VPI Celebrates 25 Years in Business
From beginnings in a garage to a multi-divisional engineering organization,
VPI is an organic, Utah technology sector success story
Draper, UT – April 30, 2021 –The month of April 2021 marks the 25-year anniversary observance of corporate operations for VPI Technology Group™ (VPI). For the past 25 years, VPI has designed, prototyped, tested, and manufactured hundreds of technology products for a host of global clients—including many in the electronics industry.
It Started in a Garage
As a success story in the Utah technology sector, VPI got its start in a Pasadena, California garage and a first contract involving an educational outreach product for a joint initiative between The LEGO® Group and The Planetary Society called Red Rover Red Rover. A subsequent joint venture with the Utah-based Code Corporation, a leader in the barcode scanning arena, led to major growth. From these beginnings in robotics, camera, and imaging technologies, VPI grew from a couple of employees to a current staff of 90.
In 1996, VPI opened its first business offices in Logan, Utah on the campus of Utah State University while drawing graduates and students from USU’s Center for Self-Organizing Intelligent Systems. Eventually, VPI moved operations from Logan to Draper, Utah to draw on the greater Wasatch Front’s talent pool and expanded business operations infrastructure.
After exiting the joint venture with Code Corporation (who remains a VPI customer and valued partner to this day), VPI Technology Group relaunched itself and began its evolution into a multi-divisional organization consisting of VPI Engineering™
(engineering services), VPI Laboratories™ (regulatory testing and certification), and VPI Manufacturing™ (product manufacturing and fulfillment). The principal operational facilities for these three divisions remain located in Draper to this day.
A Major Win
A key part of VPI’s growth centers on its development of deep expertise in chemical and radiological detection technologies. This began with customer-facing work in 2002 to commercialize hand-held radiation detection products. As the customer’s business evolved, VPI subsequently acquired their key radiation and chemical detection technologies, setting the stage for a major US Federal Government contract win in 2016. The U.S. Army awarded VPI Technology Group a 10-year, $165.2 million contract to help the military branch develop a modernized, standardized handheld radiological detection system for the Department of Defense. VPI won this contract in the face of stiff competition from six other defense industry contractors. Volume production of the Radiological Detection System™ (RDS™) is expected to begin in the second half of 2021.
“VPI surmounted multiple technical and business challenges and complexities in delivering RDS,” said Kurt Olsen, vice president of business development for the VPI Engineering Division. “The design and development of this product line has shaped VPI’s evolution in ways that benefit our government and our commercial customers now and in the future.”
Making Our Customers Successful
“Throughout our first 25 years, we’ve consistently worked to make our customer a success. This approach is at the core of VPI’s corporate mission and message,” said Jeremy Williams, chief executive officer of VPI Technology Group. “Through a broad spectrum of electrical, mechanical, and software engineering services, VPI’s dedicated teams come up with solutions, test and verify them, and finally manufacture them for our clients. Hard work, intelligent individuals, and collective work for our customers’ success is the recipe for success at VPI.”
“Having served hundreds of customers ranging from commercial electronics to
medical devices to government and military programs, VPI has built its business and reputation by putting problems in front of talented engineers who then come up with solutions,” said Gary Olsen, chief marketing officer for VPI Technology Group. “Our 25 years of success is really a tribute to our customers who have provided us the opportunity to become who we are and expand our efforts to build our future around their needs. We’re continually gratified by the opportunities they provide us.”
The company plans additional events and initiatives in recognition of its 25 years of operations. To learn more about the details of VPI’s 25-year timeline, visit the website www.vpi25.com.
Remote Monitoring System Takes Security to the Next Level - the Cloud
Teaming up with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Microsoft, VPI engineers have developed a new platform, Sentry-SECURE, which monitors threats to high-activity radioactive materials. By using the cloud to instantly alert responders of theft or sabotage, the threat to the radiological asset can be assessed quickly and securely, leading to better protection overall. Read the article here to understand more.
Our Radioactive World - VPI Story with Altium
VPI was excited to be a part of the Altium Stories series, filmed and produced by Altium. These videos help create a visual of what VPI encompasses.
