A Palmer company is getting ready to ship out the first piece of machinery made under its multi-million-dollar contract for the Navy, using technology 15 years in the making.

The final product is called MCRRS, short for Mobile Cleaning Reclaim Recycle System. It's designed to clean flight decks on aircraft carriers.

Triverus CEO Hans Vogel is the man behind the idea.

"Sometimes people talk about us being like high-tech janitors, and that's kind of what we are," Vogel said.

The Navy needed a new method of keeping their flight decks clean and safe, according to Vogel. He wanted to create something that would prevent oil and fuel spills from slickening the deck as well as prevent particles or debris from being sucked into aircraft engines, all while keeping the environment safe.

"The additional challenge is this also has to be a robust enough product for the Navy, one of the most severe and dangerous environments on the planet to operate a piece of equipment," Vogel said. "It's highly corrosive and you have 19-year-old sailors operating it so there is a lot of considerations, not just in the cleaning technology but ultimately how the machines are maintained and interacted with."

The company also has its own shop for manufacturing parts. Overall, Triverus has created 30 high-paying jobs for skilled employees such as Navy veteran and engineer Matthew Hakin.

"When you're in the Navy, you don't necessarily think about the engineers and the people who help you do your job but it's still important," Hakin said. "And now that I'm on the other side, I do realize that."

The machines are the first of their kind, according to Vogel. Each one costs about $850,000, and the Navy has a contract with Triverus for nearly 50 of them.

Each MCRRS takes two months to assemble and test. The first one in the Navy's order will be shipped out on Feb. 14, with four more leaving Alaska this year.

Starting in September, Triverus plans to ship one MCRRS every month.

Palmer Mayor Edna DeVries says she's excited to see the manufacturing industry is thriving and adding diversity to the economy.

Vogel says his business is just one example of manufacturing that can be done on a large scale in small-town Alaska.

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