Fulmin Industries LLC and Fulmin International Inc.
Robert Contaldi is a small business owner who twice now has benefitted from leveraging the equipment and staff expertise available at the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (RCBI). He currently operates two high-tech companies in West Virginia -- Fulmin Industries LLC and Fulmin International Inc.; both are in Mineral County.
Established in June 2012, Fulmin Industries LLC provides manufacturing, engineering and prototyping for aircraft and the aerospace and defense industries. It also provides program management services for highly regulated industries. “We have a vast amount of experience in reverse engineering, operations, project management for manufacturing expansion, relocation, Greenfield projects and process improvement,” said Robert Contaldi, CEO and Marketing Director.
Fulmin International Inc., established in June 2013, provides products and services to assist with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. The company manufactures products sold under the trademark The BotBrain Company® (www.botbrain.com), which was was founded in 2005 in Carlisle, Pa. and purchased by Fulmin International in August 2013.
Both companies have used the wide array of technologies and equipment that RCBI makes available. “Our companies use the various state-of-the-market manufacturing equipment at RCBI, such as CNC mills, lathes, laser cutter, waterjet cutters and 3D printers.” In addition, the company has worked with RCBI, using CAD/CAM software packages at RCBI to develop its manufacturing methods. “Our staff has gained considerable knowledge from RCBI staff members’ considerable technical expertise,” Contaldi said.
Contaldi praised RCBI for helping his first company’s launch and getting it in operation in a relatively short amount of time. Moreover, he said the company’s capital investment would have been much greater if he did not have access to the high-tech equipment that RCBI leases. “As an example, we started our first company in June of 2012 and by August of the same year we won our first U.S. Air Force contract. We could not have been up and running so quickly without the assets of RCBI.”
“Having the resources of RCBI and securing our first DoD (Department of Defense) contract opened up a number of new opportunities.” He noted his company now is contacted frequently by new customers to bid on new products because of advanced manufacturing methods available to him through RCBI.
Because of its early success, Fulmin has expanded into new markets -- electronics, robots and design, specifically providing products that support the teaching of STEM skills. “As high-tech manufacturers we understand the importance of growing this skill set in the early years of our educational institutions to keep pace and ensure our nation’s dominance in a world-wide market,” Contaldi said.
Fulmin currently is working with various groups across West Virginia as it seeks to expand. “With additional resources we believe with can achieve a growth rate of 250 percent to 350 percent -- and hire additional employees,” Contaldi said.