Viken Detection: Detection Technology That Preys On Threats

Article via BCAT TV

In an interview with Viken Detection President & CEO Jim Ryan, Ryan said Viken got its start in lead detection in paint. Using a small, handheld device a home inspection professional can detect the levels of lead in paint a home. 

“And what we saw was what initially happened with the Flint, Michigan crisis; that lead is not just from paint but also can contaminate water, leaching through the water service lines,” said Ryan. 

Viken is testing new technology that can snake into pipes from a home to the water main and determine what parts of the patchwork piping system are lead and which are copper. In addition, the same tool that detects lead in paints can detect the presence of lead in a pipe by touching a pipe that is exposed as well. According to Ryan the best thing you can do if you have lead pipes is to replace them.

“As part of the White House administration and their priorities there is a tremendous amount of money available to replace service lines so why risk it,” noted Ryan.

There’s a Federal initiative to remove water service lines that contain lead. Working with local water municipalities, Viken Detection has conducted many tests in the Boston area helping excavators pinpoint where lead pipes start and stop. This is making the process more convenient for the community and the home owners by getting pipes identified and replaced more quickly.

Viken Detection is also making contributions to law enforcement with a handheld x-ray system. The best way to think about that it is that an x-ray flashlight. Low energy x-rays, safe for the officer, shoot out, bounce back and create an image that actually sees through the thing that it’s being targeted at. That could be a car panel, tires, mufflers, bumpers. Anything inside the vehicle can be seen through and checked for hidden contraband.

Viken Detection devices assist law enforcement and border patrol agents in finding commonly-trafficked drugs like fentanyl as well as weapons, stowaways, human trafficking victims and explosives. Viken devices have proven to be highly effective across the U.S. and internationally in taking opioids and weapons off the streets without having to rip a vehicle apart.

“It allows you to have this Superman x-ray vision, if you will, and see right through it,” Ryan explained.

On a much larger scale Viken Detection is operating along American borders with their creation Osprey. A drive over x-ray detector is capable of processing thousands of vehicles daily. 

“It really is a ubiquitous tool for seeing through any part of the vehicle and finding things that shouldn’t be there,” said Ryan.

Ryan and the Viken team have found Burlington a convenient location for employees that come from New Hampshire, the North Shore and also younger employees from Cambridge and Somerville.

“I think what’s helping Burlington are their small, innovative upstarts that have really driven a lot of economic development,” Ryan stated.

Viken Detection not only develops these technologies in Burlington but does all their manufacturing in Burlington as well. 

“Having manufacturing and the engineers under the same roof makes your product better, at least we believe that,” said Ryan.

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