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MFGMonkey Episode 10: With Will Zell & Michael Bernhard: Manufacturing The Future With Vero

MFG Monkey | Will Zell and Michael Bernhard | Wireless Power Technology


Today, we dive deep into the world of Wireless Power Technology with Will and Michael from Nikola Tech. Discover how their cutting-edge technology is transforming the manufacturing industry by enabling predictive maintenance and condition monitoring. With Nikola Labs’ innovative approach, manufacturing facilities can now foresee machinery issues before they become costly problems, ensuring a smoother, more efficient operation. Join us as we explore the journey of Nikola Tech, from its inception to becoming a key player in industrial IoT, and how they’re making waves across the US and beyond. Don’t miss insights into the future of manufacturing and how Wireless Power Technology is setting a new standard for operational excellence.

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With Will Zell & Michael Bernhard: Manufacturing The Future With Vero


Alright, guys, we are now recording. Thank you so much, Will and Michael from Nikola Tech. I’ve been talking to you guys quite a while about coming on and then we paused because of the whole COVID thing and then I think about a week ago all three of us just said, “Screw it, let’s just jump on and do this via a zoom meeting and go from there.” So, I really appreciate you guys coming on and talking to me.

Thanks, Dustin. Pleasure to be on the podcast with you. Unfortunately, we can’t be doing this in person but such is the time.

Well, we can always jump into that later. Hopefully, we can get together at this point and do this in person and have at it again, there’s really no saying that we can’t do it again. When Michael approached me about doing this, I was really excited just because of all the technology that you guys are bringing to the manufacturing world. I think it’s amazing and I haven’t really had time to even know if you guys have any competitors in your space but, Will how long ago did you and I meet?

It’s been a while I think, a couple of years.

A couple years at that point.


I think we unofficially met through email. I think just the two of us trying to make something together, I can’t really even remember.

Time flies, man.

I know right but, Michael you and I met through One Church, right?

Man! That’d be probably four, five, years ago at this time. Time flies and I’m glad to be here.

Me too! Your guys’ company, Will, founded the company, correct? Are you the sole founder? Or do you have partners? I don’t even know how you guys are structured.

I’ll give you a little bit of background on the company. So, Nikola Labs is a spin-out from the Ohio State University. The company was founded in October 2014. So, already on our way to six years which is pretty insane, and actually, the company was launched around technology invented by Dr. Chih Chih Chen who’s a co-founder of the company. Dr. Chen had developed core technology for wireless power transfer, the idea of getting electricity from point A to point B over a distance without any wires, which is a very new and exciting technology, especially in the context of the Internet of things in industrial IoT.

There are a couple of other co-founders in the company, Eco capital is a group that focuses on spinning out startups from research institutions in the US, primarily in the Midwest and they help their co-founders and Dr. Chen in the company. So, we’ve been on quite the journey and evolution from those beginning days which we’ll talk about today. It’s been a great ride at the start of journeys, insane, but fun.

Yes, it is insane, that’s said lightly I believe. I think when you and I first spoke you were working on a technology to repower the batteries. You’re just talking about one of the main projects, I don’t know why it’s just coming back to me but, you were working on a hearing aid that would repower itself and a battery backup system for a home for a sump pump, I believe that were the two things that at that time you guys were working with.

We’ve been, again, a pretty interesting journey. Wireless power is a new technology so there isn’t, and I’m not talking about inductive charging that you put your phone on and real contact charging. We’re talking about delivering energy over a distance of several meters to our devices, if you think very similar to how we went from wired internet connectivity to Wi-Fi, the connection being through a port or a line changing now to the connections in our environment.

That’s the kind of a fundamental approach that we’re taking for power but, because there is really no market for that technology, Nikola is really a company of two chapters. The first chapter was kind of throwing a lot of lines in the wire in the water and looking at a broad number of applications. Everything from hearing aids to smart home-type products and working with potential customers on developing wireless power into products. And again, we travel the world, probably look at a couple of dozen different applications, and put some meaningful effort behind, building a proof of concept.

Where that all actually led to was focused on condition monitoring and predictive maintenance for manufacturing facilities. We started focusing on that in the middle of 2017 and basically just fell in love with the space, and the opportunity to value creation for customers so much that we shed away all of the other efforts that we had going on focused exclusively on this market and then evolved from just a wireless power provider, what we are today which is a kind of a full solution condition monitoring, asset health monitoring platform that we sell directly to manufacturing organizations.

