May 14, 2008
Translume's tiny devices create big-paying jobs
What exactly does a glass micro-machining company do? In the case of Ann Arbor's Translume, it makes money and creates jobs.
The 7-year-old firm has expanded its payroll to 12 people and hopes to add another couple in the near future if business continues to go well. Someone must think it will, because the firm received $1.6 million from the Michigan 21st Century Jobs Fund last year.
Translume uses ultra-fast lasers to carve out tiny devices in glass, called fluidic chips. Those fluidic chips act like a microchip because they channel fluids instead of electricity.
"We do stuff on the scale of microns, which is thousands of a millimeter,' says Eric Jacobson, vice president of Translume.
That's not quite as small as nanotechnology but close. Think of what Translume is doing as nanotechnology's slightly bigger brother. It originally started off as a way to create parts for the telecommunications industry after local venture capital firm Ardesta invested in it. Transulme now creates instruments for industrial fluids and packaged goods.
"We think we're onto something every exciting," Jacobson says.
@ Concentrate Media. Jon Zemke