Behind the Stories - VPI
Army Updates CBRN Arsenal
December 20, 2019
Fort Leonard Wood GUIDON recently featured VPI Technology Group's Radiation Detection System in an article talking about the U.S. Army's updates to the CBRN Arsenal. The upgrade to the RDS 'is a substantial improvement from its predecessor'. Read the article here.
VPI Employee Promotions
July 8, 2019
Gary Olsen has been named Chief Marketing Officer. In his 19-year tenure with VPI, Gary has helped VPI achieve great things. From building brand awareness and customer loyalty to generating new business and maintaining key customer relationships, he has been instrumental in the company’s growth. In this new position, Gary will be responsible for overseeing the planning, development, and execution of company-wide sales and marketing initiatives.
Kurt Olsen has been named Vice President, Business Development, filling the position vacated by Gary Olsen. Kurt, who most recently was Director, Business Development, has been with VPI for almost four years. Having been involved in technical sales and business development for over 20 years, he brings a wide range of experience and insight to his new position. As Vice President of Business Development, Kurt will drive VPI Technology Group to identify and develop new business opportunities, helping to build and expand the presence of VPI and its brand.
Patrick Lewis has been named Director, Business Development. Patrick, a BYU graduate, joined VPI as Sr. Engineer in 2016. The combination of Patrick’s customer service and interpersonal skills coupled with a strong engineering background makes him a perfect fit to interface with new customers and develop new business opportunities. In this new position, Patrick will continue to support engineering initiatives in addition to creating new business relationships and growing the business.
"These promotions reflect VPI’s unwavering commitment to our customers,” said Jeremy Williams, President and CEO. “Gary, Kurt and Patrick exemplify our company’s highest standard of integrity. They are passionate team players who consistently develop new strategies that exceed clients' expectations while growing our business”.
VPI Volunteers at The Fisher House
May 23, 2019
Team members from VPI Technology Group recently had the opportunity to volunteer at The Fisher House. The Fisher House, located in Salt Lake City, is a ‘home away from home’ for the families of veterans who are receiving medical treatment at the Salt Lake Veterans Administration Hospital. Veterans seeking medical help sometimes travel long distances to get treatment at the VA, and the Fisher House provides a free place to stay for those accompanying the veteran. Other than four Fisher House employees, community donations and volunteers are what keep the 16,800 square-foot home running. VPI volunteers prepared and served dinner to those staying and helped create an atmosphere of love and community.
VPI fosters a culture of giving back to the community and finds meaning in giving service. If you’re looking for a company that encourages a service-oriented environment, VPI is the place.
Exciting Leadership Changes at VPI
May 6, 2019
We want to publicly congratulate Jeremy Williams on his new position as CEO of VPI Technology Group. Jeremy has been an integral part of VPI’s success for the past 19 years. His skills, knowledge, and experience he has gained as Vice President of Engineering, prove him to be a great leader. With Jeremy as CEO, we look forward to seeing the vision he has for VPI come to life.
Morgan Taylor, our previous CEO, has moved to the role of CFO within the company. VPI has experienced steady growth since its founding in 1996. By developing products from concept and design to manufacturing and fulfillment, VPI turns ideas into reality. We cover every step needed for the creation of an electronic product, including engineering, prototyping, testing, and certification.
VPI Technology Group Announces Manufacturing and Warehouse Expansion
Draper, UT – April 15, 2019 – VPI Technology Group (VPI) is pleased to announce the relocation and expansion of its manufacturing division effective March 14, 2019. The new facility is located at 313 W 21800 S, Suite 302, Draper, UT 84020. The facility has moved to another location within the same building block located in the White Mountain Business District. This allows VPI Manufacturing to stay in Utah's "Silicon Slopes", a technology center that encompasses a cluster of information technology, software development, hardware manufacturing and research firms along the Wasatch Front.
