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13 posts categorized "Rushford news"

March 24, 2011

$150,000 grant is 'big' deal for nanotech biz

A new federal grant could help a Rushford company create better artificial joints that could work inside patients years longer than today's implants.

HPPD-001 Rushford Hypersonic was awarded a $150,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health earlier this month.

The grant will fund the first phase of testing of the company's wear-resistant nanotech coating process on materials used to make orthopedic implants, such as artificial hips and knees.

"This is a big, big deal," says Dan Fox, president and CEO of Rushford Hypersonic. "This is the culmination of three years of work. This means we have showed that we have what looks to be a novel and innovative solution to extend the life of implants."

Rushford Hypersonic will work with Dr. Kai-Nan An of Mayo Clinic’s Biomechanics and Motion Analysis Laboratory.

June 21, 2010

Rushford nanotech firm + Minn.

Despite its focus on microscopic particles, Rushford’s nanotechnology company is making a big impact in Minnesota’s most prestigious business competition.

Rushford Hypersonic LLC, which was launched by Dan Fox in 2007, was named last week as one of 48 semi-finalists out of more than 1,000 businesses competing for $100,000 to help finance innovative ideas.

Competing in the New High Tech Businesses Division of the Minnesota Cup, Hypersonic now must submit a business plan by July 23 to see if it will be one of the three finalists in the division.

6a00d83451cc8269e20120a58883bf970b-800wi Rushford Hypersonic uses a University of Minnesota-created process called Hypersonic Plasma Particle Deposition to bond coatings made of nano-sized particles into the surfaces of metals, ceramics and other materials,

While the process has many applications, Hypersonic is focusing on using the coatings to improve tools such as drill bits by reducing the friction they create and significantly increasing the coated product’s durability.

The Minnesota Cup, started in 2005, is a non-profit venture to encourage and fund innovate entrepreneur projects to spur new businesses in the state. In 2007,Dr. James Levine of Mayo Clinic topped more than 500 competitors to give Muve Inc. a $25,000 financial boost.

Today Muve is an active company marketing its Gruve devices to help people track the calories they burn and encourage a healthier lifestyle.

September 21, 2009

Small particles = Big growth and Jobs for Rushford

In his machine shop office in the Rushford Industrial Park, some say Dan Fox might be changing the world with his new nanotechology machines.


His goal, however, is much simpler. He wants to create jobs for this flood-damaged and economy-battered community, and make some money while doing it.

“The reason we started Rushford Hypersonic here was to create jobs that TRW (auto parts plant that closed) took away,” he says.

After launching in 2007 as a one-man operation, his company quickly grew to a team of three by spring of 2008, and now it has grown to a staff of 10.

And the growth is moving in the shape of a hockey stick, Fox says. It is going from the blade to straight up the handle.

By the holidays, he expects to have 15 people on the job and 25 to 35 technical engineering positions by mid-2010.

He has added to the space he uses at Connaughty Industries in June, but is now looking to buy or build a facility at least double his current 2,500 square feet of space to handle more growth in 2010.

“We are maxing out the facility right now,” he says, looking around the garage that resembles a small repair shop, if you don’t notice the electron microscopes and vacuum chambers.

At the core of this burst of growth is a very big idea built on particles so small that 3 million of them fit on the end of a hair.

Fox, with decades of experience in manufacturing, spotted an opportunity at the University of Minnesota soon after TRW pulled out of the area. After years of testing, a university research lab had created a new process to bond coatings of microscopic or nano sized particles to various materials. 

“I just figured out what to do with the technology,” he says of licensing the two patents for the U of M process.

The possibilities seem to be almost endless following early tests that prove Hypersonic can apply coatings that seem wear-, heat- and almost friction-resistant to metal, ceramic and glass of any shape.

Independent tests at the end of August showed that hypersonic-coated drill bits could dry drill 1,000 more holes through a steel plate before failing compared to an uncoated bit.

That throws open the industrial possibilities to include projects ranging from almost oil-less car engines to artificial knees that might never wear out.

April 22, 2009

Rushford nanotech biz to double on size

A small business – Rushford Hypersonic – gets bigger.

Here's a little (heh) from a press release that rolled out this morning about Hypersonic's expansion plans. Look for more on this in print from Sarah Doty:

Rushford Hypersonic LLC, the world’s only commercial producer of Hypersonic Plasma Particle Deposition nanotechnology coatings announced that they are expanding their facility square footage. The expansion comes exactly one year after their April 2008 facility opening. The additional floor space multiplies their original space by 2.5 times Ulvac3000

and was needed to accommodate the recent doubling in staff over the last six months. 

Rushford Hypersonic required more production, laboratory, and office space for recent and anticipated growth as production gets underway. The conversion of the industrial warehouse into a high tech production facility is expected to be completed in June 2009. 

Varion3125Sputteringsystem Additional plans are underway for construction of a new building in Rushford’s Industrial Park that will serve as Rushford Hypersonic’s headquarters and primary production facility. Initial projections estimate the new building to be completed by late summer 2010.

The burgeoning nanotechnology industry is providing excellent opportunities for business and communities. Rushford Hypersonic LLC expects to create 60 -75 full-time production, engineering, and research and development jobs over the next 5 years. Additionally, there will be at least 20 – 30 temporary local contractor jobs created by the current expansion and the anticipated new facility construction.  

June 02, 2008

Old-style Five and Dime + Rushford

People kept asking Marlene Bellock when the Rushford store she managed, About a Buck, would re-open after the flood.

She grew tired of telling them it wasn’t re-opening, so she decided to open her own store on Rushford’s Jesse Street.

“I knew there was a need. I decided to take the chance.” says Bellock.

