VIBCO Vibrators Marks the Company’s 50th Anniversary

The company was founded in 1962 by Swedish immigrant Theodore Wadensten.

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VIBCO Vibrators, a manufacturer of industrial and concrete vibrators, air cannons, vibrating tables and plate compactors and vibratory rollers, is celebrating 50 years of innovation, service and quality Made in the USA vibrators.

VIBCO was founded in a Sparta, NJ chicken coop in 1962 by Theodore Wadensten, an immigrant from Sweden. Mr. Wadensten had immigrated to the United States as a sales engineer for a European vibrator manufacturer. Shortly after arriving in the United States, Wadensten recognized that the american market needed a no-maintenance vibrator with greater durability for rough applications. His attempts to communicate his design ideas back to his European employer fell on deaf ears so Wadensten embraced the American entrepreneurial spirit and set out on his own.

Theodore Wadensten perfected his revolutionary idea for a Silent Pneumatic Turbine Vibrator and took his product to market. The new vibrator was quiet, required little or no maintenance, and stood up to the rigors of heavy use. As a result, sales took off and Wadensten quickly had to move his operations from his chicken coop in Sparta to a larger manufacturing space in Lodi, NJ.

Theodore Wadensten was awarded a United States patent in 1972 for his pneumatic turbine vibrator design and began searching the northeast for a permanent manufacturing location for VIBCO. Wadensten ultimately chose Wyoming, RI and permanently moved all manufacturing operations to Rhode Island in the Fall of 1974.

“My dad started this company with a great idea and a few thousand dollars he’d borrowed from a family member. He didn’t listen to the naysayers, critics and cynics. He just believed in his idea and made it happen. That can-do spirit is an important part of VIBCO’s culture to this day," says current VIBCO President, Karl Wadensten.

Theodore Wadensten semi-retired in 1995 and his son, Karl Wadensten, assumed responsibility for VIBCO’s operations. Since his retirement, Theodore Wadensten has continued inventing and advising VIBCO’s engineers. He has applied for and received 9 additional patents post-retirement, the latest in 2008 for a new approach to vibrators for railroad cars, currently marketed as the VIBCO RailBoss.

Current VIBCO President, Karl Wadensten, is a man on a mission to preserve and grow his father’s legacy by passionately leading VIBCO Vibrators toward operational and cultural excellence. Under Karl’s leadership, VIBCO has quadrupled its annual sales and has successfully implemented Lean methodologies based on the Toyota Production System.

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