The need for the new 20,000 square foot facility stems from VPI’s growth in its Manufacturing and Laboratories divisions. Combined with VPI Laboratories and VPI headquarters, the company now has 40,000 square feet of operational space in Draper, UT. “As a new milestone to VPI, the relocation of our manufacturing facility marks the continuous growth of the business and paves the way for a brighter future. We have a deep-set commitment to our clients, and the new facility will help us continue to grow and evolve to support their business needs and interests,” stated Kurt Jensen, Vice President of Manufacturing. “Further, the new facility helps promote the launch of our new quality-driven fulfillment services to our clients, providing the option to outsource product warehousing, inventory management, and order fulfillment.
VPI Manufacturing provides high-tech electronic assembly and manufacturing services for products with high-quality, unique, and complex system requirements. VPI Manufacturing works closely with VPI Engineering to ensure the client’s needs and expectations are met along their product development journey.
Founded in 2000, VPI Technology Group is a multi-discipline firm, specializing in electronic design services, prototyping, certification and testing services, and electronics manufacturing. The group’s expertise in new product development for pioneering technologies and inventive products includes embedded technology, RF/wireless design/IoT, consumer electronics, medical device design, and government and military programs.
Utah Regional FIRST Robotics Competition
April 10, 2019
VPI Technology Group had the opportunity to sponsor and support the Alta High School Robotics Team 4598 in the Utah Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. During the competition held March 29-30, at the Maverick Center in West Valley City, Utah, the team (aka ICARUS INNOVATED) battled their way to Rank #9 with a record of 7-5-0. Jed Marti, senior software engineer at VPI, volunteered at the event. He has loved volunteering and working with the students at the competition for the past several years.
“FIRST Robotics is an after-school program, welcome to all interested high school students. This program takes skills that students have learned in an ordinary classroom and puts them into practice. It also teaches these students new skills and provides them with hands-on practice of these skills in a way they can enjoy. Many 4598 students wish to pursue engineering after high school because of this program while others enjoy the learning experience and go into other careers. Regardless of which career each student will follow; FIRST Robotics gives a firsthand experience of how things might play out as a working adult. We have a business group which takes care of presentations, a build and design group which manufactures our competition robot, a programming group, and a safety group that ensures the students are utilizing the equipment properly. Although we have different managing groups, each student’s main focus is on the team’s success as a whole.” Gabriel White, Alta Robotics.
VPI is excited and honored to be a continuing sponsor and supportive company to these types of events that help build and grow our children’s future.
For more information on FIRST and its important impact on today’s children and youth click here.
IoT Presentation at the SICE International Symposium on Control Systems in Japan
March 13, 2019
Chris Porter, a software engineer at VPI Technology Group, recently traveled to Japan to present a publication based on his thesis entitled “Control and Optimization of Energy Efficiency in Small-Footprint Embedded Systems: A Coupled Hybrid Systems Model” at Kumamoto University for the 2019 SICE International Symposium on Control Systems. The presentation covered content from his thesis completed at Northern Arizona University. Chris and his team came up with a way to optimize energy efficiency in real-time by providing a set of hardware configurations for hardware abstraction layers (HAL) and other modules, then applying a dynamic programming algorithm for optimization. From Chris and his team’s efforts, Northern Arizona University was granted a patent: System and Method for Optimizing Energy Efficiency in Programmable Devices, Patent No: US 9,459,685.
The abstract for Chris’s thesis is as follows.
‘The IoT and its related applications will require engineering of edge devices that can autonomously optimize their non-functional performance. We present a hierarchical model of small-footprint embedded systems that (1) cleanly separates and shows the interactions between their physical and computational aspects and (2) enables their control and optimization. This model exposes power use, energy use, and temporal responsiveness as functions of the hardware conﬁguration of the processor and surrounding peripherals, including sleep mode, voltage/frequency scaling, and clock/power gating. The foundation layer consists of a coupled hybrid systems model for energy measurement and system control; this layer underpins a multi-stage graph model of execution that admits optimization using dynamic programming. In this paper, we demonstrate on-line achievement of energy subsistence, wherein the system uses the minimum energy possible given all controllable hardware resources. We describe a software/hardware implementation architecture, and illustrate the approach using an experimental networked embedded system platform.’
