Insights into the Safe Manufacturing Industry By Alex Khomyakov of INKAS® Safes

Established in 1999, INKAS® Safe Manufacturing is a Canadian-owned company that designs and builds industry-leading security products including safety deposit boxes, fireproof filing cabinets, vault doors, gun safes as well as residential and commercial safes.

INKAS® also provides various services such as safe installation and moving, lock opening and combination changes, as well as general interior modifications, repainting, repairing and general maintenance. It’s safe to say that INKAS® is with you every step of the way.

A recent interview with Alex Khomyakov, the general manager at INKAS® Safe Manufacturing shed some light on the industry, as well as why he believes INKAS® has been so successful in the space.

  1. What type of customer will most likely benefit from purchasing an INKAS® safe?

INKAS® safes are ideally suited to both residential and commercial customers who require secure storage for physical valuables assets such as cash, jewelry, important documents, and firearms. The right safe in the right place can easily prevent important documents and jewelry from being destroyed during an unfortunate event such as fire and burglary. Using a safe is an appropriate security measure to contribute to a person’s sense of security as well as peace of mind.

  1. What makes INKAS® unique compared to other competitors on the market today?

INKAS® builds and distributes safes to retailers, government agencies, financial institutions, jewelry stores, and private clients alike. We are one of the only manufacturers in North America to offer a range as wide as ours. Starting from custom luxury safes and ending with UL-rated commercial grade safes, gun safes or cash depositories, we do it all – even vault doors and safety deposit boxes. We manufacture everything in-house using our proprietary technologies and patented materials – from a quality and security standpoint, INKAS® safes are at the top tier within the industry.

  1. What is the secret of being a top innovative safe company?

There is no secret. You must assemble a group of talented people who are dedicated to research and development to continuously improve our products to better serve our client’s needs. We invest in continuous innovation to provide our clients with a good night’s sleep while our product safeguards their assets. This single goal has yielded countless innovations within our products and continues to be the driver for innovation for safes to come.

  1. Can a safe be fully insured?

Yes, all items held in your safe are typically insurable. Also, depending on the value of the items, in some cases, having a safe in your home may lower your insurance premiums by up to 20%. Most insurance agencies will offer various discounts on your premiums based on the security level of the safe. For example, a BR-Rated safe may offer you a lesser discount on your premiums as compared to an RSC or UL-Certified safe.

  1. What does UL Certified mean and what the difference between UL, TL15, TL30, and TL30x6?

“UL” is a short term for Underwriters Laboratory. This organization tests thousands of products wanting to earn a UL Certification. In the case of safes, they must undergo rigorous testing to ensure their advertised level of protection. UL-TL15 safes should withstand 15 minutes of abuse, and UL-TL30 safes remain intact for up to 30 minutes. A UL-TL30x6 safe will withstand forced entry attempts on all 6 sides for 30 minutes each. Finally, there’s the residential security container, or RSC, which must withstand five minutes of rigorous drilling, chiseling, or other attempts at forced entry.

  1. Why is it so important to store firearms in a high protection gun safe?

In our 20 years in the business, we’ve seen and heard everything. From people storing their firearms in low-security safes, purchased in local office stores to others who simply build out a drywall door and basic lock mechanism somewhere in their homes. These are clear examples of very dangerous situations waiting to happen. Whether it’s an intruder gaining access to a client’s firearms, or potentially even a guest in the home – or worse, a child; it is without a doubt that a professional UL-certified safe should be the only place for firearms to be safely stored within the home.

  1. Are there any interesting stories you can share about INKAS® safes?

Recently, there was a power outage across Texas and residents had difficulties obtaining cash as all the atm and POS systems were out of service; banks were also closed. However, our INKAS® Safes clients were able to successfully access their cash as our safes’ locking mechanisms work independently of electricity – this is a company policy. Thankfully, our clients were able to access their cash in this time of need.

  1. Where can we purchase an INKAS® Safe?

INKAS® distributes safes through a network of over 2,000 locksmiths, 1,000 safe technicians, and 100’s dealers and Distributors located across North America.

List of a few key dealers:

  • Hoogerhyde Safe & Lock
  • The Safe House
  • Toronto Safes
  • CE Safes
  • Fortex Safes
  • Anchor Safe Co.
  1. What advice can you give to your potential clients?