When I say full solution, basically everything we’ve got a lot of technology that we’ve developed a lot of capabilities but, we also do the installation to service ongoing maintenance. It’s a very different business and business model from what we first imagined when we started. But, different for very good reasons, in terms of the market opportunity that really follows the value that you create for customers and we’ve been very fortunate to have just some very wonderful customers that we’re working with.

Is your reach mainly here in Ohio? Or throughout the US and the world? Or how does that look right at this moment?

We take land and expand sales approach focused first and foremost on the eastern half of the United States and that’s where Michael is a solutions architect, he’s part of the team that goes out and builds relationships with manufacturing facilities and shows the value we can deliver. So, if you look at the eastern half of the US this is actually one of the reasons we got super excited about this market because we’re based in Columbus, Ohio, and we’re in the heart of manufacturing. There are a hundred and fifty thousand manufacturing facilities east of Mississippi.

If you kind of dive deeper any real global manufacturer of consequence has a facility in this part of the world so we focus there, we prove value and initial facilities and our customers, and then, we expand based on their strategic initiatives and we’ve expanded with many customers. We have across the US, 25 or so states, something like that.  We installed a facility in Puerto Rico and before the coronavirus, we actually had a lot of customers that had a European presence that were starting to pull us over to Europe. Hopefully, that expansion will resume once we get on the other side of this.

Well, with everything that we’re reading and anticipating especially, with the big push for reshoring. The future looks very bright for all of us in the manufacturing world. I don’t know what you guys experienced, as far as shutdowns, but very few of our partners actually, physically, completely shut down, just the type of industries that we’re going after and so forth. What did that look like for you guys? Did you see very many manufacturers just completely shut down over the last month and a half?

I’ll give my perspective, Michael. You can give yours. So, we didn’t see. We had probably, maybe 10% of our customers the facilities that were in stopped production. What hurt us more than anything else were two things, number one, a lot of manufacturing organizations put a temporary pause on spending and investments.

A lot of our expansion strategy, a lot of that was put on pause for a little while, and then, a lot of what we do is in person, right? So we go and we install in the facility we build relationships in person, and just not being able to travel really hindered some of that but, it feels like it’s bouncing back down. You’re on it Michael, your perspective on what kind it was at the beginning of coronavirus versus what you’re even into the last couple of weeks would be helpful.

I’m customer-facing, and I would say there was a large portion of our customers that just continued business as usual, outside of increasing some of their PPE requirements a lot of them changed whether they were allowed to have contractors in the facility so no non-essential personnel. There were plenty that just worked through it. Some completely shut down, especially here regionally in the automotive industry, so, there’s a ton of suppliers that we work with directly and if Honda is shut down, they’re shut down because there’s no need for them to reproduce.

That was an effect for some of us but, I think the last two weeks have been some of the busiest weeks that I’ve seen even since the time that I’ve been here in the past year. Just because of our ability to to give those essential workers like maintenance techs and managers, the ability to work from home which would have never happened before.

That’s an awesome point with the technology that you guys are bringing to manufacturers. It’s very possible that somebody sitting anywhere as long as I have an internet connection can see how their machines are operating where their maintenance is at, and things like that.

Michael, why don’t you tell us you know being that your customer facing and you’re typically in the shops, in the factories, why don’t you give us just a real quick rundown from the very first meeting just discovery and how you figure out, how you’re able to help them, if you are able to help. Then, what did that process look like from the very first conversation to the day that you guys started implementing?

I can go into that really quickly. When we get in touch with a manufacturer of a facility, we typically have a call just like this for 10 or 15 minutes to talk about where they’re at and their predictive maintenance journey, if at all. We’ll tell them about our solution which covers full-time condition-based monitoring remotely, and then, if there’s a fit we’ll schedule a facility visit where I’ll come in, we’ll take a tour of the facility.

We’ll take a look at assets that they deem critical assets that we generally deem critical for manufacturers that they might not think of, and we develop a trial solution for them so they can take a small bite first, and test the solution. Get an immediate ROI within the first 30 days and then, talk about expanding to the entire facility on the assets that they deem critical from there, we just grow with them as fast as they’re comfortable.

