CASE STUDY: Ballistics Shielding Custom Machine

Industry: Anti-Ballistics, Military, Professional Security, Law Enforcement, Custom Automotive Manufacturing

End Users: Policemen, Security Personnel, Military Service members

Solution: Developed a system and custom machine to manufacture anti-ballistic materials constructed from thin sheets of recycled plastic, held together with an adhesive that contains carbon nanotubes, for use in vehicular and body armor.

Most materials used in the anti-ballistics industry today are expensive, heavy and only allow for “single impact,” meaning, they can only be used once and then must be discarded. In addition, very few anti-ballistic materials offer much flexibility related to application – either they are used for armored vehicles or body armor, but not necessarily both.



Vallmar Engineering recognized that there was an open door for an anti-ballistic material that is durable and lightweight, flexible in design and still relatively inexpensive. Understanding the benefits of nanotechnology and the extreme strength and elasticity of nanotubes, the team at Vallmar began to develop a process to produce a ballistic shielding material that would offer the right combination of durability and flexibility, while using recycled materials to keep costs in check.

Materials Used – utilizing an existing recycled vinyl material, available in industry standard 4’-wide rolls at .010” thick, Vallmar addressed a major cost issue while also creating an environmentally friendly process.

Durability – a key component of the custom machine is the “shaping/slitting” rollers that embed tens of thousands of minute domes into the thin material. Each strip of vinyl is then cross-layered with the next, fitting perfectly into each other’s domes in a crossing pattern. This cross-layered pattern, in combination with the adhseive and carbon nanotubes application, generate a practically impenetrable material.

Diverse Application – in order to address the need for variations in sizes and shapes of needed anti-ballistic materials, the final stage in the system and machine is a curing press that can shape and mold the final sheets (which can be up to 3” thick) into almost any shape needed – from helmets to body armor inserts to full-size (up to 4’ x 12’) plates for tanks and other armored vehicles.

Testing in Real-Life Situations – prototypes of the material were tested in real-life situations with various law enforcement teams and completed all requirements for a Type IV hard armored plate as specified by the National Institute of Justice standards of body armor. The Type IV classification signifies the ability of the material to protect against .30 caliber armor piercing (AP) bullets with a specified mass of 10.8g and a velocity of 878m/s. The material also protects against all firearms tested in classifications IIA (9 mm; .40 S&W), II (9 mm; .357 Magnum), IIIA (.357 SIG; .44 Magnum), and III (rifles).


The solution was a system and custom machine that will manufacture ballistic shielding materials that are 10 times lighter and cost approximately 50 percent less than the industry standard.

Utilizing an existing recycled vinyl raw material roll, the machine strips the material into custom sized sheets that are fed through the motorized shaping/slitting rollers, creating the cross-layered result described above. Each sheet is added to and cross-layered with the one before, including the addition of the super-strong carbon nanotubes, until the desired width is reached. Once the sheets are combined, the material is fed into a custom curing press, which cures and forms the plate to whatever shape is desired.


• Passed National Institute of Justice requirements

• Patent pending for system & custom machine

• Developed material 10 times lighter than industry standard

• Created durable material allowing for multi-impact


Vallmar Engineering provides sophisticated engineering and product development services geared to the needs of small and large industrial customers. To meet our customers’ product design goals, we address three interrelated issues: quality, delivery and cost. In some projects, we support in-house engineering staffs. We are also capable of carrying out every step of the product development and management process.

Our innovative engineering services produce solutions such as power subassemblies designed at appropriate tolerances for efficient, cost effective manufacturing. Focusing on production issues throughout the product design and development process, we create production-ready drawings and manufacturing manuals that reduce costs and time while improving quality and safety.

Contact us to learn how our industrial engineering & product development services can increase your productivity and profitability.