The first piece of advice I would give is that not all safes are created equal. Whether you’re shopping online or in-store, you’ll be presented with a large array of safes, features and of course, prices. We do our best to educate clients on the difference between a BR-Rated safe, and a UL-Rated safe, or even a Residential Security Container (RSC). These are all unique products with unique characteristics. In the end, safety is the utmost concern, of course, however, clients may also be concerned with the weight of the product, or the interior features, or the locking mechanism.

While there were an estimated 161,291 home invasions/burglaries in Canada and 1,117,696 in the U.S.A. every year, it’s important to understand that some of these homes already had safes. However, these safes may not have been bolted to the ground, they may have been light enough to carry or dolly out, or they simply may have been using low-security locks or low-security construction, which enabled quick break-ins.

Again, not all safes are created equal – I can’t stress that enough.

We’re always happy to educate the market on not just our products, but safes in general. In the end, we’re all in this together to protect what we’ve worked so hard to obtain.

INKAS® DEVELOPS OIL-CONTAINING CONCRETE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION

INKAS® R&D team is proud to announce that it has developed and tested an oil-containing concrete for the cementation of organic liquids, which can aid in environmental remediation. This innovative method makes it possible to solidify radioactive organic liquids for safe long-term storage and incorporate oil-containing sands into structural concrete.

At the request of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, INKAS® R&D designed a special cementitious composition that is capable of producing concrete containing up to 40-50% oil by volume for the purposes of solidifying radioactive organic liquids to meet the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The volume of radioactive organic liquids that have to be treated, is usually not more than a few cubic meters per year at one site, and thus despite its usefulness, this innovative cementitious composition does not have a large-scale application in this area.

During this research, INKAS® R&D team was able to demonstrate additional potential applications for this method, such as using oil-contaminated sand “as is” instead of natural fine aggregates for concrete production.

Crude oil spillage severely impacts the environment and affects the physical and chemical properties of the surrounding soil. Due to the substantial cost of cleanup efforts and disposal of oil-contaminated sand, mixing it instead with cement and using it in construction is a feasible alternative that results in a more affordable remediation method.

One of the most promising applications for this innovative method can be seen in Canada, with the ability to reduce the environmental impact of the oil sands tailings – which provide an important resource to Canada and the global market.

Oil Sands tailings are a mixture of water, sand, fine silts, clay, residual bitumen and lighter hydrocarbons, inorganic salts, and water-soluble organic compounds. With virtually unlimited resources at of the Oil Sands, INKAS® innovative cementitious composition is well-positioned as an effective solution for turning the oil sand tailings into structural concrete.

An example of the results of this method is demonstrated in Figure 1, which shows samples of hardened cementitious composition made for Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which contains 40% oil by volume.

INKAS® R&D team continues to explore applications and test this new method on various environmental remediation projects. The results thus far show great promise for minimizing human impact on the planet.

To learn more about other research completed by INKAS® R&D team, click here and here.

INKAS® SECURES PATENT FOR GRANULATED “MACROCEMENT”

With more than 3 billion tons produced each year, cement is the world’s most widely used building material and one of two largest producers of carbon dioxide (CO2) globally – responsible for 5-10% of all man-made emissions of this major greenhouse gas.

Beyond CO2 emissions, the dusting involved in handling cement is a very serious problem for those dealing with cement directly. The dust is harmful to breath in, and thus, creates a difficult environment to work in.

Numerous attempts have been undertaken in the industry to consolidate powdered cement into a solid granulated cement, but with limited success. INKAS® R&D team has tested, proven, and patented a method to create solid granulated cement which provides a practical solution within the industry.

There are a variety of granulation procedures and equipment, which can be broken down into two basic granulation principles: dry granulation with powder particles aggregated under high pressure and wet granulation with use of binders.

Dry granulation of cement under pressure is not a viable option as the powder cannot be simply compressed into a solid. Wet granulation involving the use of a binder, is possible, but it significantly reduces the activity of the cement as any water absorbed starts the irreversible chemical reaction that turns cement into concrete.

