• You have a military background. What brought you to ATS Armor?
a. I was a college classmate of Tom Smith, Co-Founder of Taser Int’l, and we kept that friendship throughout my 20-year career in the Marine Corps. I followed the startup of Taser and upon retirement, went to work for Taser and met the third Co-Founder of ATS Armor, Hans Marrero. Over the course a few years, Tom, Hans and I departed Taser to pursue other endeavors and we found ourselves teamed to first start Achilles Technology Solutions (ATS) and subsequently ATS Armor.
• What is the mission of ATS Armor?
a. Our Mission is to DEFEND LIFE. We do this through the design, manufacturing, and application of the best armor technologies in the world.
• Why enter the tactical body armor market? What need do these products meet?
a. In a world where large companies are exiting the body armor space in droves, we have been asked repeatedly what inspired us to enter this market. To us it was simple. The world is growing to be more dangerous every day and body armor technology has been stagnant for over two decades. We have walked the walk of being a Protector, and we understand how vitally important it is to outfit our Warriors with the best protection available. For us, there was no other option than to embark upon this cause and work as hard as we can to give them an edge in their battle areas.
These Warriors, or Protectors, we refer to may be your local private security contractor, law enforcement officer, Special Missions Unit operator – or anyone in between. Each life is equally important to ATS Armor™ and we intend to defend it with our best in the world products.
• How does ATS Armor approach the product development process? How do you test your products?
a. In a word, methodically. As a start-up, we were entering into a saturated market space and needed to ensure that each step we took was purposeful, fruitful, and acted as a good steward of the company with respect to the investment dollars that had been entrusted to us. We are proud to say that we achieved our Phase I business plan goal 60% under budget and 50% ahead of schedule! Within six months we had reached solutions for four separate threat level plates: Types IIIA, III, III++ and IV.
Not only do we have expertise on our staff from the fields of R&D and Manufacturing, we have over 75 years of tactical military and law enforcement experience. We leverage this experience to first conduct internal testing of our products before we submit them to an NIJ certified test facility for official testing and certification.
• What is Electronic Design Mechanical Analysis? Why is it important?
a. At ATS Armor™, we design our plates through a rigorous scientific approach. We refer to this approach as “EDMA℠”, Electronic Design Mechanical Analysis. Partnered with some of the leading minds in material analysis and structural design, ATS models ballistic protection through testing and simulation from the onset of design. The use of EDMA℠ allows efficiencies in both Research and Development and yields successful tailored ballistic designs on virtually the first attempt.
Through the use of EDMA℠, ATS Armor™ has brought four separate threat level plates to market in an astonishing six-month period. This is a testimony to the product expertise of our Directors of Research and Development and Manufacturing who have a career of industry experience in the armor market.
• ATS Armor recently acquired Materials and Electrochemical Research Corp., an advanced R&D firm materials manufacturer. How has this helped the company improve its products?
a. Our management and advisory team has over 150 years of experience in law enforcement support and military operations and we leverage this expertise to guide our Research and Development efforts. R&D is the backbone of our organization and is charting the course for the next generational leap in technology in the armor space. We are proud to have a world-class team leading this effort. Never satisfied, ATS Armor continually strives to make the best even better.
As a strong sign of our commitment to excellence and product advancement, Achilles Technology Solutions LLC (ATS) acquired Materials and Electrochemical Research Corporation (MER) in October of 2015. This acquisition established Achilles Technology Solutions LLC as the holding company for its two wholly owned LLC subsidiaries: ATS Armor and ATS-MER.
The acquisition aligns the existing body armor expertise of ATS Armor with MER’s thirty plus years of diverse and advance engineered materials capabilities and development. At ATS Armor we look forward to the future and a generational leap in armor technology. The ATS family will lead this effort and our intent is to redefine the market by bringing new technologies to bear that will obsolete existing technologies. A lofty goal? Yes it is but we are up for the challenge!
• How do these features set ATS Armor’s products apart?
a. Today, the products of ATS Armor are differentiated from the rest of the armor market by our stopping power, QuadCurveTM design and our EDMASM process. Additionally, we are proud to say that we conducted and passed an ISO 9001:2015 audit in November of 2015. We will be the first armor company in the U.S. to achieve certification under the new 2015 standard. To think we achieved this during the first year of our existence speaks volumes about our quality standards and the exceptional people we have been blessed with to be a part of our family.
Coupled with the above features and the high quality and ethical business standards we demand, our product features of being stand alone, having edge-to-edge protection, multi shot, NIJ compliant, and light weight serve to set our company and product line apart from the rest.
• What’s on the horizon for ATS Armor?
a. Going forward, we look to leverage the work we are doing in advanced materials, ceramics and metal alloys to revolutionize the armor industry.