Gregory HOLMES: Inventor of the AVS Rotary Stepper

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  • Tell us something about yourself, your background

My name is Gregory Holmes. I go by Greg. I am married. I am a father and grandfather. I am a mechanical engineer, specifically a machine design engineer. I have a BS Mechanical Engineering degree from North Carolina State University. My specialty is the design of custom automation machinery for industrial production facilities. My hobbies are cars (I am my own mechanic…), camping, hiking, and sports. I love to cook. I am a huge rock-n-roller…I play guitar and I wrote a few songs a long time ago. My favourite band is a toss-up…Beatles and Black Sabbath. But right now, I mostly listen to Seether.

  • Can you list the products you have invented with a brief explanation of each

 Here are just a few of the many products and machines I have designed:

  1. AVS Rotary Stepper – a fluid-powered rotary actuator indexing device (pneumatic or hydraulic) that drives its shaft through a fixed angular displacement.  There is NO reset stroke, internal or external.  I invented this device because at the time there was no simple fluid power device on the market for the purpose of on-demand rotary indexing. Microsteppers and servo motors were just beginning to appear on the market. When manufacturers went to China for servo motor manufacturing, I could not really compete. This product is still available for applications or licensing. I also have several undisclosed fluid power devices based on my AVS technology.
  2. Gear Pump Glue Applicator – method and apparatus for applying/printing a very viscous material in very small amounts to paper traveling at high speed (8000 impressions per minute, single file).
  3. Compactor for knitted textiles (2 Roll type) – method and apparatus for controlled  lengthwise mechanical shrinkage (compaction) of knitted fabrics for the purpose of “pre-shrinking” of fabric prior to manufacture of clothes to reduce shrinkage from consumer wash and dry.
  4. Compactor for knitted textiles (3 Roll type) – method and apparatus for controlled  lengthwise mechanical shrinkage (compaction) of knitted fabrics for the purpose of “pre-shrinking” of fabric prior to manufacture of clothes to reduce shrinkage from consumer wash and dry. This machine is a totally different design from the 2 roll machine…disruptive technology. It is a current project.
  5. High-Speed folder – method and apparatus for plaiting (folding) of fabric as it comes off a dryer or compactor. The design facilitates high speeds of production where current designs cannot by eliminating stresses caused by excessive accelerations and decelerations. It is a current project in conjunction with the 3 Roll compactor project.
  • How/Why did you start inventing. What set you off?

Since the age of 10, I have always had an active imagination and a fascination with solving problems and creating new and different solutions to problems I encountered. I spent a lot of my youth building things out of wood and metal, and rebuilding bikes and small engines.

  • How do you get from idea to finished product?

Today, most of my inventions and patents revolve around solving problems encountered in the design of custom production machinery. I have worked in seven different industries (textile, automotive, aerospace, consumer products, tobacco, furniture, and munitions), but I find that the only difference between them is usually in the application of materials and part tolerances. Some industries require high tolerance parts and some require only loose tolerances. And different industries require application of different materials for products and machine parts. Besides those differences, all invention and design use the same intellect, creativity, and skills as well the application of mechanical and electrical principles.

  • Let us know of useful resources that helped you i.e. Books, websites, software etc

Currently I use Solid Edge Classic and Inventor CAD software packages for computer modeling of parts and machines.

There are several old books available of “ingenious mechanisms”. Sometimes I like to browse through them when I’m wrestling with a difficult problem. Very often I see something which can be the spark of a solution or new invention. In the same vein, there are several websites that have great illustrations of somewhat obscure mechanical mechanisms.

  • Social media links & Video:

LinkedIn: Click HERE 

–End of Interview–

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