When Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Steven Skerlos first developed an advanced coolant and lubrication system to make manufacturing tools live longer, he envisioned an environmentally friendly technology that could be applied on an industry scale.
With his company’s recent infusion of funding that dream is one step closer to fruition. Fusion Coolant Systems, an Ann Arbor based startup, received $600,000 from a variety of investors in January, including $80,000 from the University’s Frankel Commercialization Fund, which is run by a group of MBA students from the Ross School of Business.
“This milestone funding will bring our technology onto the factory floor, improving profitability, worker health, and environmental quality simultaneously. This funding represents a strong vote of confidence in our corporate vision,” Skerlos said.
Traditional coolants combine water, oil, and toxic chemistry to cool and lubricate manufacturing processes. Fusion’s system recovers carbon dioxide, an industrial waste product, and puts it to work in metal cutting, grinding, and forming without the use of supplemental chemicals or petroleum oil.
Skerlos, who also serves as Chief Technical Officer for Fusion Coolant Systems, said he expected demand for the technology would increase rapidly one demonstrated in production.
“Disruptive technology does not come along very often in this industry,” he said. “Once practitioners witness the performance we have seen in trials and demonstrations with automotive, aerospace, and heavy equipment manufacturers, we can be sure that this business will scale up rapidly.”