By phone:      800.986.0795


By email:



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Invention Design to Complex Product Engineering

From Invention Design to Complex Product Engineering, Vallmar Co. Caters to Range of Clientele

Vallmar Co. Announces the Development of Two Business Units: Vallmar Engineering, Serving Large Manufacturers, and Vallmar Studio, Serving Individual Inventors

Stow, OH – Product development and management company, Vallmar Company, announces a new business structure developed to provide tailored, cost-effective programs to each of its major client types. Vallmar Engineering addresses the complex engineering needs of large industrial clients whose projects may involve several thousand components. Vallmar Studio, in contrast, provides hundreds of individual inventors each year with product development, patenting and marketing services designed to develop products that can achieve success in the marketplace.

“We have restructured our core business to improve service to our two major client groups,” said Vall Iliev, President and CEO of Vallmar. “The new business units, Vallmar Engineering and Vallmar Studio, enable us to develop distinctive pricing structures while maintaining our core principles of outstanding quality, cost-effective service, and focus on meeting client deadlines.”

Vallmar Studio offers individual inventors the resources they need to give their inventions a fair chance in the marketplace. The pathway that leads from initial concept to a successful project is difficult, and many inventions fail because precious start-up resources are misdirected and spent on inadequate prototyping and poorly prepared invention patent filings. Vallmar Studio provides inventors with the resources they need at each step toward making their idea a reality: invention design, engineering, prototype development, product management, intellectual property management, marketing collateral, advertising and promotion, and licensing support.

“I have had the honor of working with Vall and his team for about two years,” said Armando Pardillo, M.D., a Vallmar Studio client. “They worked on one of my medical devices related to IV infusion therapy and needle safety. Not only was the finished product better than I expected, but the process of working with Vallmar was a pleasure. Working with Vallmar’s team has given me the opportunity to complete a lucrative royalty agreement with a major medical products distributor.”

Vallmar Engineering provides sophisticated engineering services geared to the needs of large industrial customers. In some projects, Vallmar Engineering supports in-house staff. Vallmar Engineering is also capable of carrying out every step of the product management and development process. Focusing on production issues, Vallmar Engineering creates production-ready drawings and manufacturing manuals that reduce costs and time, while improving quality and safety.

“Vallmar Engineering has provided us with outstanding services,” said Tim Carl, president of a manufacturing company providing original equipment manufacturing to the maintenance divisions of major railroad and mining companies such as CSX, BNSF and Arcelor Mittal Mining. “The Vallmar team’s innovative approach and practical solutions have helped us improve our manufacturing time and provide higher quality products to our customers.”

Whether an individual looking to patent an invention or a manufacturing company searching for an experienced engineering and product development partner, Vallmar Company now offers two tailored solutions with Vallmar Studio and Vallmar Engineering. More information can be found at, or

About Vallmar Company

Vallmar Company is a product development and management company founded in 1984 by Vall Iliev. Vallmar’s invention division, Vallmar Studio, works with small business owners and inventors to design, plan, develop and validate ideas so they can be patented and brought to market. Its corporate division, Vallmar Engineering, assists industrial organizations to develop, engineer and produce large-scale products. Vallmar Company clients range from individual inventors to large manufacturers and nationwide retailers.

To reach Vallmar Company, call 800.986.0795 or visit

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Business Platform Supporting the Commercialization of Inventions

Vallmar Company Announces Martin House Group™, a Collaborative Business Platform Supporting the Commercialization of Inventions

Stow, OH– All the variables in the market today cause most individuals to pull back, slow down, and minimize risk. For others, market volatility presents opportunities for growth and expansion, and instead choose to take advantage of a down market.

Vall Iliev, President and CEO of Vallmar Company, a product development and management (PDM) firm in Stow, Ohio, falls in the latter of these two groups. In the middle of one of the worst economic times we’ve seen in years, Iliev recently announced the creation of Martin House Group, a business platform bringing together a group of like-minded individuals looking to generate wealth by investing in innovative new ideas and products.
Martin House Group is a collaborative endeavor through which members make contributions on a five-year basis to serve as collateral for bank loans used to fund the costs associated with commercializing inventions. The goal for Martin House Group is to help commercialize intellectual property, inventions and innovations into the marketplace with the ultimate end result of financial independence.

