see that you’ve made good use of those resources that are available. So we’ve talked about where the company has been. Where do you see new scale technologies in say five years?
Heidi: Still seeing us in New York State. So a premier upstate New York manufacturer producing smart micro modules for Fortune 500 OEMs around the world. We’ll continue to be the experts in Micro Motion and continue to help them make their great products smaller.
Steve: Fantastic. We’ve been here with Heidi Quinlivan, who’s the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at New Scale Technologies. Heidi, thank you.
Heidi: Thank you for having me.
Steve: Hey, thanks for listening to New York State Manufacturing Now, the podcast that’s powered by FuzeHub. And if you’re a New York state manufacturer or technology company and you have business or technical challenges, manufacturing questions, maybe you’re interested in help for cybersecurity, automation, prototyping, supply chain workforce, you name it, help is available. And the way to go about getting it is to go to www.FuzeHub.com. And then look for the Manufacturer Solutions Program, part of the website and request an expert consultation and you will be connected to a member of our manufacturing solutions program. So again, on behalf of FuzeHub, I’m Steve Milito signing off.