The original idea for a new type of gate operator began as a joint family vacation for John Wood and his son Jeff Wood, who were at the time, employed by industry leader Apollo gate Operators, Inc. Their vacation, which included wives children and grand children, to a popular amusement park was intended to get their minds off the gate operator business. Ironically it had the opposite effect.
Riding the new high tech roller coasters John and Jeff experienced the unique combination of speed, power and control that changed their way of thinking about the gate operator industry. They knew when they stepped of the coaster that somehow that ride was very special and they returned home with the idea of applying the roller coaster technology to slide gates.
Their research revealed that the roller coaster utilized an advanced electromagnetic motor called a LIM or linear induction motor.
The LIM technology uses high-powered magnets to launch coasters like a slingshot, enabling them to reach speeds of 70 miles (112.5 km) per hour in less than four seconds. They discovered that linear induction technology was being used successfully in many other applications including high speed trains, trams, airport baggage handling systems, aircraft carrier catapult systems, etc.
John and Jeff Wood successfully patented the application of LIM technology as a “system and method for moving a horizontally movable portal closure” on February 12, 2002. Once the patent was secured the evolutionary process of creating a marketable slide gate operator for “homeland security” applications, high security, industrial and commercial markets, using LIM technology, began.
The actual development of the LIM operator continued, with John and Jeff Wood joining forces, with Apollo gate Operators, Inc. Dick Loos, Apollo company founder and expert in the areas of electrical and mechanical engineering as well as computer aided design along with Russell Timmermann, director of electrical and mechanical engineering at Apollo, formed the development team that became VMAG, LLC.
The name VMAG is a company styled abbreviation for “Velocity Magnetics”.
The name embodies both speed, the primary attribute which redefines all performance standards and magnetics, the technology that fundamentally changes gate operation.
New Product Launch – Summer 2009:
VMAG will introduce a new revolutionary high speed, low maintenance, gate operating system designed specifically for homeland security, military installations, airports, industrial facilities and other high value asset locations. The VMAG linear induction gate operator represents a paradigm shift in technology, from existing hydraulic and electric operators, by fundamentally changing the way gates operate. New standards for gate operating speed and reliability are expected once the VMAG gate operating system is introduced.
The patented design utilizes proven linear induction technology, with advanced magnetic operators, to open and close security gates at speeds up to 8 feet per second. This compared with existing “high speed” gate operators yielding only 3 to 4 feet per second. Clean magnetic technology is also “green” and uses no moving parts, providing superior performance and reliability, without environmental consequences. VMAG is compatible with all existing access control devices and can be specified for new construction or easily retro-fitted to accommodate existing gates.
Newly formed VMAG, LLC was developed in coordination with John and Jeff Wood, Dick Loos, the founder of “Apollo gate Operators”, an industry leader with over 25 years experience in design, manufacturing and distribution of automatic gate operating systems and Russell Timmermann, director of electrical and mechanical engineering. The VMAG project recently completed five years of research and development, followed by a successful 2-year beta test, with duty cycles exceeding 150,000. VMAG envisions making a positive contribution to the “high security” market segment by directly addressing many of the inherent limitations in existing gate operating technology.
Preliminary Strategic Mission:
Creating security, efficiency and value by securing high security access points with unmatched speed and reliability. United States homeland security applications will be the primary focus for the Velocity Magnetics product launch and will be given priority consideration for initial product placement.