Manufacturing Today - Summer 2011 - (Page 100)

BioTek Instruments Inc. / HQ: Winooski, Vt. / Employees: 310 / Services: Microplate instrumentation Amit Lodha, manufacturing manager: “We believe that what you invest today is what you will get in the future.” says. “We’ve been growing for the last five years and really haven’t seen the effects of the economy hurt us as bad.” Shed and Consolidate However, nine years ago BioTek was in a less enviable situation than it is today. Originally, the company developed and manufactured biomedical instruments. In 1981, it added microplate instrumentation with the introduction of its first microplate reader. In 2002, the company was taut from being pulled in two separate directions. “We were making microplate instrumentation and biomedical products together for quite some time,” Lodha says. “We decided to focus solely on microplate instrumentation rather than stretch ourselves too thin. We pulled resources from sales, manufacturing and engineering to specialize in one thing that we are very good at.” BioTek sold its biomedical division. Now, exclusively a manufacturer of microplate instrumentation, BioTek produces variations of three main products used in scientific testing: dispensers, washers and readers. Dispensers dispense a specified amount of liquid. Washers mix liquids together to create a desired sample. Readers will provide data on the sample being tested. Pharmaceutical companies and research institutions are typical customers. Within a given product model, there are several components that can be tweaked to suit each client’s needs. “Many of our products are standardized,” Lodha says. “If you look at two instruments, they will be almost identical but have different uses or perhaps different filters in the reader. Some products can have 90 standard variations, and on top of that we can make additional changes. It’s a fairly complex thing.” Despite product complexity, BioTek continues to invest time and money in R&D. Since 2004, the com- biotek instruments released four new products in 2010 even as the economy struggled. Good Years Ahead BioTek made a bold decision in 2002 to narrow its focus, and now it reaps the benefits. by jamie morgan Last year, many manufacturing companies began to finally feel the delayed effects of the sagging economy. However, at BioTek Instruments Inc., the company introduced four new products, received the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Business of the Year Award and opened a new international sales office in Switzerland. But it wasn’t just 2010 that produced growth. For the past five years, the company has increased market share by about 6 percent and consistently 100 SUMMER 2011 added new employees. It was able to grow while keeping 100 percent of its manufacturing capabilities within the United States, as well – another uncommon occurrence as of late. BioTek has a worldwide distribution network as well as global sales offices, but all products are assembled from a 40,000-square-foot facility in Vermont. “We have been pretty lucky and blessed in this economy actually,” Manufacturing Manager Amit Lodha

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - Summer 2011

Manufacturing Today - Summer 2011
Business Value
Supply Chain
High-End Home & Design Intro
Columbian Home Products
Tomlinson/Erwin-Lambeth, Directional and Carter
Federal Heath Sign Co.
LaSalle Bristol Corp.
Platt Luggage Inc.
Gallatin Steel Co.
Aluma KLM
The Robinette Company
Cinetic Landis Corp.
Classic Optical Laboratories
Faribault Foods Inc.
Ram Jack
Southern Components Inc.
Connecticut Hypodermics Inc.
Flint & Walling
American Posts
Avalon & Tahoe Manufacturing Inc.
The Home Rubber Co.
Arrow Storage Products
Smith Packing Co. Inc.
BioTek Instruments Inc.
Brunswick Recreational Boats
Certified Transmission
Alleson Athletic
Industrial Polymers & Chemicals
The Magni Group Inc.
Penda Corp.
Petersen Inc.
Sheldon Laboratory Systems
The Malish Corp.
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Manufacturing Today - Summer 2011