You threw a statistic at me, and I was trying to look through it, look for it real quick. But, what’s the typical cost savings that you’re showing a manufacturer once you guys are fully implemented?

I can touch on that and we might have a little bit more in-depth but, I think right now our goal is to be five to ten X ROI immediately and throughout all of our customers within the first 30 days we’re averaging, just about eight and a half times ROI. What they would have spent versus, what we’ve saved them and potential breakdowns and repair costs through unplanned downtime.

It’s a really interesting aspect of our business model that we’ve been on a journey with our early customers. I think it’s something that sets us apart, and that we very much want to be aligned to the success that we create for our customers, right? So, our relationship with our customers is not a one-time transaction, buying some sensors or buying some hardware from us.

We don’t charge anything upfront it is purely built on a subscription basis perhaps, that we monitor month over month, and so because of that, what we have been able to create is if you think traditionally about maintenance I think we’re taking a little bit of a different approach, in terms of really calculating savings because, when we go in, and let’s say, we detect a shaft that is misaligned. At some point that shaft that is misaligned is going to lead to a breakdown event and that breakdown event kind of has a minimum and a maximum to it.

So, the minimum would be if the shaft breaks, what was the cost to replace the shaft and everything else that could have potentially been broken with it and that’s your kind of minimum cost. The maximum cost is if that shaft was on a critical piece of equipment that it took 10 hours to repair, what was the cost of that unplanned downtime? With the production what is the overall cost and so when you look at the value that we create by enabling our customer to see a misaligned shaft and go in. You still may have to spend a couple of hours on it to get it realigned.

That is the delta between that expense and then the minimum and the maximum is what we calculate in terms of return on investment. We call it dynamic ROI because we’re tracking that in real-time so we’re measuring the cumulative amount that they’ve invested into Vero over time and how that builds up against the cumulative savings that we’ve generated in the micros point we’ve been able to.

We’re recording again, I’m not sure what happened there that’ll be fun for us to clean up but is what it is when we’re doing this the way that we’re doing so, I don’t even know what the hell we were talking about.

I was on a dynamic ROI.

Okay, go back into that and I remember talking about identifying issues before they become an issue. All right.

Do you want me to just restart the whole bit?

Just wherever you want to start, we’ll piece it all together.

Awesome! So, one of the interesting things about our business and our business model is how we work to align with our customers in terms, we benefit only off of the value that we create for them. What I mean by that, as Michael was saying. What’s unique about us is how we track ROI we call it dynamic ROI, because our relationship with our customers is not about a one-time transaction we’re looking to build a long-term very long-term relationship with them and so, the way that it works is if you think about what we do through our asset health monitoring, we can detect an issue such as like a shaft that is misaligned.

If you think about a misaligned shaft, it’s going to lead to unnecessary wear and tear and most likely some sort of breakdown event in the future so, anytime there is a machine breakdown event there’s a minimum and maximum cost associated with that. If you think about a misaligned shaft that breaks you have the cost to repair the shaft and simply any other components or parts of a piece of equipment that were broken and that’s kind of your minimum cost for that event.

The maximum cost is if that shaft broke during production and let’s say it led to 10 hours of downtime. What is the cost of that unplanned downtime significantly that is often a lot more expensive than just the component then that component itself and so, how do we track this we call it dynamic ROI and it is it’s a little literal report that we provide to our customers that shows the investment that they make in Vero and how it accumulates month over month, as well as, the amount of savings that are generated through our early detection of breakdown events.

So, the maintenance team may still spend a couple of hours going in and aligning a shaft and resolving that issue but there’s a delta of savings there and we work with our customers to identify what those specific savings were. We produce that in a report called Dynamic ROI. As Michael shared, we’ve been fortunate to be able to prove across a large number of facilities that we can go in and implement even on a limited number of assets, we can generate an immediate return on investment. Very positive ROI and we track about eight and a half times ROI right now.

That’s awesome. As long as I’ve been around manufacturing and just the industry in general in different factories around the world, I’ve seen factories that run until the machine falls apart and they do zero maintenance which, that business plan boggles my mind so, then on the other end of the spectrum. Now, companies are monitoring every shaft, every bearing, anything that moves you guys, giving them the ability to monitor and to know that there’s going to be something that they don’t see. It’s not tangible to them, you, in essence, make that problem tangible, correct? You can see it in the report.

