Miguel Linares was born in Spain in 1951. He was affectionately known as Miguelangel, which translated, is Michelangelo. This was somewhat prophetic as he demonstrated great artistic talent at a very young age. In 1971 he immigrated to the United States after studying sculpture in both Granada and Barcelona. He continued his education in Detroit at Wayne State University Medical School where he concentrated on the study of human anatomy. Later he enrolled at the Center for Creative Studies to further pursue his career in art. He achieved early success as witnessed by his works in oil, clay, alabaster, wood and bronze being exhibited extensively in the United States and Europe. Many private collections also include his paintings and sculptures.
Linares began his manufacturing career in the plastics industry as a tool and model maker for Lamar Industries of Sterling Heights, Michigan. He was quickly promoted to Design Engineering overseeing the tool and die design process.
In 1991 Linares founded a tooling manufacturer, Rapid Products, Inc. located in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Rapid specialized in the design and manufacturing of small prototype tools and models and later expanded its capabilities to large production and prototype tooling. In 1994 Rapid further expanded to include an injection molding operation producing high volume plastic parts for large ‘Tier’ automotive suppliers. In 1998 Rapid was awarded the prestigious Pentastar Award by Chrysler for its major role in the development of the Dodge Viper.
In 2002 Linares was the founding member and President of Stratech Manufacturing and Tooling, LLC. Stratech specialized in production and prototype tooling and high volume plastic injection molding. Strategic customers included the automotive OEMs and Tier I/II suppliers. Among the significant achievements at Stratech, Linares helped develop a new process for “tip molding”. Linares was then contracted to incorporate this powder molding process for molding an all-plastic pick-up truck bed. He followed this with an automation process for manufacturing capabilities of the Tip Molding application.
Linares also served as Executive Vice President of VP Tech, LLC in Auburn Hills, Michigan; he co-founded this company in 2004. VP Tech develops and manufactures specialty proprietary machinery and tooling for the plastics industry with products that serve the automotive, construction, and home products markets.
During his tenure at these companies, Linares was responsible for developing the following processes in the automotive plastic industry:
- Encapsulation of glass now being used in the automotive glass industry
- Employed RIM (reaction injection molding) process to develop one of the first plastic fascias, later incorporating the process into structural beam development which ultimately replaced the need for a steel beam behind bumpers
- New tooling designs for the compression molding industry
- Designed and developed the first foam molding process using “steam cure” to form a single piece seal around the windshield
- Invented and developed the PIM process (powdered impression molding)
- Developed a pick-up bed for the Dodge Dakota from plastic thereby reducing weight by 150 pounds and allowing for a dump truck mechanism for the vehicle
Other, non-automotive developments include the following:
- Development of a unique I-beam with the encapsulation of bamboo and a larger tool for plastic impression molding
- Built the world’s largest tool for powder impression molding to make covers for barges 200’ x 36’ in 9 pieces
- Development of a scaffolding system using encapsulated bamboo
- Development of a sewer pipe using recycled material
- Development of a new process with liquid urethane with ability to recycle the cure urethane and return it into the system
With a stellar background in art and industry Miguel was ready to turn his immense talent to, and passion for, the medical field with the objective of solving problems and making monumental improvements in areas initially centered on orthopedic devices and procedures. For several years he has been formulating ideas to utilize plastic technology particularly suited to orthopedic applications. To this end he has already patented several of these ideas relating to artificial bone, ligaments, and joint implants.
Contributing to the betterment of mankind is a life goal for Miguel. To this end, he has designed and developed a portable plastic house for use in Africa or other distressed areas. The house is extremely lightweight and inexpensive to build; features include a rainwater collection system on the roof that connects to a 500 gallon reservoir under the floor for storing water, a pump/filter system to retrieve the water, and a rechargeable solar cell that powers lighting for the house.
While this portable house has not been commercialized or officially sanctioned by any specific relief agency, Miguel hopes an appropriate entity will discover, adopt and provide this comfortable, safe, lightweight, and portable habitation module for disaster relief or for nations with large homeless or nomadic tribal populations.
Miguel is in the design process for other humanitarian projects, including a highly efficient and solar powered pump for pumping water from the vast and relatively shallow water table that underlies much of Africa, even in its dryer regions. Miguel has a vision, as he says, of “bringing water to Africa”.