In a message dated 10/14/02 08:29:13 PM, writes:

>Jerry Lamb



> Magnetic Levitation Technologies for Industry and Transportation



>Karl "Jerry" Lamb, inventor, is the president and majority shareholder

>of Magna Force, Inc. located in Port Angeles, Washington. Founded in

>1993, Magna Force, Inc. has become a world leader in the development

>of permanent magnet technologies providing environmentally beneficial

>solutions for industry and transportation.


>Magna Force, Inc.'s coupling technologies for use in commercial and

>industrial applications are currently marketed worldwide by Rexnord

>Corporation and MagnaDrive Corporation.


>Most recently, Mr. Lamb and Magna Force have focused on the development

>of a transportation solution. LEVX® is a next generation, fully passive,

>permanent magnet maglev system featuring automated platforms,

>magnetically levitated over a fixed guideway. The system provides

>unmatched efficiency in operation and maintenance and can maintain

>failsafe operation during possible power grid failures. Mr. Lamb will

>discuss the advantages of the simple design and operation of the

>LEVX® system as a viable solution to the world's need for increased




Jerry began by explaining that Magna Force was founded in 1993 to "develop from prototype to production disruptive, bold and visionary permanent magnet technologies for licensing." It is a private Washington State Corporation that holds 18 U.S. Patents and more than 200 worldwide patents. The companies newest project is LevX technology, which is "the development of apparatuses, systems and methods for levitating and moving objects." He then shared a couple of his companies big success stories, magnetic couplings for mechanical power distribution. Lamb explained that companies that have installed them have saved a lot of energy.

Then he talked a bit about what the LevX system is. It consists of rails very much like the ones under trains now, except that the surface is tiled with permanent magnets an inch or two thick with all of the poles pointing the same direction. The cars that glide on the rails have permanent magnets arranged over the tracks so that the poles are oriented to repel the track's magnets. Because the magnets are so strong, an inch or so of air gap is as close as the track and cars come. Since the vehicle is riding on air, there is no friction loss, making very energy efficient transportation possible.

Lamb then showed us pictures of Washington State Republican Legislators riding his prototype train. He listed for us some of the many possible applications for the technology, things such as people movers, materials handling for assembly lines, military launching catapults, or even heavy freight shipping. He shared some mouth watering price points, things like building rail lines for only $2 million per mile. He then completed the excitement building by showing us a half hour video of news clippings the LevX system had gotten, including footage of Washington State Governor Locke standing in front of a Corvette floating on a LevX track saying that LevX has great potential.

During the Q&A, it was clear that many people were impressed by what the guy had managed to come up with. Under questioning, he explained that the key enabling technology is the neodymium magnets that were invented to make car starters smaller and lighter. Since the volume of those magnets manufactured has grown greatly because of their use in hard disk drives, and all of the ingredients are cheap metals, he thinks price and availability for enough of them to cover the country in rails will be no problem. He passed around a couple of small sample magnets, and they are very strong for their size.

Tian Harter