The beautiful thing about vibration analysis is you can typically get weeks, if not months ahead of an actual problem before it manifests. I like to think that they don’t come from a manufacturing industry, I like to think about how cardiologists can use EKG data so if I go in, and have an EKG done, I’m going to look and I’m with these squiggly lines that cardiologist is gonna look at that and see a 40% blockage, right? And I can’t see it and I don’t want to wait till I can see that because that equals a heart attack.

It is much better and much more valuable for me to have predictive insight and be able to leverage data to see those problems that do exist. If you think about it, motor compressor pumps are the heart and the lungs if you will in manufacturing equipment, and we can provide that same value to get ahead of the breakdown event, get ahead of the problem address when it’s minor before it leads to something major and you can typically create significant value in that equation.

The technology blows my mind quite honestly, and I see such a value in the facilities that we’re in because we’re not, we’re not talking about a machine that’s ten or twenty thousand dollars in some cases you’re talking about hundreds if not millions of dollars for a machine.

Regardless, if it’s a CNC or a lathe or stamping operation or even robotics I’m sure, it’s so all over the board for anyone in the manufacturing industry and my feeling with your guys’ technology is if you can see inside the machine. You’re virtually giving them the ability to and they can plan for the outage then they’re not going down in the middle of something therefore, their on-time delivery rate goes up there their quality goes up because any time that standard deviation changes it falls outside of that window. Then, you’re gonna see that coming up instead of just going “Oh shit!”. Now we have an issue because we’re having bad parts and we don’t even know where the issues are.

So, instead of where you guys can pinpoint the problem, look at this shaft that’s out of line. Some maintenance crews I’ve seen say that it’s just trial by air, and they’ll start replacing things they don’t even know if it’s the issue or not. They’ll just spend tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars replacing stuff that shouldn’t be replaced because it’s still good where you guys can pinpoint the problem for them.

Absolutely! Okay, I have a customer that has large, 600 horsepower motors that power these fans before our technology, if that were to break down or they thought there was a potential issue they didn’t have the manpower on staff to diagnose those issues so they would have to sit, create it, and send it off to a third party. On my first visit with them, there was a motor missing on one of the blocks and he said that “They had sent it out” and when it got to the third party the issue that they thought it was was not the issue.

They just basically wasted money. You talked about more upstream costs, your on-time delivery. If you shorten your production and you don’t get their product there on time you have penalties to pay to that person, your assets.

Or do you lose the customer totally?

With extra freight fees, you lose the customer, and every manufacturing business that supplies other manufacturing businesses, is competitive. You miss the shipment and cost them downtime, it’s gonna be good luck trying to get back in the door so you touched on a really big subject which is the unseen cost of downtime.

Looking at the slide deck that you had sent over to me, Michael. Just looking at some of the things that you guys are able to monitor rotating components such as bearings, belts, gears, shafts, fans, blowers, and pumps maybe I already said pumps, I don’t know. Motors and compressors. That’s a lot of supporting machinery that’s keeping the actual machines going but outside of that, you are able to monitor the machining center regardless of what it is, right? So regardless if it’s a lathe a CNC mill or a stamping press are there other items like that that you still can monitor?

I could touch that. We’ve got customers that are district CNC shops but, every piece of equipment has a rotating element that is powering, and then, through the monitoring of those pieces of equipment you can tell if there’s spindle looseness. If there are bearing bolts on those drive motor’s alignment, all sorts of torque issues.

Our specialty currently is anything that has a rotating out stamp press, you’ve got all sorts of cogs inside of there that are moving and spinning where we can see central faults are cracked and misaligned. Then, we’ve got a lot of stuff in R&D that we’re working on to even improve our suite of services but that’s more on Will’s side.


I would say, we are part of what I would call a full-blown industrial IOT strategy around machines, and what I mean by that is specifically serve maintenance and reliability by doing the monitoring of a lot of these common components but we’re also fundamentally an open data architecture and that data that we gather can go a number of different places to create value for a manufacturing organization. That’s a lot of the challenge that we see and work with customers is that they ultimately want to get through, they want to get to this full view of a machine. I know health, I know everything about it.