“Inventors are often surprised at the cost of the services needed to turn their bright ideas into commercially viable products,” explains Iliev. “It can be a further shock to discover how difficult it is to find funding to cover these costs. Martin House Group enables its members to work together to remove this bottleneck, and then to benefit when an invention achieves commercial success.”

Rich Sholtis, who recently joined Martin House Group with is wife, Connie, explains: “My wife and I were impressed with the experience, work ethic and methodical approach of Martin House Group. As an engineer, I was especially impressed with the potential of a product that was nearing production, not to mention the future potential of the company behind that product.”

Private members of Martin House Group contribute from a minimum of $5,000 up to a maximum of $249,000, with a five-year terminus, and receive financial returns based on the proportion of their participation in a given project.

In addition, Vallmar Studios, the PDM division of Vallmar Company that deals with inventors and their product ideas, supports Martin House Group members with discounts on materials and services involved in product development of their own inventions. Martin House Group is served by an Advisory Board that helps to select the most viable projects out of the hundreds of inventions submitted every year. The Advisory Board is expected to recommend approximately 10 to 12 of these inventions per year for complete PDM contracts.

Martin House Group has partnered with Vallmar Company, to establish this opportunity for individuals to participate in the product development process and to benefit from those products, innovations and intellectual properties that succeed in the marketplace. Vallmar Company is a leader in the PDM industry with hundreds of successful programs – including everything from Rubbermaid trashcans and Jane Fonda exercise program products to solid gold golf tees and innovative medical products.

About Martin House Group™

The Martin House Group is a business platform providing the opportunity for 99 like-minded individuals to jointly participate in projects to commercialize intellectual property, inventions and innovations in the world’s marketplace. Martin House Group partners with Vallmar Company for the product development and management elements involved with the process of taking an invention to market.

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America’s Inventors

Three Centuries of Challenges

Today’s inventors are often surprised by the challenges they face in commercializing even the best, most effective, most marketable ideas. Yet from the founding of our country, America’s inventors have needed to overcome similar challenges, especially the struggle to find funding for the development of their ideas. From Robert Fulton, who made the steamboat a reality and revolutionized transportation in the early nineteenth century, to Ruth Handler, who created the Barbie doll, which is still in production after one billion have been sold, great inventors have usually spent years overcoming disbelief and seeking financial support before eventually achieving success. Their examples teach an important lesson, which is even more true today: Perseverance gets it done.

The First Successful Steamboat

Before Fulton succeeded in building the Clermont, another American inventor, John Fitch, built a steam-powered vessel that could travel up the Delaware River at a relatively high rate of speed. This achievement is even more impressive considering that Fitch was from a poor family and had been put to work on a farm at age 10. Later he worked as a sailor, a clockmaker, a foundry worker, a silversmith, and a lieutenant in the Continental Army.

After the Revolutionary War, Fitch traded with settlers in the Ohio River valley. He and a small group of other traders were rowing a small boat on the river when they were attacked by a Delaware Indian war canoe paddled by thirty Indians. Fitch’s party managed to escape, but from then on he was determined to build a boat that could travel faster than human or wind power could move it. The government of England, where James Watt had invented the steam engine, banned the export of new technology, however, so Fitch invented his own version.

To pay for development, Fitch sold shares in The Steamship Company on the streets of Philadelphia for $20 each, but he managed to raise only $300. With this amount he built a successful model, whose engine had a three-inch cylinder. A full-size boat, with three paddles on each side – like a Delaware Indian war canoe – would require a 12-inch cylinder. Fitch finally raised the cash from friends to build his steamboat and demonstrated it successfully before many of the delegates to the 1786 Constitutional Convention. These government leaders were deeply impressed with this success – but would provide no financial support.

