Thanks for you comments. This allows me, the founder and CEO of MaxBotix Inc., to shed light on these things in an open form.
First, the transducer used on the EZ1 cannot be purchased. It is not available to anyone other than MaxBotix Inc. Our quality standards do not allow generic transducers to be used (where a three to one variation in performance is common). While this costs more than otherwise, putting out a product that really does actually perform consistently is our goal.
Next, we do not purchase our LV-MaxSonar-EZ1 transducers from China. (We did in fact try, but the quality was not high enough). In addition, all of our product engineering, assembly, and test is done here in the USA. While outside assembly would be less expensive, outside assembly removes quality from the products. Product quality is frist for us here at MaxBotix Inc.
The EZ1 product reading stability is incredible for such a low cost product. The standard deviation in our sensor outputs is 0.5 meaning that the sensor outputs range information, so consistent, that with stable targets and air, the range is so consistent that unless changing from one inch to the next, the readings do not vary. This is true for all of our products and all of our products receive this test before leaving our factory. (Just try our swinging ball test on other sensors to find out for yourself.)
As for our long term goals at MaxBotix Inc., we have a community mission statement, "better jobs for a better community". What this means is that in our area of the country (beautiful Brainerd Lakes area in central MN) we pay and offer benefits that are above what is expected in this area. In addition, the number of employees at the company are more than doubling every year (this is required when you don't use China). We consider it an honor to be making a difference in our community.
We just added another high speed pick and place to our factory floor. It is fun to see the growth.
Even so, as Founder and CEO I currently am making less than half of my pay as my previous engineering job. Instead the income is building the company, hiring people, building buildings for future site... This said, my current tax rate seems to be 3 to 5 times my current take home pay. When you pay for legitimately needed things to run a business the government can require that the cost not be deducted, sometimes over the course of 38 years. Funny that we could hire more people that would pay tax, but instead they take the money directly (I think they call this "taxing the rich", but it could more accurately called, at least for our company, taking away jobs...)
As for the cross, and the fish, and the first symbol, this is the case for my life. In 1980 I was instantly healed of a medically incurable disease just by someone praying for me. If I had not been healed I could not have done most any of the things I have done. I would not have had a company, been an engineer, etc. So for the things I design, I just acknowledge my thanks. (I have been healed instantly for other things as well.). So while I am as you say "religious", I am also an American, an employer, a business owner, a dad, a husband, and actively volunteering my time and cash to help change my community.
In every area we try as a company to put these principals into practice. We hope it comes through to our customers.
CEO MaxBotix Inc.www.maxbotix.com