The name may be new behind BC’s newest supplier of rugged computing hardware solutions, but the man behind its creation is not to this market. Aaron Kirchhofer, president and CEO of the newly formed Tusk Embedded Technologies Inc., Surrey BC, is no stranger to this sector of the electronic supply stream, having spent the past 15 years with Tri-M Technologies Inc., Port Coquitlam BC.
“I learned so much from my previous work experience, having touched so many facets of the business. This certainly provided me with the foundation of knowledge to take this next big step,” says Kirchhofer, who last served with Tri-M as a partner and vice-president sales, marketing.
As a key provider of rugged embedded hardware solutions for end-users, prime contractors, OEMs and independent software vendors, Tusk Embedded serves a broad range of markets including mining, rail, marine, oil & gas and the “hot” markets of defence and security.
“The ship building industry is worth $8-Billion in the Vancouver market alone,” he says.
Tusk’s select product line includes industrial systems and panel PCs, embedded single board computers (SBCs), rugged communication modules, solid-state flash, GPS, and analog and digital I/O. Rugged COTS products are designed and tested to perform in a variety of mission critical applications, where wide temperature ranges, such as –40C to +85C, high shock, vibration, dust or moisture is the norm, says Kirchhofer.
While stressing the importance of keeping a selective short list of vendors to do business with, Kirchhofer says all must deliver products that provide rugged features and long life cycles. Swiss-based MPL represents a principle vendor providing Tusk with extreme rugged systems and modules catering to the mining and transportation industries.
As a value-added service, Tusk Embedded can also provide MIL specifications and industry-specific certifications to its customer’s projects. The majority of the firm’s customers are from within Canada, with an even split east to west.
At present, the firm employs two full and four contract personnel, including the Quebec market. Eventually, he will add an FAE in the Toronto area.