Ultimately Fitch raised enough money by cleaning clocks to design and build one more vessel, which achieved an amazing speed of seven miles per hour. He received one of the country’s first patents, in 1791, but not a license limiting competition from others with similar patents. As a result, The Steamboat Company’s financial backers left the company, and it failed.

Unlike Fitch, Robert Fulton had received some formal education, but he probably learned most by spending time observing the work done in a Revolutionary War-era gun shop. The American portrait painter Benjamin West invited him to come live in England, where Fulton failed as a painter but began to create an amazing series of inventions, none of which received funding. For example, Fulton received a patent – but no financing – from the king of England for a canal system, complete with digging machines, mechanisms for moving small canal boats over hills on wheels, and prefabricated aqueducts.

The Submarine and Torpedo

Failing in these endeavors, Fulton went to France, which then was at war with England. He invented a human-powered submarine and a torpedo to attach to the wooden hull of a British warship. To demonstrate the viability of this war machine, he blew up an abandoned ship, but the end of the French Revolution forced a change in Fulton’s plans. Napoleon Bonaparte came to power and rejected his ideas.

In France, Fulton met Robert Livingstone, who was there negotiating the Louisiana Purchase, which would double the size of the United States. Livingstone was also an inventor, and wealthy. He and Fulton joined forces and built a steamboat, which blew up and sank in the Seine River. Fulton worked furiously to bring the heavy engine back to the shore and built another boat, which achieved a speed of three miles per hour while towing two other boats (demonstrating its ability to move cargo). The French still refused to fund the project.

An English spy then recruited Fulton to return to London and further develop his torpedo and submarine, this time to attack French warships. After the English made many promises to Fulton, the Battle of Trafalgar ended the war, in England’s favor. No longer interested in developing naval vessels, the government gave Fulton a financial settlement and allowed him to take an English steam engine back to America.

“Fulton’s Folly”

Fulton and Livingstone then shared the cost of developing a proper steam-powered vessel; no one else would invest in it. Fulton worked down in the hull with the craftsmen, who admired him for his enthusiasm, interest in their ideas, and ability to redesign a part on the spot if necessary. Meanwhile, onlookers made fun of the entire process, calling the boat “Fulton’s Folly.” Later, Fulton wrote, “Never did a single encouraging remark, a bright hope or a warm good wish cross my path.”

One hour after the new steamboat was launched for the first trial, the vessel stopped dead in the water. Fulton announced to the passengers and the crowd on the shore that he would find and fix the problem. This brilliant inventor, engineer and mechanic raced below decks into the engine room, made a slight mechanical adjustment, and got the boat moving again.

Fulton experienced years of frustration, patent conflicts, and searches for funding before developing not only the steamboat but an entire system of transportation to make these vessels commercially successful. It would be two decades after Fitch’s achievements that Fulton achieved commercial success with a steamboat, building not only the Clermont, for which he is famous, but 20 other steam-powered vessels operating on the Hudson, Delaware, Potomac, James, Ohio and Mississippi rivers, as well as on Chesapeake Bay.

A Billion Barbies

A mid-twentieth-century inventor, Ruth Handler, created a series of successful products in a completely different industry but, like Fulton, struggled for years to find financing. In 1936, the depths of the Great Depression, she and her husband, Elliot, rented an abandoned Chinese laundry for $10 a month and began making small products that Ruth energetically sold wherever she could. By the end of the war, the company that became Mattel had created many successful toys but was always starved for working capital. To fund each new product Ruth had to borrow from members of her family.

Even after selling $100,000 of doll furniture – made by Elliot from scraps of lumber – at the 1944 New York toy fair, Mattel lacked the money to grow. Risking the entire net worth of the company on an advertising program with the Mickey Mouse Club television show was the key. Yet naysayers almost caused Ruth to give up on her biggest insight: that little girls wanted to play, not just at being mommies with baby dolls, but at being adult women, using adult dolls that could take on many different roles as they changed their outfits (sold separately). More than a billion Barbies have been sold, and two are manufactured each second, over fifty years after their introduction.

