INNOVATING HERE AT HOME
Dustless Technologies has a long history of innovation. From its initial Ash Vacuum, developed by founder Mike Loveless in the 1980s, to dust shrouds sold across the U.S. and Canada, to having one of the top-selling slurry vacuums in the U.S., this small rural company has constantly been pushing the limits of what is possible. Today, that culture of innovation is still thriving.
In 2019, Spencer Loveless, who took over as CEO, came to a realization. At that time, the company was negotiating a new vacuum launch, but the same issues continued to cause the same problems. Everything was dependent upon manufacturing from overseas suppliers. There were long lead times, high tariffs, multiple risk factors, and off-shoring of jobs. Spencer decided it was time to move manufacturing back to the U.S., and the only way to succeed was to find ways to innovate.
“I’ve always relied on the SBDC to connect us with partners and resources to grow our company.” –Spencer Loveless
It took an additional year of planning, partnering, and preparing, but finally, in 2020, Spencer launched Merit 3D, a company that uses advanced manufacturing to produce high-quality products in the United States.
“I’ve always relied on the SBDC to connect us with partners and resources to grow our company,” Spencer said as he reflected on the journey to launching Merit 3D. “We needed several things to come together to make this happen, and through a collective effort and lots of support, we were able to really expand our business.”
Some of the resources include partnering with USU Eastern, the World Trade Center of Utah, and the Utah SBDC; engaging in an Economic Gardening research project; and creating a high school internship program.
As Dustless Technologies and Merit 3D both continue to grow and expand with new sales and new employees, Spencer considers his secret to success, saying, “We’ve always been innovative and will continue to do so. Only this time, we’ve broadened our reach by working with multiple successful partner organizations.”
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