October 22, 2012
Channeling Gov. Nikki Haley just a bit, Lexington Mayor (and Chamber of Commerce President) Randy Halfacre proclaimed that it was “a great day in Lexington.”
It was certainly a beautiful, crisp, sunny, windless fall morning, as officials from the city, the chamber, the county, the SC Commerce Department and the Central SC Alliance gathered to help Avtec President Michael Branning break ground on its new home near the Highway 6 exit of Interstate 20, which will anchor a new business park located within the town of Lexington. Lexingtonton County Council Chairman Bill Banning noted that Avtec has already hired all of those 25 employees, so they are not pie-in-the-sky.
The celebration was made especially warm by the fact that this is a home-grown, high-tech company that has decided to stay and grow right here in the Midlands. “Companies expand in areas where they feel appreciated,” said Jim Apple, chairman of Central SC Alliance.
Avtec provides Internet Protocol-based voice communications console systems for a wide range of customers, from police departments to utilities to airlines.
More on Avtec, from the firm’s website:
Avtec was founded in August of 1979 by Troy Branning as an engineering consulting business for Railroad customers. In 1980, Avtec won a design-build contract from the Atkinson Topeka & Sante Fe Railroad for a multi-user, computer-based, Radio-telephone console system. The Advanced Concept Communications Exchange and Signaling System (ACCESS) was born and went on to capture a majority of the U.S. Railroad Market.
In 1989, Avtec began a push into other market spaces with ACCESS, including Public Safety, Utilities, Airlines, and the Military. Early success with Delta Air Lines, California Highway Patrol, Toronto Ambulance, Virginia Power led to the development of a pioneering new console system, DSPatch, based on Digital Signal Processors and a redundant Time Division Multiplexed (TDM) switch. DSPatch became the standard of the U.S. Rail and Airline Markets, as well as many deployments to Utilities and Public Safety customers. In 2003, DSPatchNET was introduced, which added VoIP connectivity to the proven DSPatch TDM architecture. In 2008, Avtec’s pure VoIP console system, Scout, was introduced. Scout has been a run-away success with over 100 systems deployed since inception. Scout systems are in use in Police, Fire, Air & Ground Ambulance Dispatching, Railroad Main and Yard Ops, Airline System Operation Centers, Military Bases, and Utility T&D Centers.
Michael Branning, an electrical engineer who joined Avtec full-time in 1986, succeeded Troy Branning as President in 1993. Avtec employs an energized team of more than 75 people in a wide variety of capacities, from software and hardware design, to manufacturing, sales, and customer service.