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.