The lives and efforts of these three inventors are radically different, yet their experiences are instructive. John Fitch did not – or could not – persevere far enough to achieve lasting success, even though his steamship carried a few paying passengers for a brief time. Robert Fulton spent decades with essentially the same goal and, through times of both war and peace, built not only an effective steam-powered boat but an entire transportation system. Ruth Handler had, perhaps, a less significant goal: to create toys with wide acceptance in the marketplace. Yet in terms of the profits her company earned – again, after decades of persistent effort – she far outstripped those of all but a few entrepreneurs. The common theme is perseverance.

[The information in this article is drawn from They Made America by Harold Evans. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2004 and the Wikipedia article on Robert Fulton.]

Vall Iliev is the president and CEO of Vallmar Co, Stow, Ohio,, a product development and management company founded in 1984. Vallmar works with inventors to design, plan, develop, and validate ideas so they may be patented and brought to market. Vallmar clients range from individual inventors to large manufacturers and nationwide retailers.

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Invention Help

Making Your Invention Real

Inventors are creative, ambitious people. They are the individuals who see a problem and
envision a solution to that problem. Too often, however, they take a difficult pathway as
they strive to bring their invention to the attention of potential buyers. Most inventions fail
because the initial precious resources are misdirected and spent on inadequate prototypes and
filings for full patents before the idea is developed into a viable business concept. An effective
business planning process will address such issues as cost and potential return on investment,
which should be 8 to 10 times the direct cost of manufacturing. In today’s uncertain
economy, a further goal must be to develop the idea in such a way as to minimize the risks to
a licensing firm.
Without the services of an experienced product development and management (PDM)
company, inventors may spend $15,000 or more on patenting and as much or more on
ineffective prototyping of an invention that is not yet ready for commercialization, only to
discover that the idea is impossible or too expensive to produce. Working with a PDM
company, you can take the sketch you drew on a crumpled napkin and help develop it into a
real product with potential readiness for the marketplace. Here are some of the steps you’ll
take along the way:

Invention Evaluation

Your invention will be developed by a product designer, or sculpted or modeled in 3D CAD.
This step in the process enables the PDM Company to evaluate your idea for feasibility. The
issue of feasibility has a number of dimensions: First, does the invention provide a clear-cut
solution to a problem? You need to answer this question before spending large sums on
prototyping and attorney fees. In addition, can the invention be manufactured? Perhaps
most importantly, does your invention have “financial feasibility”? That is, is it likely to
make an adequate return on your investment, and on the investment of the organization that
buys or leases your patent from you?
An experienced PDM company will assign a Product Development Team with
representatives from marketing, engineering, manufacturing, testing, quality, finance,
intellectual property management and any other needed discipline to work with you. The
team will address your invention’s entire life cycle, from development through production to

Invention Market Receptivity

Don’t spend thousands on prototyping and patenting an idea that doesn’t have the potential
to find a ready market. You have probably been thinking about your invention for years, and
you’re sure that everyone will want one. That may be true, but it’s best to assess the market
objectively. Are you sure your idea is unique? Someone else may have “gotten there” before you, with a similar invention, or with different approach that solves the same problem that
inspired you.
A PDM company will use focus groups and market testing to help refine your product,
differentiate it, and give it the edge it needs to reach its ultimate customers. This is the point
at which your PDM company will join forces with your patent attorney to work with you as
strategic partners.

The Tools Buyers Need

Buyers require certain tools before they can understand the benefit of your invention. Your
buyer will want to know that you have developed a product forecast based on market
feedback and engineering analysis. Your buyer will want to know that your product and its
production processes have been validated, and that you have obtained all needed regulatory
approvals and certifications.
Additional tools to support your product may include virtual prototyping and
manufacturing analysis, selection of materials and technology, and development of direct
cost to manufacture, focusing on development of a recommended end sales markup of 8 to
10 time the manufacturing cost. End-user documentation, operating manuals and
maintenance instructions may also be required. Working with a PDM company is a costeffective way to develop these tools and make the idea you once sketched on a napkin into a
real product with value in the marketplace!
Vall Iliev is the president and CEO of Vallmar CO., Stow, Ohio,, a
product development and management company founded in 1984. Vallmar works with
inventors to design, plan, develop, and validate ideas so they may be patented and brought to
market. Vallmar clients range from individual inventors to large manufacturers and
nationwide retailers.

