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AMS PowerProbe Drill Rigs Require Durably Constructed Panels to Withstand Rugged Conditions

It’s All About the Soil

Since its founding in 1942, AMS Inc. has been a favorite provider of equipment to the environmental, agriculture, construction, golf and turf, pest control, and mining industries. When it comes to accessing and getting samples of sand, silt and/or clay, AMS offers a solution to get it done.

One of the company’s founding principles is that each end product it manufactures is a “Work of Art.” This philosophy harkens to the original owner’s name, Art Vollweiler. The third generation, family-owned business based in American Falls, Idaho, still considers fine crafting and building equipment designed to last a core tenet of its business. In fact, one of the augers that Vollweiler first built for the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service – formerly known as the Soil Conservation Service – was so revolutionary, the design is still used today.

Innovation and a commitment to quality has expanded AMS’s customer base and product lines. Currently, its customers include individuals, businesses, non-profits, governments and universities throughout the world. In fact, 25 – 35% of AMS’s products are sold overseas. In addition to the augers, soil and gas vapor probes, and core, sledge and sediment samplers it produces, one growth area for AMS is its PowerProbe direct-push drill rig.


Many of AMS’s customers require lightweight equipment that can be transported easily to off-road sites. In 1994, AMS introduced the PowerProbe to its line-up, thereby providing direct-push drilling technology and hollow-stem augering capabilities to the environmental and geotechnical industries. AMS PowerProbes can be mounted on pick-up trucks, tracks or trailers, making it a versatile and easily moved piece of equipment.

Customers involved in the environmental science and remediation fields use PowerProbes to handle rigorous tasks, such as:

  • Collecting four- or five-foot core samples at discrete depths
  • Installing water monitoring wells
  • Sampling soil gas, which then can be sent to a lab for testing
  • Testing soil compaction for construction purposes vis-á-vis the PowerProbe auto-drop hammer, as well as other geophysical and geotechnical assessments
  • Gathering soil and groundwater for testing

“Each PowerProbe we sell is equipped with operator control panels imprinted with data and safety information,” says Chanelle Minor, marketing director at AMS. “We want these panels to represent our company’s value of being well-crafted and easy to read by our customers.”


The previous process used to create the custom control panels was lengthy and time-consuming, involving four separate steps and multiple vendors to produce them. Also, while the finished product looked good, they weren’t long-lasting or easy to read, especially at certain angles and in some types of lighting.

“The process we used to make the panels wasn’t meeting our needs, nor was it achieveing our goal of creating a product with the end user in mind,” Minor says. “We wanted a panel that maintained the PowerProbe’s light weight, but that stood up to rigorous, abrasive environments without bending or breaking.”

In 2015, AMS began using Metalphoto of Cincinnati for its uniquely-shaped panels. Some of the panels are as large as 23″ x 17″, and are printed and fabricated using Metalphoto® photosensitive anodized aluminum.

“The MPC panels we’re using on the PowerProbe offer us permanent identification that can withstand the harsh outdoor conditions in which our customers operate.”

It’s made a world of difference,” Minor says. “The MPC panels we’re using on the PowerProbe offer us permanent identification that can wishstand the harsh outdoor conditions in which our customers operate. Plus, we like the fact that the MPC product is built to last.” With superior resistance against sunlight and abrasion, and proven outdoor durability of more than 20 years, MPC’s panels are designed to last in demanding operating environments.

With more than 70 years of innovations and meeting changing industry demands, AMS continues to follow its philosophy of everything is a “Work of Art.” The company believes that every design created and partnership formed should be with purpose and longevity in mind.

“We’ve found a ‘one-stop-shop’ partner in MPC, which saves us valuable time and money,” she says. “We’re very pleased with the final product.”

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