You’ve got a pool of production data, there’s a number of different data sources that you potentially want to pull together. Surprisingly, for me, one of the biggest challenges when we started looking at this market was, that a lot of existing data architectures were closed. They kept the culture that this is our equipment, our data and it can’t go anywhere else if you look at some of the legacy systems or it’s not easy to get that data and so, we know that data is valuable. We have a fundamentally open architecture.

We have APIs and different integration support that we can provide just to make sure that we are serving vertical maintenance and reliability very well. We can also serve a broader corporate initiative in terms of full machine health which is where a lot of manufacturers are going.

We want to partner on that journey.

Do you have an industry that you guys are mainly focused on? Or a type of shop or factory that you’re mainly focused on? What is your focus?

It’s interesting actually, because I get that question a lot, especially from investors, and more than anything else we are looking for a mindset. What I mean by that is, if you think about this, we’re at the very early days of leveraging sensors for sensors based on that health monitoring and there’s going to be an adoption curve associated with it but we’re still in kind of the early adoption phase of it. We are looking more for customers and people we can build relationships with that are wanting to take risks, and are kind of typically on the front end of adoption curves.

Now with that said we found that literally in everything from pharmaceuticals to steel to food and beverage oil and gas, because we serve very common components, that’s what we monitor. The context of what’s being manufactured does matter in our condition, monitoring engineers understand that. In terms of our focus, it’s very interesting. We serve probably six or seven different segments within the manufacturing industry and I think that’s actually sustainable. I don’t see that we need to be focused on a particular segment we can really provide value across because the components are relatively generic.

What we’ll do is we can put a link to it in the description. Typically, Michael, you’ve seen this, what we’ll do is do a description and have what the podcast is about. We’ll put a link in the description to the slide deck so people can see more obviously. People can reach out to us at info@mfg.monkey com.

If you want to get a hold of these guys. Michael, Will, why don’t you tell us what your website is? When people are listening they can jump on your website and learn more. Not both of you guys at once.

The website is Got a lot of information up there, Michael, you can give out your personal address, phone number, and social security number. That’d be great.

I’m as available as it gets, I oversee the Ohio region, the local action scene learning about Ohio’s manufacturing footprint and absurd. I was at a conference late in the fall where they were saying that if you were to isolate Ohio as a manufacturing country the output would be the 17th largest manufacturing body in the world, just in Ohio. It’s a huge opportunity and we’re servicing a portion of manufacturing. It’s not sexy. Maintenance is an unavoidable cost for the company. I think over the next couple of years it’s going to go from an avoidance-type issue to where you can increase your profitability by decreasing your expenditure, it costs you.

No, I totally agree. I’m super excited just to be involved with you guys and have you guys on here because I think that’s what you guys bring to the table and you guys probably know the statistics or the number or the percentage of the market even knows about you guys, being in Ohio, one of the largest manufacturing hubs in the world. We are within a six-hour drive to. What percentage of the US population, it’s a tremendous amount. Is it 80%?

It’s one day transit to 80% of the continent.

We’re right in the mecca of manufacturing and it’s an extremely exciting time to be involved in it and as our age, how young we are and fruitful. To be on this you guys are bringing new technology to the table when manufacturing is going to blow up and people are getting less comfortable with doing business overseas. One of the reasons that I started my company was, I saw that there’s a big push to restore that buzzword that has been around for a long time now and now with everything that’s going on, it’s becoming a necessity.

We have customers that still bring things from overseas. There’s still a cost advantage to some of that. However, manufacturers are getting closer to not evaluating everything by a monetary return. They are looking at a lot of different things and I think even more here in the Midwest, is we wave our American flag and we’re very patriotic and not that the rest of the US isn’t like that. But throughout my travels, there are definitely parts of our country that are less patriotic than others, unfortunately.

I love that we’re in the heart of it, we’re in the heart of the US manufacturing and being patriotic, and the more companies that say “Okay”. We’ve seen this in the last two weeks, where we have provided a part to a company that they may pay. I’m just gonna throw some fictitious numbers out there, but they may pay ten dollars FOB Columbus Ohio. We’ll get a part in a forum. We do everything from the factory and get it here. We do a QA check and then we send it to them so they’re paying for FOB Columbus Ohio. They know that there’s no real unforeseen costs, right? They can plan for that.

