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Local Tech Company Plans to Expand, Add New Jobs

by on November 19, 2018 3:49 PM

Sensor Networks Inc. in Boalsburg has been growing rapidly since its founding just four years ago, and now the company is planning to at least double both its space and its workforce in the near future.

Jeff Anderson, president and general manager, said on Tuesday that SNI plans to move to a new 20,000 square feet space from its current 10,000 square feet spread across three suites on Technology Drive. The company, which started with just three employees in 2014, also recently hired its 48th and plans to expand to 100 to 125 in the next three years.

"We’ve been basically doubling the business for the past three years," Anderson said.

SNI has not yet settled on where its new location will be and is evaluating property to potentially build on as well as existing buildings. If an existing facility is purchased, the move would likely happen in the first half of 2019, but would be longer if a new building is constructed.

"Wherever we go we want to make sure we can expand too," Anderson said. "We really like being in this area, and the proximity to the university and proximity to the airport is a big draw for us."

The Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County and Centre County Industrial Development Corporation have been working with SNI to find the best location possible and to guide the company through issues like zoning.

"This doubling effect they’ve had is part of why we’re standing here today," said Vern Squier, CBICC president and CEO. "This is significant. Any time a company can double in that 36 month window of time is really an achievement in so many dimensions...This is huge. This is going to be another great story to put in the portfolio about growth and activity in our region."

SNI develops ultrasound and remote visual technology for testing and inspection in industries including oil and gas, power generation and aerospace. That includes engineered applications such as corrosion monitoring for oil and gas equipment, transducer technology for NASA's Langley Research Center and on-wing engine ultrasonic inspection for aircraft.

"Obviously there’s a lot of savings if they don’t have to take the engine apart off the wing," said James Barshinger, co-founder and chief technology officer. "They can reach down in through an access hole and go down with a probe and do an inspection while the plane is sitting outside on the tarmac."

SNI co-founder and CTO James Barshinger discusses the company's products. Photo by Geoff Rushton/StateCollege.com

The company works with clients like Boeing and GE. Currently it does "high-precision, low-volume" manufacturing of sensors that are sold in North America and Asia, with plans to expand into Europe, Anderson said.

Barshinger said that as SNI expands, it will be adding engineers, machinists and assemblers.

Anderson said talent and research from Penn State, the university's economic development initiatives, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, CBICC and CCIDC have all played a role in helping SNI grow and remain in Centre County.

A new location will not only give the company needed space, but will have all of its employees under a single roof.

"It’s sort of inefficient in the fact that not everybody is in the same contiguous area," he said. "The efficiency of having everybody together is the big draw for us.

SNI president and general manager Jeff Anderson and employee Jesse McCauley discuss the company's work at their Boalsburg machine shop. Photo by Geoff Rushton/StateCollege.com

Sensor Networks Inc. is currently located at 176-500 Technology Drive, Boalsburg. Photo by Geoff Rushton/StateCollege.com



Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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