Here at VPI, we are honored and grateful to have individuals such as Chris on our team, who make the continued effort to improve and grow in the engineering and technology fields.
Wurth Engineering and VPI Laboratories team up for a lunch and learn seminar.
May 31, 2018
VPI Laboratories teamed up with Wurth Electronics to hold a free seminar focused on EMI/EMC compliance. Wurth Electronics presented magnetic components used in EMI applications. Participants also received a tour of VPI Laboratories' working regulatory testing lab. If you are interested in future seminars please contact us.
Army is testing the Radiological Detection System (RDS)
May 31, 2018
The Radiological Detection System (RDS), developed by VPI Technology Group, is taking another step forward. It's now being tested by the U.S. Army. Click this link to see what they think.
"If you build it, [they might] come."
May 31, 2019
“If you build it, [they might] come.” The world of product development isn’t a Field of Dreams. Check out this article to learn how to create a product that customers will want.
CE Mark Safety Testing Now Available in Draper through VPI Laboratories
November 30, 2017
VPI Laboratories is excited to announce that we can now perform CE Mark safety testing in our Draper laboratory.
Our accreditation was issued by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) and allows us to test products to the following safety standards,
- IEC/EN 60669-1-1 Medical Electronic Equipment
- IEC/EN 60669-2-1 Switches for Household and Similar Equipment
- IEC/EN 61010-1 Measurement, Control and Laboratory Equipment
- IEC/EN 62368-1 Audio/Video and Information Technology Equipment
Safety testing covers thermal, electrical, and mechanical risk areas. For an electronic device to pass testing it must,
- Remain at a safe operating temperature to avoid injury or accidental flame.
- Have sufficient insulation to avoid user shock
- Demonstrate that it is mechanically sound
European nations require companies to test their electronic products to specific standards before selling them to the public. We’ve added CE Mark safety testing to our testing services and can now cover four vital CE Mark safety standards at our laboratory in Draper, Utah.
VPI Technology Group Part of $8.2 Billion Government Contract
November 1, 2017
On November 1, 2017, Army’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPO-CBD) chose VPI Technology Group to be included in the US Department of Defense (DOD) Joint Enterprise-Research, Development, Acquisition, and Production/Procurement (JE-RDAP) contract award vehicle.
The Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract allocates $8.2 billion for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) research and development projects.
“We’re excited to support the Army with future CBRNE projects,” said Gary Olsen, VPI Technology Group’s Vice President of Business Development. “This new IDIQ contracting vehicle will allow us to research and develop technology that will assist warfighters as they combat CBRNE threats.”
Olsen will attend the start of the contract meeting on December 5, 2017, in Aberdeen, Maryland.
VPI Technology Group is a privately held, high-tech company that designs, engineers, tests, and manufactures electronic devices and systems as a service. We are talented business professionals, US-based engineers, project managers, and industry leaders in the following areas:
- Radiation detection and identification equipment
- Rapid prototype development
- Complex system designs
- Sensor systems design
- Video and imager systems design
Our core engineering capabilities/service offerings include electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, firmware engineering, software engineering, and PCB layout and design.
We also offer compliance testing and certification, manufacturing services, supply chain management, and logistics.
We are currently developing the Radiological Detection System (RDS) for Army’s JPL-RND. We won that contract in 2016 and our prototypes are currently undergoing rigorous testing as we prepare to market them as the first unified radiological detection system for all branches of the U.S. military and the militaries of our NATO allies in the near future.
VPI Technology Group sells radiation detection products through its wholly-owned subsidiary D-tect Systems. They offer a rugged, field-ready line of equipment designed for accurate radiation detection and identification. D-tect Systems' products are used widely by first responders to combat the urgent threat of substances such as “dirty bomb” materials and nuclear device components. Their mission is to provide homeland security and other agencies with the most powerful, affordable, and deployable security products available.