To have it here in the US with this one particular customer, we didn’t evaluate making it in the US because we knew that the price was going to be less than half overseas. When all this started going on, they called and said “Dustin we need this made and we need it within two or three weeks”. Which is virtually impossible from overseas.

We can fly parts, there’s a lot of different things that we can do but, it certainly doesn’t make it cost-effective. So, we were able to make it to Wisconsin. It was more than double the cost but they don’t care because they were able to hit their own delivery time and I think that more and more manufacturers and supporting manufacturers are evaluating things much differently today than what they were, even three weeks ago.

And then, with what you guys bring to the table, it scales that for them because now, they’re even more conscious about how much time they are up and running and where they may have an 80% runtime. The other 20% is just fixing stuff that they don’t even know it’s broken and then they get into it and ten other things are broken that they weren’t aware of.

Where you guys are able to increase that uptime and on-time delivery and therefore, these manufacturers are able to bring more value to their customers. For me, if one of our manufacturers adopts your guys’ system, I really hope so. I think that would bring things full circle for all of us. That would be a huge selling point. For my company to say “Okay, this manufacturer. They’re an 80 million dollar manufacturer, and here’s all their capabilities, here’s their own time statistics”. But, this is how they’re able to accomplish that. Talk about how they’re monitoring each of their systems.

Companies like Honda that you guys are working with since you brought them up or in some capacity, the Honda’s and the Toyota’s of the world are gonna love hearing that because that’s all they care about. The big car folks love to beat you up on pricing, sorry, for the car manufacturing engineers out there and the buyers but, it’s true that they are very price conscious but, knowing that their products are going to arrive when they want it to is the most important thing. You can throw prices out the window and I just got on.

No, I agree a hundred percent. We have a partnership program we’re starting to put together so we’ll reach out to you separately on that. Because it is one of the things we’ve definitely proven the value of the system and how do we get that out there more, how do we build more collaborative relationships so we can serve more customers?

I want to be respectful of your guys’ time and I don’t know if there’s something that you guys want to touch on or talk about that we haven’t talked about yet or what you have coming up. We’ve been chatting for about an hour now. I think we could talk about more for as long as you guys want but, if there’s something that you definitely want to convey or talk about. Let’s certainly take it and go from there.

I just think the more awareness people have to the system like ours the more they not only don’t have to pay for the hardware. They don’t have to pay for the installation, the upkeep, all separately and then they also don’t have to analyze the data or the biggest thing is we’re putting in all these sensors. Who’s reading? Who’s looking at it? Who’s educated to evaluate those issues? And we kind of put that all in the one package, deliver it to the customer and then they’re getting instantaneous return without any question.

I think that’s really going to kind of be the new strategy for the customers especially, if we lose some of that tribal knowledge. A lot of people are going to be retiring. Coming up, a maintenance technician that could walk by a motor and he can tell you something that’s wrong with it exactly but kids these days they’re not going into manufacturing. It’s not been pushed, the rainfall thingy goes out to this sort of wholesome solution. I think that it’s really the future.

I think it’s awesome that a couple of our podcasts have been on education and getting the youth involved in manufacturing. I think that you guys, bring a whole new level of the type of person that you can get involved in manufacturing, I think that’s really exciting. I do want to hook you guys up with a couple of other folks too, and maybe do some interning with you guys.

To help out on an educational piece with my buddy, Eric Bargey, that I had on a podcast a few weeks ago. I think some of his students would just absolutely geek out over what you guys are doing and for the manufacturers that we work with certainly. I think that doing something as a follow-up to Michael, maybe we get another manufacturer that you guys have worked with and we can chat about how it’s helped them. I see what you guys are doing and how much it can help manufacturers and their customers beyond this, I just think it’s absolutely incredible.

I really just want to improve some core fundamental processes that we try to help them with. We’ll touch on what the industry we’re looking at is, not only the industry mindset of willingness to change. Anytime that there’s change, there’s resistance, that’s another thing that the companies are dealing with. The powers of me are aging out. You’ve got younger, hungrier, more educated people in these technology areas showing up.

