VRC Metals Systems Has Been Awarded Large Business Of The Year From Elevate Rapid City

Elevate Rapid City held its first annual business awards celebration at The Monument in Rapid City, SD on June 14th to honor ten businesses winning various awards along with the 24 finalists. VRC Metal Systems, a leading developer of advanced cold spray technologies, was awarded the Large Business of the Year Award from Elevate Rapid City. This award honors VRC’s strengths, accomplishments, and continual growth in various industries such as Military & Defense, Nuclear Power, Aerospace, and more. This award is yet another recognition of VRC Metal Systems’ hard work and dedication to providing not only the best products and services in the industry but also have the best employees on their ever-growing team. VRC Metal Systems is honored to have been awarded the first annual Large Business of the Year Award and they look forward to winning many more awards in the future.

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Our Vision

To be the global leader in cold spray and development of advanced manufacturing technologies and applications to provide the greatest value to our customers.

Our Mission

Provide reliable metals deposition technologies, innovation solutions, and manufactured components to give our customers an unparalleled edge in the markets in which they operate.

Our History

In 2007, Rob Hrabe retired from the Air Force after 22 years of service. He started HF Webster Engineering Services to commercialize promising metal deposition and repair technologies from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T). In 2010, Rob helped recruit Dr. Christian Widener to take over the director position of the Arbegast Materials Processing and Joining Laboratory at SDSM&T, and together they began investigating repair technologies for the Department of Defense and cold spray in particular.

In 2011, working with the Army Research Laboratory, they began developing a hand-held high-pressure cold spray system and applied for a patent through SDSM&T in 2012. Both Widener and Hrabe participated in developing the patent under funding from the Army Research Lab with collaborators Victor Champagne and Dennis Helfritch. VRC Metal Systems, LLC was then founded in January 2013 after obtaining an exclusive license to commercialize the patent-pending cold spray technology. VRC licensed the patent after a joint ownership agreement between the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and the Army Research Laboratory was completed. In 2018, VRC Metal Systems acquired HF Webster Engineering Services, LLC as a fully-owned subsidiary.

VRC developed the system to provide agile, high-quality repairs in DoD weapon systems for the warfighter at military bases and forward operating locations. Hence, the system’s hand-held capability and mobility were essential design features. Two specific components identified for such a need were equipment access panels and hydraulic lines on the B-1 bomber. Since that time, VRC has developed the commercial and DoD system and has expanded its offerings to include complete turn-key cold spray systems, including additive and subtractive methods. VRC also remains heavily involved in developing cold spray and advanced manufacturing solutions for the Department of Defense and commercial clients. 

Because of our early successes, VRC Metal Systems: 

  • tied for 1st place in the South Dakota Governor’s Giant Vision business competition, 
  • was awarded the Black Hills Start-up of the Year in 2015, 
  • was named by the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer as one of the top 40 university start-ups in 2017, 
  • and was ranked #413 on the Inc. 500 list in 2017, #659 on the Inc. 500 list in 2018, and #872 in 2019.

VRC is a strong company that is increasing and leading the U.S. cold spray market. While the development of repair applications is on-going in aerospace and defense, the company is expanding its technologies to a growing number of commercial entities for use in both industrial repair and innovative advanced manufacturing process applications. VRC is also expanding into the global cold spray market and is active in international cold spray venues and standards development.

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