Prime Engineering goes from garage to global company

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

FRESNO, Calif. – Prime Engineering, a standing device manufacturer, is celebrating its 36 years in business, which is no small accomplishment considering Mary Boegel started the company out of her and her husband’s one-car garage. 

“We would build one or two (Grandstands) at a time and sell them in Southern California,” said Boegel, president. “Then we would take that money and build five more, put them in the back of a big old van, drive to Northern California and sell those. It was a Johnny Appleseed kind of business.” 
Boegel and her husband continued this way for a year and a half before moving into their first factory. Now Prime Engineering is a global company, operating in more than a dozen countries with 36 employees and 40 sales reps. It offers 15 standing and gait models with more on the way. 
The initial seed for the company started when Mary and her physician, both paraplegics, designed two standing units for their personal use. While Mary was hosting a small get together for wheelchair tennis players, she overheard them arguing over who’s turn it was to use the standing device. 
“Within 10 minutes of being in the device, there was this huge physiological benefit,” said Boegel. “(My physician and I) looked at each other and thought, ‘Huh, maybe we should make these for more people?’” 
While Prime Engineering started as an adult standing device company, it leans ever so slightly toward pediatric products now, “partly because it makes such a huge difference in the life of a young body that's developing musculoskeletally,” said Boegel.  
That said, the company, which has had great success with its Kidwalk Dynamic Mobility Systems, allowing for hands-free, self initiated movement, plans to create a line for adults in the not too distant future.  
“Plus, we’re developing new markets,” said Boegel. “We haven’t completely saturated or opened in every market in the world and we're going to continue to roll things out until we're there.”