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K-State News
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Technology Development Institute supports Kansas entrepreneur in growing business

Monday, Aug. 14, 2023

coin machine

The Technology Development Institute at K-State helped DB Metals develop a custom commemorative coin machine to streamline the manufacturing process. | Download this photo.



MANHATTAN — Kansas State University's Technology Development Institute in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering helped a Manhattan company develop custom equipment that reduces labor and production time for its unique coin stamping business.

DB Metals, a custom commemorative coin manufacturing company, needed a coin counter to streamline the packaging and finishing process after bringing the coin manufacturing in-house in 2021. Commercially available coin counters only handle standard coins such as pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. The coins that DB Metals produce are much larger in size and would not feed through the machines.

"I attempted to reach out to the companies that produce the commercial coin counters and asked if they could produce a custom machine that would accommodate the size of coins that we produce," said Dakota Bartell, owner and K-State alumnus. "Most companies did not respond, and those that did were not interested in building one or two machines to meet our specific needs."

Bartell read about the Technology Development Institute and asked for assistance in creating a hand-operated machine capable of counting exactly 20 coins and packaging the coins into a sleeve.

The institute created the custom equipment by modifying a coin machine to accept the larger DB Metal coins by 3D printing a number of the parts on a existing machine to work with larger coin sizes. The new system is capable of counting and packaging the coins in only a few seconds. A portion of the project was funded by innovation funding provided by the Kansas Department of Commerce.

"DB Metals is an interesting and innovative small company that has found a niche in the market and continues to expand and grow," said John Bloomfield, engineering director at the Technology Development Institute. "We hope to continue working with Dakota and the team at DB Metals to develop new custom solutions for them in the future."

This project was completed in support of the K-State 105 initiative, Kansas State University's answer to the call for a comprehensive economic growth and advancement solution for Kansas. The initiative leverages the statewide K-State Research and Extension network to deliver the full breadth of the university's collective knowledge and solution-driven innovation to every Kansan, right where they live and work. Additionally, K-State 105 forges the connections and partnerships that create access to additional expertise within other state institutions and agencies, nonprofits and corporations — all part of an effort to build additional capacities and strengths in each of the 105 counties in the state.

The K-State Technology Development Institute, a U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration University Center, provides a broad range of engineering and business development services to both private industry and university researchers to advance the commercial readiness of new products or technologies.

Media contact

Division of Communications and Marketing


Technology Development Institute


Written by

Brett Lanz