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Product Development and Management (PDM) Company for Inventors

Utility is a Success

Inventors come to a product development and management (PDM) company because they
want to make their idea a reality. Their goal is to draw on the PDM’s resources to
commercialize the invention and bring it to the market. Thomas Edison, one of the world’s
most prolific inventors, had this goal as well. He used the term “utility” for what is known
today as commercialization. “Anything that won’t sell,” Edison said, “I don’t want to invent.
Its sale is proof of utility and utility is success.”

Like Edison, the inventors who transformed the American economy dedicated themselves to
making real products needed by thousands of people. Charles Goodyear, for example, was
determined to develop rubber to help prevent the all-too-frequent drowning of sailors. He
believed that life jackets made of rubber fabric would be better than the clumsy cork vests
used in the 1830s, and he envisioned inflatable life rafts made of rubberized canvas.
Goodyear’s discovery of the vulcanization process enabled manufacturers to work with
different forms of latex (then called “gum elastic”) that did not become rigid in the cold of
winter and sticky in the heat of summer. Many years after this inventor’s death, Frank
Seiberling used Goodyear’s name for the tire company he founded in Akron, Ohio.
Edwin Land’s invention, the instant camera, did not arise from the type of life-or-death
problem that haunted Charles Goodyear. Instead, Land was inspired by a request from his
three-year-old daughter, Jennifer. On a family vacation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Land took
a photo of her with his Rolleiflex camera. Jennifer couldn’t understand why she had to wait
to see her photograph. Later that day, Land took a long walk by himself and said he had
formulated the answer by the time he returned “except for those details that took from 1943
to 1972.” In 1948, the first salable instant cameras were all purchased within hours. By
1965, Land’s company had sold four million instant cameras. As it turned out, millions of
people were just like his daughter, Jennifer, and bought a Polaroid camera so that they could
see their photos without delay.

Today, medical practice often employs another type of image – showing the chemical
composition of the human body. Yet Dr. Raymond Damadian invented magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI) only over the strong opposition of eminent scientists and academics, who
were sure he was a “crackpot and a charlatan.” Damadian persisted in developing his ideas,
however, because he wanted to find a cure for cancer, which had taken the life of his
grandmother. Cancer cells differ from healthy cells in their chemistry, but until Davidian’s
MRI came into use, the only way to identify them had been to look at them through a
microscope and recognize their shape. Once he found that MRI could detect cancer cells,
Damadian tried to get funding to build a machine big enough to scan an entire human
being, not just a small sample of cells. For this, he said, he was called “a screaming lunatic.”
His academic funding was reduced, and the National Cancer Institute refused any support.
Scrounging for money, friends and family begged for dollars wherever they could.
The scanner Damadian finally built, which demonstrated the ability to detect cancer in the
human body, is now in the Smithsonian Museum.

Through all their struggles, these inventors had a strong focus on their goal, and, in most
cases, a group of helpers or a team to support them. To meet the demands of the U.S.
economy in the twenty-first century, inventors can call on the resources available to them
through a PDM company. Successful commercialization means problems solved and desires
met, multiplied thousands of times.

Vall Iliev is the president and CEO of Vallmar CO., Stow, Ohio,, a
product development and management company founded in 1984. Vallmar works with
inventors to design, plan, develop, and validate ideas so they may be patented and brought to
market. Vallmar clients range from individual inventors to large manufacturers and
nationwide retailers.

[Quotes and information for this article from Harold Evans, They Made America. Little
Brown, 2004.]


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