In the case of a water-soluble binder, the water in the binder would cause hydration of the cement, which would reduce the cement activity and again require re-grinding of the cement containing hydrated agglomerates.

In the case of a water insoluble binder, the granules should be re-grinded before mixing with water, down to the size of the original cement grains. The hardened water insoluble binder would then reduce activity of the cement.

However, INKAS® R&D team discovered the ability to use a special “invisible” binder that is essentially a force field of intermolecular interaction between cement particles. These naturally existing forces of mutual attraction between cement grains are multiplied by a process of cement physicochemical activation that was developed by INKAS® R&D team. The increased attraction of the cement particles to each other makes it possible to coat cement grains in smaller sub-micron powders and allows cement granulation while it is in an activated, energetically charged state.

The results of this granulation are shown in the attached photos. Figure 1 shows a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) image of the micron sized cement particles coated by sub-micron silica fume in the process of physicochemical activation, and Figure 2 shows a granulated cementitious mixture.

This innovative granulated cement was developed, produced, and patented by INKAS® and named “Macrocement”. INKAS® is thankful to its partners, and particularly, Estelle Havva Balevi of NRC-IRAP, for making this research possible.

To learn more about Macrocement, visit the Google Patents page, or click here to read more.

INKAS® SECURES PATENT FOR INNOVATIVE SELF-PROTECTING CEMENT

INKAS® Research and Development division is excited to announce its patent for an innovative cement that extends shelf life and significantly reduces greenhouse gases – a global issue caused by one of the most widely used building materials in the world, which has not had a practical solution – until now.

While concrete is the world’s most widely used building material, it is rarely discussed that its use results in hundreds of thousands of tons of cement waste worldwide each year, which is responsible for emitting thousands of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere from producing unnecessary quantities of cement that ultimately end up discarded.

Cement – the main component in concrete – is designed to have a chemical reaction when exposed to water, which triggers it to set and harden into concrete. However, this highly valued feature of cement has a flip side: any exposure to moisture in the surrounding environment triggers the irreversible chemical reaction to begin, resulting in the cement losing its “activity” and rendering it useless.

This inevitable deterioration of cement during its transportation and storage significantly limits its shelf life – which is usually not more than 6 months, and in many cases, less than 3 months from delivery. The cement that expires is essentially unusable and is simply discarded. This creates substantial waste from the natural resources that were spent and the fuel that was burned in order to produce it in the first place.

The only practical solution to date has been to simply store cement carefully. The recommendation is to isolate cement and its dry mixtures from the moisture in their surrounding atmosphere by using airtight multilayer plastic bags, and storing them in dehumidified storage rooms with minimal air circulation, stacked away from the walls.

With regards to cement, it is considered that dividing it into smaller portions and storing it in smaller bags will provide better protection from the surrounding moisture. But the question has remained – what is the ideal size limit of this smaller portion? INKAS® R&D team set out to answer this question, and through thorough research and testing has determined that the ideal size is an individual cement grain.

INKAS® R&D team has proven that grains can be individually coated to prevent their reaction with water. To accomplish this, each cement grain is packaged into a waterproof, protective shell. Viewed on the micro-level, these cement grains are coated by a waterproof cover.

INKAS® has developed, produced, tested, and proven this innovative process, and secured a patent for the cement and the process for producing Self-Protected Cement. This process ensures that each cement grain shields itself from moisture in the surrounding environment, which significantly increasing the shelf life of Self-Protected Cement.

INKAS® is thankful to its partners, and particularly, Estelle Havva Balevi of NRC-IRAP, for making this research possible. With this support, INKAS® R&D team was able to complete microstructural analysis, statistical analysis of cement aging, and receive the backing needed to validate this process and secure the patent.

To learn more about Self-Protecting Cement, visit the patent page.

STATEMENT FROM INKAS® CHAIRWOMAN

During this difficult and uncertain time, I first and foremost hope that you and your family are in good health.

As a company, INKAS® is guided by the principle of protecting the lives of individuals worldwide, and it is a vision that is deeply meaningful to me on personal level.

These times have created new challenges which are affecting all of us, but there is a slight level of comfort in knowing that we are all in this together. I want you to know that we are still thinking of you, and we continue to make decisions that address the needs of our clients and staff.

