Twinkle Co was started in 1983, with an office located in a garage in West Liberty, Iowa. Twinkle Co founder Willard Salemink started out with the goal of bringing a wide range of innovation to the sand and gravel dredge mining industry. Previous experience led Salemink to start a company that was innovative in name, business model and product line.

Like our dredges, our company name is unique. When choosing the name Salemink wanted something to set the new company apart from the crowd. The name had to have a positive connotation, be easy to remember and non-specific as to product or service. “Twinkle” was chosen and the name has been a tremendous success.

The business model was designed to allow for Twinkle Co to leverage the efforts of our employees and allow them to concentrate on core company activities. The Twinkle Co business model includes the following principles:

  • Keep the company as lean as possible-start with an office in the garage.
  • Design and specify all components that go into our products.
  • Contract for and tightly monitor all fabrication.
  • All employees to be salaried with generous retirement plan and bonuses.
  • Place implicit trust in employees.
  • Seek that which is simpler, increases production and is more durable.
  • Borrow not.
  • Have fun.

Building on his previous experience working with and observing dredge operations, Salemink was convinced that the sand and gravel dredging industry suffered an abundance of unrealized production capacity. With the state of the industry in mind, Twinkle Co was formed with the idea that sand and gravel dredges required dedicated technology and updated operating techniques.

Twinkle Co set out to identify and solve any problem that prevents maximum dredge production. We were, and continue to be, guided by our mission statement:

Provide dredges and dredging equipment to accomplish productive and efficient dredge operation by moving a high-density mixture through the discharge pipe at the target velocity without interruption.

Initially, our product line consisted of rotary cutters, velocity meters and a new philosophy on how to operate sand and gravel mining dredges. Twenty years ago very few dredges had the means to monitor and control pipeline velocity-the key to productive operation. We worked to fill that need. We have delivered over 400 velocity meters along with detailed instructions on how to use them. The result was always a remarkable increase in production, which brought us great satisfaction along with the respect and trust of many producers.

With success came new opportunities and challenges. We started designing and delivering complete dredges with pump discharge sizes ranging from 8″ to 16″ and digging depths down to 120′. Our H-Series and L-Series dredges are designed to be mining machines that float, and the distinctive features reflect our design philosophy of rugged simplicity.

As new problems emerged we developed new products. Our innovative products include the Dredging Handbook, the Warthog rotary cutter basket with T-Bar construction, the LADDERVAC electronic inlet pressure sensor for ladderpump dredges, the Linear Cutter and Linear Cutter Automation system, the CONVAC modulating bypass valve system, MOAB sheave blocks, BRUTE rigging blocks and numerous other dredge sub-systems that increase the productivity of sand and gravel dredges.

Instruments and control systems have been a large part of the Twinkle Co success story. From the beginning we knew that instruments and controls are vital to successful dredging. We have the in-house capability to develop, design, build and test our instrument and control products. This allows us to seamlessly combine our knowledge of dredging and control technology.

A growing list of satisfied customers testifies to our success and growing reputation as the leading innovator and source for complete dredges, components, instruments, controls, automation systems and practical information. Looking back over the last 21 years we are proud of what we have accomplished and excited about what is yet to come. We have left the garage office behind, but we remain true to the goals of the original business model. As we enter the 21st century we will continue to use our knowledge and imagination to bring technology and innovation to the sand and gravel dredge mining industry. We look forward to working with customers, both old and new, to help them increase productivity.