VPI Attends International Trade Show
September 11-15, 2017
Responding to the 2014 Fukushima, Japan nuclear disaster highlighted the U.S. military's need to update and unify their radiation detection equipment. Army’s JPL-RND contracted VPI Technology Group to develop a Radiological Detection System (RDS) for all branches of the U.S. military and our NATO allies. This September 11-15 we showed off the new RDS system at the Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) trade show in London. VPI joined 4 other companies as part of Utah’s trade delegation at the show and were hosted by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and World Trade Center – Utah.
VPI Technology Group Announces $165 Million Government Contract
September 13, 2016
DRAPER, UT—VPI Technology Group (VPI) is pleased to announce that it has received an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract valued at up to $165 million over the next ten years from the Department of Defense for the development of an advanced radiological detection system to be used across all branches of the United States Armed Forces. This contract will allow VPI to use its expertise in the design and development of radiation detection technologies to provide the best possible system for America’s service personnel. “Supporting the U.S. military with the development of an advanced radiological detection system is a great opportunity for VPI to provide a highly-reliable system for those who serve us. With VPI’s extensive experience in designing, engineering, and manufacturing radiation detection systems, this program is a strong fit with our capabilities. We are looking forward to working on this project and producing a successful system,” stated Gary Olsen, VPI’s Vice President of Business Development.
VPI Technology Group’s beginnings in 1996 were founded in cooperation with a research center focused on advanced sensors and robotics at Utah State University. From this academic research footing, VPI built a strong company that highly values state-of-the-art engineering, manufacturable designs, and professional services. VPI has also built a strong portfolio of intellectual property, allowing it to provide cutting-edge technology and services to its customers.
D-tect Systems Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of VPI, provides a full range of radiological and chemical detection instruments, including custom detection systems designed specifically to customer requirements. The development of new, advanced radiological detection systems under this contract will complement the full range of radiological and chemical detection equipment provided by D-tect Sytems.
VPI’s CEO, Morgan Taylor, had this to say, “The VPI team has been working tirelessly for several years on this opportunity, and we are thrilled to have been awarded this contract. It is a great honor, and the awarding of this contract directly reflects upon the high caliber of employees here at VPI. The development of this project will highlight VPI’s collection of outstanding skills and capabilities in world-class design, testing and qualification, and manufacturing. This new opportunity will complement our existing chemical and radiation detection equipment line under our wholly-owned subsidiary, D-tect Systems. It shows our expertise in the development and manufacturing of radiation detection instruments as well as broad expertise in other military, industrial, commercial, and medical systems. I am especially pleased with the incredible team members we have at VPI, their hard work and dedication to the principles that VPI is built upon, and their efforts on this project. I look forward to the future of VPI.”
From VPI’s beginnings, it has seen steady growth and expansion including several key acquisitions of complementary services and technology. This contract will support continued success in VPI’s ventures and has already resulted in the creation of several key new positions.
VPI Technology Group Cuts the Ribbon at their New Draper Facility
July 8, 2016
DRAPER—VPI Technology Group was thrilled to hold an open house at their new Draper facility on June 24, 2016. We are sincerely grateful to our clients, vendors, and local dignitaries who were able to attend. Those in attendance included Draper Mayor Troy Walker, President of the Draper Chamber of Commerce Bill Rappleye, Don Olsen from Representative Mia Love’s Office, Nathan Jackson from Senator Hatch’s Office, Megan Selin from Representative Greg Hughes’ Office, and Tom Wadsworth from Governor Gary Herbert’s Office. After touring the facility, Thomas Wadsworth stated, “VPI has opened a fantastic technology center which can make Utah proud.” The event was a great success with many of our valued clients, employees, and vendors touring the new facility and observing the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
VPI Announces the Acquisition of the Utah EMC Operations of Nemko-CCL
December 23, 2015
VPI Technology Group announces the acquisition of the Utah-based EMC operations of Communication Certification Laboratory (Nemko-CCL). EMC services that were provided by Nemko-CCL will continue to be provided under a newly launched division of VPI called VPI Laboratories. The EMC services offered by Nemko-CCL will continue to be provided without interruption under VPI.
Services offered include emissions testing, immunity testing, intentional and unintentional radiated emission testing, regulatory certifications including FCC and CE marking, and safety certifications through a partnership with Nemko USA.