We are taking all precautions to comply with recommendations from government and health officials. We continue to closely monitor the situation and make decisions that are in the best interest of everyone’s collective wellbeing.

While we all cope with the disruptions that this pandemic has created in our society, we are aware of the reality that our clients are still vulnerable to physical threats. Our team is fully dedicated to delivering on the promises that we have made to our clients, and we continue to implement measures that allow us to continue delivering the critical security products that clients expect from us.

We continue to wish you health and safety as we persevere to provide the exceptional level of support that you have always received from INKAS®.

Please do not hesitate to contact me during these difficult times, as I continue to maintain an open line of communication should you wish to reach out to me.

Keep well,

Margarita Simkin

Chairwoman

INKAS® Group of Companies

INKAS® STATEMENT ON COVID-19

INKAS® is committed to protecting the health and safety of its employees, vendors, and clients. In response to the growing concerns regarding COVID-19 (or 2019 novel coronavirus), INKAS® has been implementing and enforcing all necessary precautions throughout our operations:

  • We have increased the frequency of cleaning and sanitation of all our offices, manufacturing facilities, and outgoing products
  • We have set internal policies in place to ensure limited impact on business operations
  • We have prepared our teams to quickly respond to new developments that could impact our operations
  • We continue to monitor and assess updates and local guidelines that may affect employees and clients, in order to minimize disruptions to client orders
  • We have established procedures for all key production areas and activities to ensure that we can continue to meet all commitments to our clients

INKAS® continues to monitor for and respond to recommendations from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our insurance companies, and local governments, regarding best practices and measures.

At this time, INKAS® is maintaining normal business operations, without any interruptions to production.

We value your business and appreciate you placing your trust in INKAS®. We will continue to prioritize the health and wellbeing of our employees, vendors, and clients during these challenging circumstances.

Sincerely,

INKAS® Group of Companies

INKAS® NAMED “INNOVATION BUSINESS OF THE YEAR”

On January 28, 2020, The CanadianSME National Business Awards gala recognized and celebrated business accomplishments, leadership, and the significant contribution that small and medium businesses make to the Canadian economy.

INKAS® was thrilled to be awarded Innovation Business of the Year for its leadership in its industry, and the continuous advancements in the development of automotive manufacturing and integrated security solutions.

“This award acknowledges our strive for excellence in what we do, and it is a win for the entire team,” says Margarita Simkin, Chairwoman, INKAS®. “From day one, technological advancement has been pivotal to INKAS®’s success and we will continue to engineer industry-leading products to meet the changing needs of our clientele worldwide.”

INKAS® prioritizes innovation in materials and technologies to ensure that they will stand up to the needs of tomorrow. This forward-thinking approach enables the company to lead the industry and continuously expand into international markets where safe transportation is critical in the face of unstable social and political environments.

The company continues to contribute to the future of the security industry and to offer high quality solutions that provide reliable protection when it matters the most. With it’s recently acquired facility, INKAS® is further investing significant resources into developing secure transportation solutions to accommodate the growing demand on a global scale. 

About The CanadianSME Business Awards

The CanadianSME Business Awards is designed to recognize and applaud the contribution that small business owners provide for Canada’s economy. The awards also represent several opportunities for business, including increasing their credibility to investors and customers.

INKAS® ANNOUNCES NEW MANUFACTURING PLANT IN TORONTO

Canada’s largest coachbuilder and manufacturer of armored and special purpose vehicles announces the acquisition of its newest facility in Toronto today, which will enhance its operational capacity and turnaround times. INKAS® Armored Vehicle Manufacturing is set to begin production at its new plant in the beginning of March 2020.

“I am proud to say that the continuous growth we’ve experienced has made it necessary to expand to a new facility to keep up with demand,” said Margarita Simkin, Chairwoman of INKAS®. “Our company has been steadily growing, and in order to continue delivering armored vehicles and secure solutions to our clientele in a timely manner, we have had to increase our production capacity.”

The recently acquired facility will be dedicated to the production of INKAS® luxury sedans, SUVs and other civilian vehicles. The new assembly plant is set to double INKAS® production output while maintaining the exacting standards and quality that the brand is renowned for.

