Archive | December, 2010

NextGen Conceptonators

21 Dec

Recently, Alpha hosted some special guests, members of the Livonia Public School’s FIRST Robotics Competition team. Bob Stewart, Director of Engineering and Product/Process Development, guided them around our manufacturing and engineering facilities, discussing conceptualization and day-to-day life at Alpha.

The “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” Program is about fostering science and technology skills while inspiring innovation. FRC was founded by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway PT; he refers to FIRST as a “sport for the mind”.

The local team includes students from all of Livonia’s high schools, and has about two dozen members. The students are enthusiastic about the different FIRST Robotics games and events and gave technical explanations of the event rules. Each team constructs a robot, designed to compete in several events over a six week period.

Alpha plans to support the team in their endeavors through our willingness to supply steel components and other services to help with their projects.  We are excited to help mentor such an ingenious program.

These inventive, prospective engineers or others like them will literally be the “NextGen” of Michigan’s innovative future.

Bob Stewart guiding a tour of Alpha's Manufacturing Facility.


The team members posing on steps in the Engineering Center.

Pictured: Bob Stweart (Alpha), Kaho Hasebe (Stevenson), Tom Lang (leader/board member), Gary Komora (Churchill), Hope Winkles (Churchill), Anna Carlini (Stevenson)



How to Achieve the Lightbulb Effect

17 Dec

A familiar meme is the animated light bulb popping up above a cartoon character’s head at that “aha!” moment. In reality, ideas are not floating apparitions in the form of a Phillips 40W, they are somewhat more elusive.

Here at Alpha, we are innovators and thinkers, putting our own spotlight on idea creation. We have a whole group of “conceptonators”, who are continuously focused on innovating new products. Alpha prides ourselves on inventing and adapting ideas to new situations.

Always on the lookout for other conceptualization efforts, an interesting blog that might help you capture that eureka feeling is Andre Ivanchuck’s, a self proclaimed “Vision-pusher, focused on innovation and creation. Check out Andre’s Idea Management System , to help you identify and strategize your own vision.

Heart of the Hero

14 Dec

Jessica Drakeford, Alpha Administrative Assistant

Alpha is a veteran-owned military supplier and many of our employees have served or have family in the service. When we hear about sacrifices made by our servicemen and women, it hits home.

We recently heard such a story through fellow Rotarian Roger Moore, a former marine. This October, Marine Corps 1st Lieutenant Jack Barghusen was injured by an IED while serving his second tour in Afghanistan.  Shrapnel struck him on the left side of the body, injuring his face, leg and most severely his arm. Jack endured a nearly eleven hour surgery to reconstruct his arm, the first of many he will undergo.

It is men like Jack to whom we owe thanks, for protecting us and our country. Alpha and the Livonia AM Rotary are working together to express our sincere appreciation for Jack’s sacrifices. With the help of the Madison, Wisconsin Horizons Rotary, we will be presenting Jack with a Heart of the Hero Award and proclamation, created to honor his selfless actions and willingness to put himself in danger, in the name of Freedom and Justice.

Alpha's Chuck Shimko signing in the facility.

Alpha, Always in the Lead

1 Dec

(photo: B. Baar)

Gentlemen, start your engines!

Meet a good business friend of Alpha, a decorated 1981 March 817 Can-Am.  Formerly a Budweiser sponsored Newman Racing Team Car, It has been driven by both Bobby Rahal & Teo Fabi.  It is currently driven by David Nikolas of Michigan-based Nikolas Motorsport.

This September, the Can-Am raced at the U.S. Vintage Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, NY.  This weekend, December 3-5, Dave will be taking the track again at Sebring International Raceway for the Legends of Motorsports Event.

Stay tuned for exciting footage & photos of the event!

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