Directed Vapor Technologies (DVTI) is a manufacturing research and development firm specializing in advanced coating technology designed to satisfy increasing demand for niche applications and emergent market needs. It is are located in Charlottesville, Virginia with approximately 22 employees. The company’s technology addresses a number of problems in thermal barrier protection, conductivity, and energy applications. The firm’s vacuum deposition process ensures complete coverage and adhesion of coatings on difficult substrates and applications.
The strategic oObjectives included aligning the technology value proposition with commercial market opportunities and acquiring key promotional/operational resources to support non-DoD rapid prototyping and launch. Several key strategic opportunities existed, including: the current brand and supporting promotional/sales vehicles were not aligned with commercial markets; ISO-9001 certification is required in many non-DoD applications and provides a bridge to higher-quality certifications in industries such as aerospace; and subject matter expertise in fiber processing and material handling is required to accelerate development of a prototype material handling process, and subsequent trial runs, for emerging commercial customers using a conductive coating application.
GENEDGE, an NIST MEP affiliate, offered several solutions. First, GENEDGE assisted with brand realignment and website development. An industry branding expert guided DVTI through a benefits “discovery” process that isolated key value-adding messages for commercial markets; a new website was developed to provide complete business development flexibility long after the DMEP program. In addition, GENEDGE assisted with prototyping support. DMEP and GENEDGE helped identify and resource niche subject matter expertise in fiber processing machine and process design, resulting in a successful trial of fiber feeding capability for a waiting commercial customer, as well as maturing overall capability for new market opportunities. Finally, DMEP supported a GENEDGE quality practice project manager in helping DVTI achieve certification.