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Gravikor evolves automotive welding for military applications, plans to expand staff

Gravikor has its sights set on a multi-billion dollar market of refurbishing military vehicles, and the Madison Heights-based start-up sees its new welding technology as the ticket.

The company has the exclusive license from Delphi to make thin weld tubular materials, which basically means it has the rights to the newest generation of welding. That technology utilizes thinner, lighter welds that are stronger. It is normally used for space frames, and Delphi is using it for some of its automotive work.

Gravikor is aiming at applying the new welding technology to military vehicles, such as refurbishing a Humvee. One of the biggest problems with military vehicles is their weight. That means everything from lower fuel economy to increased wear and tear on parts. Company officials hope the new welding will make for lighter vehicles and play a key part in refurbishing 150,000 Humvees next spring, a $9 billion program.

"It could turn into a few-hundred-million-dollar business here overnight," says James Richter, a Gravikor board member.

This prospect could allow the company to expand its staff from six people today to 20-30 employees who would be working over the next year with the likes of the Marine Corp, Army, and TARDEC to redesign the armor packages for Humvees.

Gravikor, a semi-finalist in the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, hopes to use some of the $1 million in prizes to establish a facility in Wayne County.

Source: James Richter, board member of Gravikor
Writer: Jon Zemke
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  • Gravikor
    Madison Heights, MI 48071 Website
    Gravikor is commercializing a new welding technology developed by Delphi that will be used in military vehicles. The new welding, normally used for space frames, is lighter and stronger than current welding technology.