Published August 20, 2013
Volume 21, Number 8

Specialized and Flexible, Innovative Machine Solutions Is Engineering Think Tank

Gary Martin founded Innovative Machine Solutions in 2006.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

Innovative Machine Solutions (IMS) is a small and flexible engineering company specializing in precision motion control products and integration services. While it is a niche market, the firm’s broad knowledge base allows it to bring an expanding menu of capabilities to clients that operate demanding facilities and equipment for research and manufacturing, in both the public and private sectors.

“If it moves we can measure it, and if it operates manually we can automate it,” is the way IMS President Gary Martin describes the business’s core strengths.

“We provide superior mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, metrology, maintenance, and repair services to high-tech companies, research labs, universities, government agencies, and small and large manufacturers,” continues Martin, who founded IMS with partner Carl Chung, in 2006. The firm is also a full-line distributor for companies like Acu-Rite, Clausing, Electrox, Fanuc, Heidenhain, and Yaskawa, which make products most commonly used in machine tools, process equipment, medical equipment, robotics, and more.

A think-tank-like environment allows IMS to meet the most challenging application needs. The founders have extensive experience in precision engineering working on advanced projects at Lawrence Livermore National Labs, where they were part of the team that developed the National Ignitions Facility (NIF). Opened in 2009, NIF is “the world’s largest laser,” delivering 60 times the energy of any previous laser system, according to the facility’s website.

IMS’s talented engineering staff create solutions for the most complex designs, whether upgrades to existing equipment or designing and building motion control platforms from the ground up. Many of these systems employ cutting-edge technology that must operate to nano-precision standards. For example, millions of dollars of product might need to be scrapped if a machine does not cut expensive raw material to the required tolerances. Other projects can be exacting in different ways, such as the microexposure lithography tools IMS crafted for wafer manufacturers or the land and space-based telescopes that were part of NASA space initiatives.

“The diversity of what we can do is what makes us stand out,” Martin comments. That diversity extends beyond the design phases of an engineering project to the actual installation and upkeep. “Our team of highly trained technicians allows us to offer a one-stop solution approach to our clients, from concept to equipment sales to upgrades and maintenance—for years to come,” he notes.

IMS had been located in a nearby building for several years but needed larger quarters, particularly an expanded shop to accommodate tools and equipment, to continue on its path to growth. It found the answer to its space issues when it moved into 5673 W. Las Positas Blvd. last September. The new larger facility allows clients to send their machines to IMS for refurbishing, another new service.

The firm is also boosting its presence on the other side of the country, building the engineering staff of its Windsor, Conn., office to serve the area’s aerospace industry. For more information, visit www.ims-eng.net.

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