With this new expansion comes a multitude of new employment opportunities for Canadians. For those who are interested in building a successful career in the automobile industry, we welcome you to apply at INKAS® career page or email your resume to hr@inkas.ca.

INKAS® to showcase its latest innovation, Macrocement™ at the RILEM Conference in Israel

For over two decades, INKAS® has been providing a wide range of environmental conservation and protection services and working towards finding efficient ways to reduce the impact of industrial sectors on the environment.  Besides the continuous support to the community where it operates, the company has launched several inventions including oil spill cleanup devices, absorbent fibrous granules; and now, INKAS® is proud to introduce the first-of-its-kind Macrocement™, a granulated cement to replace conventional powdered cement —the world’s most widely used building material.

By bringing granulated cement into the market, INKAS® anticipates a significant change in the field due to the long-standing inefficiencies found within traditional powdered cement. Commonly used in the construction industry, traditional cement contributes towards man-made emissions on the greenhouse effect as well as negatively impacts workers’ health conditions in general. In the case of Macrocement™, not only are emissions reduced but the product demonstrates additional economic benefits due its extended shelf life and low impact from humidity.

INKAS® will be presenting its innovative findings and showcasing Macrocement™ at the 3rd International RILEM Workshop on Concrete Durability and Service Life Planning (ConcreteLife’20) to international engineering and research communities. The conference will be held at Technion, Haifa, Israel, on January 14-16, 2020 and discuss the future trends in research, development, and practical engineering applications related to durable concrete construction. A focus of the workshop will be the design and construction of concrete structures exposed to different environmental conditions and mechanical loading. INKAS® invites all interested parties to join the workshop to learn more about fundamental scientific concepts related to its innovations in the concrete industry.

CANADIAN SCIENTISTS INVENT GAME-CHANGING GRANULAR CEMENT WHICH CONTRIBUTES TO REDUCED GREENHOUSE GASES

INKAS® scientists have invented the first-of-its-kind granular cement – a major advancement in addressing the deficiencies of one of the world’s most widely used building materials. Until now, cement has only been manufactured in its conventional powdered form, despite industry-wide awareness of its shortcomings.

Cement granulation is not a new concept, and has been regarded as an ambitious objective in materials science. Although various processes have been patented after physically achieving granulation, they have not been applied in practice since their initial invention. Despite the numerous attempts over the past decades to successfully granulation cement, the outcomes have not produced cost-effective or practical solutions that can be used in the field.

The need for granulated cement is widely recognized in the industry since, in its powdered state, cement has a short shelf life due to premature hydration from moisture in the air. Additionally, the powdered cement exposes workers to the adverse effects of dusting, and with more than 3 billion tons used each year, it is one of the two largest producers of carbon dioxide (CO2) – creating up to 5-10% of man-made emissions of this a major greenhouse gas worldwide.

The determination of INKAS® scientists has successfully led to the creation of a patent-pending granulated cement whose characteristics and shelf life exceed that of conventional powdered cement.

INKAS® scientists discovered that the key to creating granulated cement lies within the physicochemical activation of cement powder which is caused by placing cement under mechanical stress. Furthermore, this process makes it possible to granulate/pelletize the activated cement with practically any commonly used equipment.

The mechanical energy applied to the cement grains causes changes within the particle, and results in the rearrangement of atoms and molecules in a crystal structure. These changes lead to altering the internal energy of the cement particles, thereby causing their activation.

Physicochemical activation increases the attraction of cement particles to each other, as the cement is energetically charged in this state. The energy charge of the activated cement is the binder that holds the cement grains together in the granulation process.

INKAS® scientists have been invited to present their findings at the Seventh International Conference on Durability of Concrete Structures (ICDCS 2020), where they will be speaking amongst esteemed subject matter experts.

The conference will be held in Jinan City, China on June 5, 2020, and will bring together leading experts in the field of concrete durability from around the world. The prestigious event was established to discuss the recent progress and latest developments in materials technology, assessment of performance both in laboratories and on site, service life concepts and reuse and recycling of construction materials and products to enable concrete structures to be durable and sustainable.

The published international application outlining the details of the cement granulation method are available in Google Patents.