So, really getting educated some of these younger people that are going to be employed or are employed in some of these data sciences and collaboration analysis, there are a lot of building engineers, a big one. That’s going to be key to the success of manufacturing in the United States. I don’t indicate some of the critical components of it, not just the assembly line, not just putting the cars together, it’s the glue that holds the seal on that door.

That’s manufactured. [00:42:00]. That also holds the cereal box with what we don’t think. I think education really does a successful venture down this road and I look forward to being involved, especially in the Midwest.  2All of the opportunities that we have hoped, to help bring to you. We could go and we could do this podcast every week and just talk about it.

For every single factory that we’re in, protecting assets is a huge earmark on the budget every year. We really don’t work with companies that don’t do any maintenance because it scares the hell out of me quite honestly. That was a really good business model when I was involved with it. Certainly, we don’t know how the manufacturers that have the most success with. Treat all their machinery and all their machining centers like they’re their child and they want them to be the best of the best.

Therefore the quality that comes out is the best of the best and it’s just a recipe for success in my eyes. I applaud you guys. I know we lost Will and I would love to really dig into his brain and as far as the a-ha moment of how this was created. And just seeing the evolution of the company since I’ve known you guys or I’ve known Will with Nikola it’s been incredible, we have a lot of cool startups here in Columbus Ohio, but not many of them are in the manufacturing world so this for me is special because I love technology. I don’t do technology really well as we heard about 20 or 30 minutes ago.

But, I think it’s fun. I think that anytime that we can bring new innovative technology to the manufacturing world. It’s just incredible and it makes us that much better as a country, it makes us that much more competitive. As we grow as a manufacturing nation again. We took some big steps over the last few years and as that keeps growing we separate ourselves from the rest of the world and really become a manufacturing powerhouse once again.

I don’t see you guys not being a part of that in the leading front of all the new technology in it. You guys have proven that already. There’s a huge opportunity I’m sure in paper mills for you guys to machining centers to robotics. It’s all over the board so it’s really freaking cool.  We always invite comments and feedback so, anyone who’s listening and wants to reach out certainly email us at and we can forward that on.

Go to N I K O L A dot T E C H and you can reach out to those guys. Michael will put your contact information in there as well and I would love to do a follow-up with you guys. Just stay in touch, for sure, and let’s get together. I think we’ll do this in person when we can. There’s a little bit better energy in the audio. I can have my guys with us so, when I monkey something up they can fix it for us and not rely on me. I think we can get things wrapped up. If there’s anything else that you want to add then let’s do it and I look forward to working with you guys.

All right man, I appreciate you having us on. I definitely want to do it again. I wanna keep listening to your show. I have listened to almost everyone so far.

Awesome, thank you!

Except for the boring one about finances [00:46:38] but I love what you’re doing. Thank you, we’ll get together soon.

Absolutely and the fatter I get staying at home and eating and not exercising, I need to come in and have you put me through some reps and get that going hopefully. I ordered a bicycle, it’s gonna be here hopefully, on Thursday. Hopefully, I can get my legs back under me and burn off some of this goo I’ve packed on not leaving my house as much as I want but, I think all of us are anxious to get back into the gym and get some things going. I know that you’re huge into that and it’s always intrigued me so you can beat me up a little bit I guess, not a fan of getting beat up at all.

I think manufacturing is opening up for the facilities but I think it’s all coming full circle. We’re gonna get back to normal pretty soon and you and I aren’t at risk. Why are we sitting at home? I’m just ready to get back to normal, get back to work.

I really applaud big swingers like Elon Musk just saying “Screw it! We’re getting back” he did that yesterday or today and just said, “Hey California! If you’re not willing to let us operate and let us take the necessary precautions and then come and arrest me”. But we’re gonna get back to normal because that’s what the statistics are supporting. I really applaud, not just Elon’s listening, if he is, that’d be freaking awesome. I really applaud those guys for doing that and sticking up for the American worker. All of us are ready to get back to work and ready to get back to some sort of normal life cycle whatever that means going forward. Go, man! 

Thank you! Ready to get back into customer facilities and do what I do best.

Nope, me too! Absolutely. Thank you so much for coming on and I look forward to talking to you guys again.

All right. Thanks, Dustin!

All right buddy, you too, bye-bye.


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