Industrial Scientific plans headquarters in Robinson
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Fueled by rapid growth in a business unit that develops software and analytic services to detect gas leaks and other hazardous conditions at industrial and commercial sites, Industrial Scientific Corp. projects tripling its local employment to nearly 1,000 workers in the next decade.
That projected growth is a significant factor behind the company's plans to develop a new, 330,000-square-foot headquarters facility in Robinson on 25 acres currently owned by Bayer Corp.
Industrial Scientific also wants to consolidate administrative, manufacturing, engineering, product development and customer service operations that are now spread among four locations in North Fayette and Findlay.
"We really want a unified facility to bring together all our people; we see inefficiencies of having multiple locations," said Josh McElhattan, director of business development for the company that currently has 350 employees in the region and 900 worldwide.
The company has 25 local positions open now, including jobs in engineering, manufacturing, product development and customer service, Mr. McElhattan said. "Employment is steadily growing to push 1,000 in five to 10 years."
Robinson commissioners last week approved plans for the proposed building, which Industrial Scientific expects to occupy by 2015. The project now hinges on acquiring the land from Bayer. The site is located off the Parkway West at the Ridge Road exit and sits across Bayer Road from Settlers Cabin Park.
"We haven't closed on the property; the deal isn't sealed," Mr. McElhattan said.
Bayer spokeswoman Katie Kirkpatrick said her company has been marketing the site for several years because it had no plans to develop it.
"We are hopeful an agreement will be finalized ... and look forward to welcoming another science-based company to this area," Ms. Kirkpatrick said in an email statement.
Since its launch in 1985, Industrial Scientific has been known primarily as a manufacturer of gas detection products used in industries including coal, oil, gas, steel, aluminum, chemicals and water treatment.
Mr. McElhattan's father and grandfather founded the company when they purchased the industrial safety division of National Mine Service Co.
While the equipment side of the business is "strong and growing well," Mr. McElhattan said, the newer software segment that focuses on systems for inspections and predictive analysis of hazardous conditions "is where we really see growth in the future."
The privately held company -- which competes against industry giants such as MSA, Honeywell and Drager -- had approximately $200 million in sales last year and expects to exceed that figure this year, Mr. McElhattan said.
The predictive analysis products are marketed internationally, as is Industrial Scientific's traditional equipment. Mr. McElhattan estimated global sales account for about 60 percent of total annual revenue.
Besides its local plant, Industrial Scientific has manufacturing facilities in Arras, France; Dortmund, Germany; and Shanghai.
First Published August 17, 2012 12:00 am