With this acquisition, VPI will bring on key members of the Nemko-CCL team to manage the transition. Commenting on this acquisition, VPI’s CEO, Morgan Taylor, said “This is a great opportunity for VPI to join forces with a company that has a solid reputation of providing excellent testing and certification services for many years. With the addition of Nemko-CCL’s EMC testing capabilities, VPI continues to strengthen its position in providing a full suite of technical services from product design into manufacturing, including regulatory testing and certification.”
Through VPI Laboratories, a subsidiary of VPI Technology Group, EMC testing services will continue to be offered at the Wanship testing facility that has been operated by Nemko-CCL since 1971 as well as at a new VPI facility that will offer testing services in the Salt Lake Valley. Details of the new location will be announced at a later date.
Gary Olsen, Vice President of Business Development, added “VPI is excited to welcome the new team members and incorporate additional testing capabilities into VPI’s portfolio of quality technical solutions. This acquisition is a perfect fit with VPI’s mission of supporting customers from ‘Visions to Reality’.”
Existing Nemko-CCL customers can expect a seamless transition to the new VPI division.
CCL was founded in 1971, and acquired by Nemko in 2009, and has been providing testing and regulatory certification services for the last 45 years. VPI has been in business since 1995. VPI's beginnings were founded in cooperation with the Center for Self Organizing Intelligent Systems at Utah State University.
As an additional service for VPI to offer to both its existing engineering and manufacturing customers as well to current Nemko-CCL customers, VPI has established a close partnership with Nemko and will continue to work with Nemko’s world-class engineering team to support our customers with a complete range of testing and compliance activities including certifications for global market access, safety certification, FCC/TCB certification, and a range of other specialized testing.
VPI is Highlighted on Forbes.com
November 8, 2013
VPI Technology Group was featured in Forbes this month. VPI’s own Jackie Juston met with one of Forbes contributors, Cheryl Conner, and provided first-hand knowledge about how domestic outsourcing works. For companies small and large, hiring a new employee for a specific project requires a long-term investment. The alternative is outsourced engineering. Resources in the form of skilled engineers, extensive knowledge of various electronic parts, and in-house manufacturing make organizations like VPI Technology Group a one-stop-shop for all sorts of product concepts.
One of the big advantages to hiring one of these firms is reputation. As a contract engineering firm, VPI works with a wide variety of products. With each successful product completion, the company becomes a knowledgeable, trusted partner that can give investors a measure of security in backing new ventures. Another major advantage to domestic outsourcing is gaining access to a variety of specialized skills. Each project that VPI completes is touched by several engineers based on their areas of expertise.
So, as Cheryl states in her article, ‘all you really need is…an idea.’ You can find more information in the Forbes article.
VPI Technology Group Recognized in MWCN’s Utah 100
October 22, 2013
VPI Technology Group is pleased to announce that they have been included in the Mountain West Capital Network’s Utah 100 for 2013. This event honors Utah’s 100 fastest-growing companies. Thousands of Utah companies spanning all industries are evaluated each year for The Utah 100 rankings.
VPI has been recognized as a part of the Utah 100 for the last 3 years and this year ranks number 40 on the list. It is an incredible feeling to know that all of the dedication and hard work of the individuals that are a part of VPI has been validated. That combined with the leadership of the CEO, Morgan Taylor, and the board of directors, VPI made a huge leap in rankings this year. VPI’s Vice President of Business Development, Gary Olsen, indicated that "VPI has experienced several years of steady growth. We are very excited to be recognized by the Mountain West Capital Network for the growth VPI has seen in 2012. VPI is staged for continued growth in the coming years as we look to continue supporting our existing customers and new customers with their product design and manufacturing needs."
Devin Thorpe, president of MWCN, addressed the Honorees at the awards program with an enthusiastic message. “We congratulate each of the companies in the Utah 100, Emerging Elite and Top Revenue Growth Companies for their tenacious work, entrepreneurial spirit and growth. Utah provides one of the best environments in the U.S. for businesses to succeed and these companies represent the growth engine for Utah jobs.”