Vacuum Technology Incorporated (VTI) was founded in 1986 by George Solomon and Mark Boeckmann, both chemical engineers, who left their government jobs in the centrifuge uranium enrichment and nuclear weapons fields to form their own company. George and Mark started the business in George’s basement and moved three years later into a small “incubator” space in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. VTI was so successful and grew so fast that two years later the founders made the decision to build a larger facility of their own. The custom built 9,000 square foot facility was completed in 1991. As the name implies, most of the company’s business utilizes vacuum science and the knowledge of gas flow and analysis in its products. Co-founders George Solomon and Mark Boeckmann, along with Dan Miles, VTI’s Director of Engineering, lead a team of 10 additional engineers in designing and producing both standard and custom products. Eddie Raby, VTI’s Director of Manufacturing, leads a team of 4 supervisors and 23 craftsman, mechanics, and technicians in producing VTI’s products.
The company’s initial products were calibrated leaks and a residual gas analyzer (mass spectrometer), both of which continue to be important tools for all vacuum related processes. As the company grew year after year, complete integrated vacuum and process systems that were made possible by continued investment in the company’s manufacturing capabilities, were added to the product portfolio. Today at VTI, virtually all product design and manufacturing is done in-house. This coordination enables VTI to have exceptional flexibility and facilitates short development and manufacturing lead times. VTI takes customer requirements and then designs custom systems (utilizing 3D modeling software) to meet the customer’s needs.