Variety Plus will be more than a dollar store, though much of her stock in 2,500-square-foot showroom will cost around a dollar.

It should open in a few weeks.

Bellock didn’t just buy the one store, she also bought the one next to it. It is slated to house a floral shop, antiques and gathering spot for people who love crafts and sewing. It is Bellock's dream to help teach young girls who to sew, since that skill is not being taught much anymore.

Staffing the family-owned business should not be hard. Bellock has 10 children and 23 grandchildren. Two granddaughters will work there this summer.

May 31, 2008

People's Co-op + Heartland Security

Three area energy cooperatives are securing their own pieces of a regional security company.

Rochester-based People’s Cooperative Services along with the Freeborn-Mower Copperative and Tri-county Electric in Rushford are buying into the Heartland Security business.

They join 10 other non-profit cooperatives that already own the company.

While the three southeastern Minnesota co-ops already offer most of the security services that Heartland does, “This offers us a chance to enhance those services and combined reources will allow us to be more efficent,” says Elaine J. Garry, President/CEO of People’s.

The deal will be official on July 1. Heartland will then cover centeral, western and southeasten Minnesota as well as part of Iowa.

Its services include monitors home security systems as well as medical monitors and livestock-related alarms. Heartland installs GE Security Pro alarm and security systems and currently serves about 4,000 customers.

This deal will bring an additional two or three new positions to southeastern Minnesota and it will not change People’s current staffing, Garry says. People’s has 54 employees.

April 29, 2008

Rushford Hypersonic's plan

Dan Fox has taken ideas and turned them in money-making realities for companies like TRW Automotive and Benchmark Electronics.

“I see something that’s good and I make it happen,” he says. I’ve done it for other companies. Now this is my shot.”

“His shot” is Rushford Hypersonic, a contract manufacturing company that he hopes will spray nanoparticle film coatings on metal parts like drill bits, automotive parts, metal hip replacement joints and possible military applications.

Fox, the majority owner and founder of Hypersonic, has established the company in the Rushford industrial park in 5,400-square-feet of space in the Connaughty Industries building. He showed off the facility last week during a public open house.

While he has three employees on staff, his first Hypersonic Plasma Particle Deposition machine is still being developed a piece at a time by the University of Minnesota. Hypersonic has licensed two University of Minnesota patents for the project.

“I am working with some major companies right now. Once we prove what we can do we, will have contracts,” he says. “They all agree the theory is correct.”

Fox describes Hypersonic as a “value-added company” that improves products for companies by making them harder, more durable and more heat-resistant. He foresees having 40 to 70 employees within four or five years.

April 11, 2008

Rushford bank re-opens today

Here's a tidbit from Rushford written by roving reporter John Weiss:

The snow predicted for today makes a certain amount of sense to Jeanne Feldmeier because, to her, today is Christmas.

Feldmeier manages Rushford’s branch of Associated Bank where August’s flood left about 2 feet of water in the bank’s main level. About two weeks later, the bank reopened in its small drive-up building across Minnesota Highway 42 from the century-old main building and workers began to tear apart the insides of the main building to rebuild it.
Today it opened to the public for the first time since the flood.

“This is like Christmas for us,” she said. “We’re walking around with smiles on our faces.” The grand opening week will be April 21-25 and the bank will celebrate with a donation of $1,000 to the Rushford food shelf.

Customers will notice a radically different look. It’s more modern, with a handicapped-accessible teller counter and new flooring, walls and colors, Feldmeier said. The bank had planned on redecorating this summer. However, what happened over winter is much more than redecorating, it’s a completely new inside.

The bank is another sign Rushford is mending, she said. She estimates 60 percent of businesses have now reopened. The local lefse business is back and car dealers.

“They want to get back and get going again,” Feldmeier said.

January 25, 2008

Rushford + nanotech

It sounds like Rushford's bet on nanotechnology a few years ago might be starting to pay off.

An Indiana (Go Hoosiers!) guy has plans to open Rushford Hypersonics, which will apply coatings to metal using a nanotech process called hypersonic plasma particle deposition, according to an artcile in the Tri-County Record's 2008 Business Outlook edition. He hopes to open it yet this year.

The guy – Dan Fox – is working with the non-profit Rushford Institute of Technology, which specializes in nanotechnology.

Fox estimates having 3 to 5 employees to start with and grow to 70 within five years.

Rushford launched the Institute of Technology back in 2001.

Here's a little from the Institute's Web site:

I hope that as you browse our cyber home, you will come to understand our mission well enough to want to become involved in some way. Or, that you come to understand that Nanotechnology is a technology revolution that will dwarf the computer revolution and will transform virtually all industries.

The US government predicts that by the year 2013 one of every seven jobs in the USA will be dependent upon nanotechnology-enabled products, processes, or services. It also predicts that this will represent over $1.0 Trillion (USD) in business.

This is why RINTek was conceived and is being implemented. One aspect of our mission is to create awareness of the possibilities associated with nanotechnology both economically and ecologically.
The second aspect of our mission is to support and perform research in the area of toxicology of engineered nanoparticles as they interact with living cells.

I'll have more on this later.

October 01, 2007

Co-op + downtown Rushford

Here's a quick news brief about a co-op office in Rushford hit by the August flooding:

Tri-County Electric Cooperative is back at work in downtown Rushford.

It is now working out of a construction trailer behind its flood damaged headquarters. It was displaced by this summer’s historic flooding that devastated much of Rushford.

Since the flooding, Tri-County has been operating out of the lounge in the Rushford Municipal Airport.

Tri-County is an electric cooperative that covers five Minnesota counties – Olmsted, Winona, Houston, Mower and Fillmore - and three Iowa counties – Howard, Winneshiek and Allamakee. It provides electricity to more than 12,000 services in the area